Nope, I’m not even joking. I made fried jalapeno poppers. Fried.
They are crunchy and oily and unhealthy. But, for all you dairy-free or semi-healthy people out there, there is one redeeming quality:
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:
- There is so much cheese.
- There is so much frying.
- 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!) treat that you are going to absolutely love.
I first had jalapeno poppers like these on one of my very first dates with AJ. Being used to the traditional cheese-stuffed whole-jalapeno poppers, he seriously said to 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 with a knife, 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 process where you dip in milk, then flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. It just seems inefficient to me, and I’ve never gotten it to work all that well. So, AJ and I experimented a lot with the best way to prepare our vegan version.
We found that using a thicker batter made with ground flax seed, flour (either oat or all-purpose), and water really fried up nicely. If you dredge them in some flour initially, it helps the batter to stick better when frying. The breadcrumbs are a crunchy necessity, and stick wonderfully to the batter.
These could be a perfect gluten-free option as well, if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs and oat flour instead of the all-purpose flour.
I’m so excited for you to try these. Make the recipe below now, and have fun serving them at your next party. Everyone will be gobbling these up so quickly, you’ll be in the kitchen again soon to make another batch!Print
For a spicy vegan appetizer, try sliced and fried jalapeno poppers, with a gluten-free option! They’re perfect for snacking at a party or just enjoying on their own.
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 cup water, divided
- 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 (gluten-free optional)
- 6 jalapenos
- vegetable oil, for frying
- BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or homemade ketchup for serving (optional)
- Combine the flax seed and 1/4 cup of water to make a flax egg. 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 (like a 9×9-inch baking dish). Add the flax egg to the flour mixture, then add the remaining water. Mix well.
- Place the remaining oat flour on a plate. Place the breadcrumbs on another plate.
- Pour vegetable oil in a medium saucepan until it is about 1/2 inch deep, and place over medium-low heat. You want it to sizzle when the poppers are placed in there, but not to be too hot.
- Slice the jalapenos into 1/4-inch rounds. I recommend wearing gloves for this. Dip the rounds in the flour, then dredge them in the flour-flax mixture. The coating should stick well.
- Working in batches, 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 plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Between batches, carefully add extra oil to the pan as necessary to keep the poppers from sitting on the bottom, and allow the oil to return to temp before you fry more peppers.
- Serve with ranch dressing, traditional BBQ sauce, ketchup, or other dips as desired. Enjoy!
I hope you like making these fun appetizers as much as you enjoy eating them. They’re the perfect option for anyone who is following a vegan and gluten-free diet, or for anyone who enjoys the spicy side of life!
What are your own favorite vegan appetizers? Do you like cooking with hot peppers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to give the recipe a 5-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 22, 2015. Last updated: August 1, 2018 at 15:44 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).