Thursday, July 12, 2012

Breaded Jalapeno Poppers Stuffed with "Cheese" and Bacon (dairy free, gluten free, grain free)

In college I ate A LOT of jalapeno poppers.  They were my favorite finger food.  Scott and I would buy those deliciously unhealthy frozen ones filled with cream cheese and deep fried in lard.  But oh man did they taste awesome with a tall glass of Guinness.  I haven't thought much about poppers in years, but a few weeks ago I decided my cashew "cheese" would taste fab stuffed in a pepper - and why not throw some bacon in there too.  Or keep them vegan, both ways are fun.  This "cheese" spread is outrageous.  It makes a great spread on gf toast, stuffed in celery, and I've used it as a "cheese" in grilled turkey and cheese sammies for the kids.   If anything, just try the filling.  But I think you'll really like these tasty popper alternatives to the gut-busting traditional version.  These would make fantastic appetizers for your next allergy-friendly shindig!  Serve with a cold glass of gluten free beer.

-15 to 30 jalapeno peppers - quantity really depends on the size of the pepper, so you be the judge.  Twenty medium sized peppers should do ya. 
-1 cup cashews soaked for at least 4 hours (I soak mine for 8)
-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon filtered water   
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/4 teaspoon garlic granules, onion granules, salt, and Italian Seasoning (the Italian Seasoning is optional but I love these herbs and think they taste great with the cashews).  
-4 to 5 strips of bacon (1/3 cup)

How To:
Preheat oven to 375 
1.  With careful, patient hands, hollow out the jalapenos.  I place all the jalapenos in a large bowl of water.  Wash, keep them in the water, and hollow out each one.  I rinse each one off after I hollow to remove any remaining seeds. 
2.  Cook bacon and set aside. 
3.  In a food processor, add drained cashews, water, lemon juice, and spices.  Blend until well incorporated.   Chop up the bacon into little pieces and the add to the food processor.  Blend until well incorporated. 
4.  With a pastry bag (with no tip) pipe in cheese bacon.  
5.  Do not fill completely, as the cashews cheese expands quite a bit when it's baked.  I leave a little room on the end.  
6.  Mix together breading (almond flour, salt and garlic grans).  Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
7.  Dip each pepper in the egg, then roll round in the breading.  You can do this twice for extra thick breading.  Be sure to coat and bread the opening of the pepper.  This will help the cheese stay in place.  
8.  Line a baking dish with parchment paper and place each breaded pepper on the paper (say that 5 times fast)!
9.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the breading is slightly browned.  
10.  Serving size will depend on the size of the pepper.   I've made one batch with 20 (big ones) another batch had 30 (smaller ones).  

The Breading Ingredients:
Mix together: 1 cup almond flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and garlic granules.  Add more as needed  
-2 eggs

*The breading is not essential, but makes them taste more like their traditional cousins.  The most time consuming part of this recipe is hollowing out the peppers, the remainder is pretty simple.  Just please be careful with the peppers.  And don't touch your face under any circumstances.  Bad news.  

Awesome bacon, but not SCD friendly I'm afraid 

This bacon "cheese" is ridiculous.  Love it
Here are some breaded bacon stuffed mixed with naked vegan stuffed ready for the oven (the first time I made these I didn't line the baking dish, I recommend this step).
Just out of the oven (the middle popper was double breaded) 
See how the "cheese" pushes out.  This is fine, still tastes great, but if you egg and bread over the opening, it helps to hold the stuffing in place (and don't over stuff). 

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Keep It Simple Mondays, Monday Mania, Mealtime Monday,Scratch Cookin' Tuesdays, Keep It Real Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursdays Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Freaky Friday, Friday Foodie Fix


  1. Angela @ HomeCookedHealthyJuly 13, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    What a GREAT idea for these. I do a similar cheese that we slather on EVERYTHING. We've come to like it better than regular cheeses. Love that it's made from cashews so it lasts so much longer in the fridge. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Can't wait to use it for the next party.

    • Well, hello to another cashew cheese lover! It's the BEST, no. For me, it's such a treat. I LOVED cream cheese and haven't had it in years, so this is such a great sub. And it really does taste like cheese to me. Let me know how they turn out for you.

  2. Oh my! These look AWESOME! So making these. Thanks for sharing!

  3. gfe--gluten free easilyJuly 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    These look amazing, Amber! Will be sharing! :-)


  4. Lauren @ Empowered SustenanceJuly 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Wow--these look delicious! And they look like they got so crispy in the oven! You mentioned that this bacon is SCD illegal--do you have a favorite brand of SCD safe bacon? Where do you find it? Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe!

  5. Hi There Lauren,

    Thanks for your sweet message. Unfortunately, the bacon is not SCD legal. I've yet to find legal bacon. But if I come across any, I'll be sure to share it over here in the comments.

    Thanks and have a great rest of your Friday. :-)

  6. Tessa Domestic DivaJuly 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Oh wow Amber, I will have to try these...and grain free too!! I wish you lived nearer so I could eat YOUR efforts and not have to do it myself!!

  7. Minnie@thelady8homeJuly 13, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Amber, that's such a brilliant recipe! These are just calling my name. Yummmmmmmm!!! I HAVE to bookmark it.

  8. These would be such a hit at a party or potluck! Your cashew cheese sounds awesome friend and combined with bacon-heck yes! These poppers are a must try soon :)

  9. Nicole@Show Off FridayJuly 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Those look so yummy! Thanks for adding so many wonderful things to Show Off Friday!


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