Nope, I’m not even joking. I made fried jalapeno poppers. Fried. They are crunchy and oily and unhealthy and amazing. But! For all you non-dairy or semi-healthy people out there, there is one redeeming quality. They’re vegan!
Traditional jalapeno poppers are generally stuffed with cheese, then fried. They’re amazing! They also make me feel like I am going to have a heart attack because 1) so much cheese; 2) so much frying; and 3) I’m eating an entire jalapeno. I mean, I like my cheesy spicy food and all, but sometimes it’s just a bit much. So these guys bring something else to the party – a totally snackable, everyone-can-share, cheese-less (but cheezy-tasting from the nutritional yeast!) popper that you are going to absolutely love.
I first had jalapeno poppers like these (my first jalapeno poppers ever, in fact) on one of the very first dates AJ and I went on. AJ, being used to the traditional cheese-stuffed whole-jalapeno poppers, seriously asked me, “These jalapenos are so weird! How do they make them flat like pancakes?” I am laughing right now as I type this. SO FUNNY. So to be clear, the jalapenos are sliced, then battered and fried. This is not some novel strain of jalapeno.
What is novel, however, is the batter part. I really don’t like the processes where you dip in milk, then flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. It just seems inefficient to me, and I’ve never got it to work all that well. So AJ and I experimented a lot with the best way to prepare these. We found that by using a thicker batter made with flax, flours, and water really fried up nicely. If you dredge them in some flour initially, it helps the batter stick better when frying. The breadcrumbs are a necessity and stick wonderfully to the batter.
So as I mentioned, these are vegan. However! I seriously believe these could be gluten-free, also, if you can get your hands on some gluten-free breadcrumbs. They whole process is gluten-free aside from the darn breadcrumbs, and that’s just because I didn’t have any gluten-free ones on hand. If anyone tries making these GF, please let me know how it turns out!
Vegan Jalapeno Poppers
Sliced jalapeno poppers that are vegan with a gluten-free option! Perfect for snacking at a party or just enjoying on their own. Served with BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or ketchup, these are seriously irresistible!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour (or all-purpose flour), divided
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 6 jalapenos
- vegetable oil for frying
- BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or ketchup for serving, optional
- Combine the flax seed and 1/4 cup of water. Let sit for a few minutes while you measure out the almond flour, 1/3 cup of the oat flour, nutritional yeast, and salt into a flat-bottomed dish (I used a 9×9″ glass baking dish). Add the flax mixture to the flour mixture, then add the remaining water. Mix well.
- Place the remaining oat flour (or all-purpose flour) on a plate. Place the breadcrumbs on another plate.
- Heat 1/2″ of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. You want it to sizzle when the poppers are placed in there, but not go too crazy. After the oil was hot, I kept my burner on medium-low to achieve this.
- Slice the jalapenos into 1/4″ rounds. I would recommend wearing gloves or being very careful not to touch the flesh if you don’t want burns. Dip the rounds in the flour, then dredge them in the flour-flax mixture. The coating should do a decent job of sticking all around.
- Carefully drop the coated jalapenos into the hot oil. They should sizzle. Cook for about 45 seconds, then flip and continue to cook until they are golden brown. If they are cooking too quickly, lower the heat.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Coat and cook the jalapenos in small batches. Carefully add extra oil to the pan as necessary to keep the poppers from sitting on the bottom.
- Serve with (vegan) ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, ketchup, or other dips as desired. Enjoy!