Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers are a favorite in my house. Sometimes we have them as a snack, while other times, it’s a part of a meal by being paired with a salad, like The Best Southwestern Salad. These vegan poppers are full of flavor and heat.

I have Minimalist Baker to thank for this recipe. I modified it a bit to remove the oil, add a little more cumin, and heat the cumin by adding it to the hot pan with the sautéed the onion and garlic. This brings out more of the smoky cumin flavor.

This tasty cheese sauce is very flavorful and can also be used on top of rice, bean, and veggie bowl or as a nacho cheese dipping sauce with Oven-Baked Corn Tortillas. If jalapeños are too hot for you, you could also add the cheese sauce to more mild peppers, such as Anaheim (less heat) or even sweet baby bell peppers (no heat).

Four jalapeno poppers on a white plate

Jalapeño Poppers key ingredients

  1. Jalapeños
  2. Sprouted corn tortillas (we like Food for Life brand)
  3. Raw cashews
  4. Onion (white or yellow)
  5. Garlic
  6. Nutritional Yeast
  7. Cumin
  8. Vegetable broth
  9. Green chilies

After you make the cheese sauce, slice peppers in half and remove seeds. Line them up on a parchment (or silicone mat) lined baking sheet and spoon in cheese sauce. Top with crumbled oven-baked tortillas and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 400°F.

sheet pan lined with parchment paper and 8 jalapenos sliced in half with seeds removed, lined up.
A close up of two jalapenos sliced in half with vegan cheese sauce being spooned in.
A top view of a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and jalapeno poppers ready to go into the oven.

Be sure to enjoy these Jalapeño Poppers with Southwestern Salad. It makes for a delicious, nutritious and satisfying meal.


Four jalapeno poppers on a white plate in front of a southwestern mixed greens salad bowl
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Four jalapeno poppers on a white plate

Jalapeño Poppers

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan



3 corn tortillas, toasted (we recommend Food for Life brand found in the freezer section of your grocery store)

¾ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water to cover then drained (for a faster method, simmer in a small pot of water for 3 to 4 minutes then drain and rinse)

½ medium white or yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1½ tsp cumin

½ cup vegetable broth (plus more as needed)

1 4-oz. can green chilies

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

salt to taste

12 medium jalapeños (halved and seeds/stem removed)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast corn tortillas on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

While corn tortillas are toasting, prep jalapeños, splitting in half and removing the tops and seeds. Place in rows facing up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small pan over medium heat, dry sauté onion until just softened and fragrant—about 3 to 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cumin, and continue to cook for another minute, adding a dash of water if needed to keep them from sticking. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a high-speed blender, add soaked and drained cashews, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, and green chilies and blend on high until creamy and smooth. If the sauce is too thick, thin with more vegetable broth.

Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt to taste, nutritional yeast for more cheesiness, or cumin for smokiness.

Turn oven up to 400°F.

Spoon the cheese mixture into the jalapeños, generously filling. You’ll have leftovers, which you can reserve for nachos, or as a topping for rice and beans, or more poppers later. Crush the toasted tortilla chips into crumbs and sprinkle them over the jalapeños. Bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until the jalapeños are soft and the cheese has deepened in color.

Serve immediately. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days, reheating in the microwave for a minute, or in a 350°F oven for 7–10 minutes.


  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Snack

Keywords: jalapeno poppers, snacks, appetizer, game day food, jalapenos, spicy, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, cashews, corn tortillas, daniel fast compliant, vegan, whole food plant based, soy free, gluten free, oil free, no oil

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