Jalapeño Popper Dip (Options for Dairy and Dairy-Free)

This Jalapeño Popper Dip is the perfect appetizer to serve for Game Day and can conveniently be prepared ahead of time and baked up right before serving! It has all the classic flavor of Jalapeño Poppers without having to individually make them. This gluten-free and keto dip has two options to make: as a creamy dairy version or or you can substitute in cashew cream for a dairy-free and delicious alternative that’s also paleo friendly.

keto jalepeno popper dipJalapeño Popper Dip

With the BIG GAME coming up soon it’s the perfect time to discuss all the best game day eats! This Jalapeño Popper Dip is an obvious contender because it has all the elements of jalepeño poppers but made easier as convenient dip. It’s warm and comforting and a bit spicy! We’ve included both a dairy version with all the cheesy goodness as well as a dairy-free version which is remarkably similar, made using our new favorite ingredient: cashew cream! We liked them both the same, so don’t make us choose which one is better!

This dip can also be made almost entirely ahead of time and then baked right before serving so that you have more time to prepare for guests. All you have to do is prep the dip up until the baking step and right before serving pop it in the oven.

dairy free jalapeño popper dip

To get the cheese-y flavor in our dairy-free version we used cashew cream, mayo and some nutritional yeast! Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast, usually fortified with vitamin B12, that is a favorite amount vegans as it replicates the cheese flavor.

We opted to use pickled jalapeños in this dip because we love them and the acidity that it adds to the dish. We also added some salty bacon to the mix, but if you’d like to make this vegetarian or vegan (cashew cream version only) you can leave it out! We also added in a bit more nutrients in here with the addition of some baby kale. We love the color it lends to the dip and think it fits well, but you can also opt to leave this out if desired.

Serve this up with a spread of tortilla chips, or crackers (we love Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers) and cut up vegetables!

Jalapeno popper dip with bacon

If you like this game day recipe, check out these others:

Jalapeño Popper Dip

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:20 Total Time 00:35 Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Dairy Version:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup chopped baby kale (optional)
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped (see note)
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin, divided

Dairy-Free Version:

  • 1-1/4 cups cashews (for cashew cream, see this post for directions)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped baby kale (optional)
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided (optional)
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin, divided

Directions

Dairy Version:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and grease a 3-cup oven-safe baking dish.
  2. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in mayo and slowly mix together on low speed until fully combined (do not overmix or the mixture will separate).
  3. Add in garlic powder, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and kale. Set aside a few pieces of the jalapeno, bacon and green onion and place the remaining inside of the cream cheese mixture and mix on low until fully combined.
  4. Place mixture inside of prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining set aside bacon and jalapeno and cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 until the cheese is bubbly and melted, about 20 minutes.
  6. Top with remaining green onions and serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetable crudite.

Dairy-Free Version:

  1. Make cashew cream (with increased amount of cashews).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and grease a 3-cup oven-safe baking dish.
  3. In a bowl whisk together cashew cream and mayo, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until combined.
  4. Add the kale to the bowl. Set aside a few pieces of the jalapeno, bacon and green onion and place the remaining and the inside of the cashew cream mixture, and combine.
  5. Place mixture inside of prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining jalapeno and bacon
  6. Bake until heated through (you can check by inserting a butter knife in the center and checking to see if the mixture is hot), about 18 minutes.
  7. Top with remaining green onions and serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetable crudite.

Recipe Notes

  1. MAKE AHEAD: You can make this up to two days ahead without baking, and then bake when ready. You may need to add a couple of extra minutes cook time.
  2. If you like things spicy, you can up the jalepenos to ⅔ cups
  3. If you aren’t including the bacon increase the salt to ½ teaspoon in dairy version.
  4. For dairy-free version check out this post for more information to make cashew cream. You’ll need to increase the amount slightly to get the correct amount for this recipe with a ratio of 1-¼ cups cashews to ½ cup of water.
  5. To double either of these versions to feed a large crowd simply double all of the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes longer.
  6. To make this vegetarian leave out the bacon.
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