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Turn up the heat with this Vegan Jalapeño Popper Dip! It's warm, spicy, cheesy, and completely addictive! Plus, it calls for simple ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make.
I really LOVE spicy food and I crave it often - especially when it's in cheesy dip form like my Vegan Nacho Cheese! BUT, I also love jalapeño poppers, and I'm usually too lazy to make them. So, this Vegan Jalapeño Popper Dip takes care of my cravings all in one shot and with ease!
The perfect balance of heat
It's spicy enough to keep you coming back for more, but not SO spicy that you'll be running for the hills. I think that's why it's so addictive! If things get a little hot for you, just cool down with a cold beer or refreshing Blood Orange Margarita.
You can adjust the heat levels easily too and customize it to your liking. Just use fewer jalapeños if you're feeling reserved and more if you're feeling daring!
Guests coming over?
No problem! This Jalapeño Popper Dip is pretty simple to make and quite the crowd-pleaser. Just put this warm cheesiness on the table and watch them flock to the deliciousness. It never fails!
Your guests might hog this insanely addictive dip, so you might want to put your hosting politeness aside, and dig in while you can. Do not leave them unattended or you will miss out on all the spicy fun. You can be polite later when they're asking for the recipe.
You don't need it to have melty, stretchy, cheesy goodness. The cashews create a super creamy consistency, while the tapioca flour makes it thick and stretchy. I discovered the stretchy tapioca trick when I saw this Recipe by Vedged Out and I've used it for so many recipes. It was a genius idea!
What do I need for Jalapeño Popper Dip?
- Unsweetened Soy Milk
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Tapioca Flour/Starch
- Panko Bread Breadcrumbs
- Nutritional Yeast
- Jarred Jalapeño Peppers,
- Vegan Butter
- Raw cashews
- Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, and Salt
How to make Jalapeño Popper Dip
STEP 1 - Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). To prepare the breadcrumbs, place them in a small bowl and pour melted butter on top. Gently toss to combine well and set aside.
STEP 2 - To soften the cashews, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add raw cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes until they are softened.
STEP 3 - Drain and rinse cashews. Now place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (except jalapeños). Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth. Pour cheese sauce in a medium skillet/pot over medium heat.
STEP 4 - Now stir in jalapeños and cook cheese for 4-5 minutes until it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning and sticking. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed. Remove from heat.
STEP 5 - At this point, you can transfer the cheese mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish (about 2-quart size) or you can leave it in the skillet, as long as it's oven safe and the right size for serving. Now sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over cheese, place in the oven for 10- 15 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
- You can prep ahead and pre-soften your cashews by placing them in cool water for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge (instead of heating them in water). Then they'll be ready to pop in the blender right away.
- If you don't have a high-speed blender, the cashews might not completely break down, resulting in a gritty texture. You can try soaking the cashews longer for 12 hours or more.
- This recipe is a little over medium heat for spiciness. To make it mild, omit the jalapeño brine and reduce the chopped jalapeños. Add more for a spicier dip. You can also add ¾ teaspoon of ground cumin for flavor and spiciness. I mostly use jarred jalapeños because it's easier, but fresh can be used too. Just make sure to deseed & roast (or blanch) them first or your tongue will be on fire.
- Fresh-cut parsley
- Fresh-cut cilantro
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Sliced jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
If you'd like to try more creamy & cheesy goodness, but without the spiciness, you might like my Vegan Mac N Cheese or my Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo. They are perfect for weeknight meals.
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Jalapeño Popper Dip, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Vegan Jalapéno Popper Dip
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked in very hot water
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth , low sodium
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
- 4 tablespoons jarred jalapeño peppers , chopped + 2 tablespoons brine
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter , melted
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C)
- Combine the melted butter and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To soak cashews, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes, until softened.
- Drain and rinse cashews (discard soaking water). Now place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (except jalapenos). Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour cheese sauce in a medium skillet (or pot) over medium heat, and stir in jalapeños. Cook for 4-5 minutes until it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
- At this point, you can transfer the cheese mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish (about 2-quart size) or you can leave it in the skillet, as long as it's oven safe and the right size for serving. Now sprinkle prepared breadcrumbs evenly over cheese.
- Place in the oven for 10- 15 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh bread, crackers or veggies (see notes for garnish ideas). Enjoy!
This recipe is amazing! I used the sauce as a base for a baked mac and cheese.
I subbed green chilis for the jalapenos to lessen the heat and mixed in some pea noodles. My almost 4 year old ate 2 bowls full and asked if he could save some for lunch tomorrow. Absolutely amazing!
Hi Shauna, Thank you for giving it a try! It sounds perfect as a mac and cheese sauce! 🙂
I want to bring this to a potluck in my instant pot so I can keep it warm as it is served... I was planning to just omit the breadcrumbs, but I am also wondering- if it sits on low heat (like crockpot setting) for several hours will it get way too thick or will it keep its general consistency?
Hi Julie, I think it should be fine. You may want to add a little bit more liquid to the recipe though, because it may thicken a little. I hope this helps. Have fun! 🙂
Made this for a Christmas gathering. I did add chopped artichokes to the recipe and everyone ate it. This is definitely a keeper.
Hi Mary, Yay, I'm so happy everyone liked it! It sounds so good with the artichokes! I've gotta try that next time. Thank you so much! 🙂
Is there anything that can be used in place of the butter? I try to cook without oil or vegan butters.
Hi Sara, you can omit the vegan butter altogether. The breadcrumbs will still brown, but they just won't have that buttery flavor. I would just add a pinch of salt to the breadcrumbs. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Can I make this ahead then cook it right before?
Hi Molly, yes, you can do that, but I would wait to put the breadcrumbs on. They could get soggy in the fridge. The cook time will be longer too. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I've never actually had jalapeno popper dip before, so this is a must-try for me! Love the photos too 🙂
Thank you, Maria! It's one of my favorites. Have a nice weekend! 🙂
IS it ok to use Almond milk instead?
Hi Maribel, yes, unsweetened almond milk will work too. I feel the cheese is a bit creamier with soy, but it will still be thick, creamy and stretchy with almond. 🙂
Your recipe looks awesome! However, my daughter has a severe allergic reaction to tree nuts. Do you have a good substitution for the cashews? Thanks!
Hi Diana, sorry for the late reply. The holidays have been crazy! I haven't tried this dip with anything else. Vegan Richa has a wonderful nut-free nacho sauce on her blog. Also, you might want to check out the Nut Free Vegan blog. I wish I could be more help. Have a Happy New Year! 🙂
This looks wonderful! How do you think it would work if I used fresh jalepeños? I have an abundance from my garden!
Hi Liv, It would definitely work with fresh jalapénos but will be quite spicy. However, you can cut down the spice by removing the seeds and membranes (make sure to wear gloves). You can also blanch them in boiling water for 2-5 minutes to cut down the heat. I'd love to hear how it turns out for you. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I made your Mac and cheese recipe for me and my boyfriend and we both enjoyed it. Thank you very much for these healthier takes on things that are crave worthy, with your recipe i didn't miss the unhealthy version at all!!
Hi Susie, this is so nice to hear. Thank you for sharing your feedback with me. I'm glad you both loved it. I love making comfort foods with a healthier twist. Have a great Sunday 🙂