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 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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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives

These Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives are your answer for an easy-to-make appetizer to please a crowd! They are so delicious and can even be made ahead of time! The addition of bacon and chives bump these deviled eggs up to the next level! These are great to serve during the holidays but also make a great protein filled snack for any time of year and are compatible with Keto, Paleo and Whole30 diets!

Best deviled eggs with baconDeviled Eggs with Bacon and Chive

This Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives recipe is the perfect savory treat to make or bring along to your next holiday gathering! They’re simple to prepare and can be made ahead of time clearing out your schedule during this busy time! The bacon and chives really add something special to this classic deviled egg and we know they’re going to be your new favorite!

They are also great to have for the upcoming new year as everybody gives a new diet a try! You can have one or two (or ok… three) for a protein fueled snack and feel satisfied for a few hours until your next meal. This recipe is compatible with Keto, Whole30 (make sure you are using compliant bacon) and Paleo diets. And they are super delicious!

Deviled egg recipe with bacon

We can’t talk about deviled eggs without talking about how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs! If you are like me, you’ve tried EVERY method for boiling eggs and always fallen short. That is until I was introduced to the steaming method. Steaming eggs leaves them perfect every time, and incredibly easy to peel.

You can steam eggs on both the stove top and using the Instant Pot. Using the Instant Pot to cook hardboiled eggs is 100%, hands-down, my first choice because the shells peel off so easily! If you haven’t tried cooking eggs in the pressure cooker, be prepared to be amazed!

How to make really good deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs with Bacon

As you can see, we piped our filling, which makes them look extra fancy, but have no fear, you don’t need to if you don’t have the tools! You can fill up a plastic bag with the egg yolk filling and snip the end to pipe, or you can use a small spoon to scoop up something filling and use a second spoon to knock the filling in place!

Can you make deviled eggs in advance?

Deviled eggs can be prepared up to two days ahead of time. Wrap the egg white halves well and keep the egg yolk filling sealed in a resealable plastic bag with all the air squeezed out! If desired you can keep the filling separate and pipe into eggs right before serving.

Tools we used in this recipe:

If you like this easy appetizer, check out these others:


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Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives

Yields 24

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Peel and slice the eggs in half lengthwise and take the yolks out and place into a mixing bowl. Place the egg whites on a serving platter and set aside.
  2. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the egg yolks into a uniform paste. Add cooked bacon, mayo, 1 tablespoon chives, dijon mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, black pepper and combine. Check the seasoning and add salt if desired.
  3. Place the filling into a piping bag and pipe into the center of the egg whites.
  4. Garnish with remaining chives and serve. 

Recipe Notes

  1. If following a special diet such as Whole30 check to make sure the bacon you use is compliant.
  2. This recipe serves a crowd! If you don't need to, feel free to halve the recipe for weekly snacks!
  3. We recommend two ways to hard boil eggs: in the Instant Pot or Steaming on the stove. Check out these posts for directions on both.
  4. Deviled eggs can be prepared up to two days ahead of time. If desired you can keep the filling separate and pipe into eggs right before serving.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Creamy Tuscan Chicken (Paleo & Keto)

This Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe is what dreams are made of! This easy weeknight dinner is creamy without any dairy, with bacon, sundried tomatoes and spinach and so delicious. This dish is Paleo, Keto and Whole30 friendly and bound to be a new family favorite! Made in partnership with my friends at Shenandoah Valley Organic!

How do you make tuscan chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

We had a vision of what we wanted this dish to be: we wanted the creamiest and dreamiest weeknight dinner loaded with salty bacon, briny sun-dried tomato, veggies for health and the best chicken we could find. We are so happy to say we think we hit the mark with this Creamy Tuscan Chicken dinner!

Making this recipe was both thrilling and stressful because we were so set on this creamy dish not containing any cream and it went through several rounds of recipe testing to get it just right: 5 to be exact! We started off using almond milk as the creamy component. While the resulting dish was tasty it wasn’t creamy and the almond milk was overpowered by the strong flavor of bacon and sundried tomato. Next up we tried coconut cream. This one was a no-go for me because I have a strong aversion to food tasting like coconut when it’s not supposed to. And then, after that second failed attempt I had an epiphany: cashew cream! Cashew cream is what dreams are made of! It doesn’t take on a strong cashew flavor, it doesn’t separate, it’s easy to make, nutritious and it makes the dish so creamy.

Once we went in that direction we tested it a few more times to makes sure it’s JUST RIGHT for you, and well, because we wanted to eat more of it!

How we serve this:

We served this easy weeknight dinner up with cauli-rice, but it would be equally delicious over pasta, with white rice, cauliflower gnocchi (our Trader Joe’s favorite right now), or even a bed of sautéed greens!

Creamy tuscan chicken keto

I am so happy to partner with my friends at Shenandoah Valley Organic to bring you today’s Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe! Shenandoah Valley Organic is my go-to trusted chicken company because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality chicken grown on family-owned farms. I love the quality so much, and everyone in my family who tries it agrees! It’s the best, and I love supporting their farmers and a company that is working hard to do things right!

SVO chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics. On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised! Pretty cool if you ask me! You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you!

Dairy free chicken breast recipes

How do I Make Cashew Cream

We have a whole post dedicated to this! Check out How to Make Cashew Cream for all the details!

What is Cashew Cream Used For?

We love using it as a dairy-free sub to make things CREAMY! Unlike coconut cream or coconut milk that can often leave a taste, cashew cream makes things instantly creamy, without any coconut taste! It’s totally dairy-free, and delicious! You can use it in savory or sweet dishes!

Other uses for Cashew Cream:

This recipe makes a bit more cashew cream than is needed, as it’s easier to blend a larger amount than a smaller amount. There are endless ways to use cashew cream, basically use it in any place you would use heavy cream! Here are some ideas:

Healthy sundries tomato chicken

Watch the video!

If you like this simple weeknight chicken dinner, check out these other favorites:

Creamy Tuscan Chicken (Paleo and Diary Free)

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:23 Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat cook bacon until crisp, remove, drain oil except for 1 tablespoon.
  2. Add chicken, in batches if necessary, and cook on each side until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side minutes. Remove from pan.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons oil if the pan is dry.  Add onion and garlic, and lower heat to medium low and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in chicken stock and sundried tomato and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and bring up to a boil.
  5. Stir in cashew cream until smooth.
  6. Add spinach, bacon  and return chicken to pan and continue to cook until the sauce spinach has wilted and everything is combined. If your sauce is too thick, add a bit more chicken stock to thin it out.
  7. Serve immediately with cauli rice, pasta or zoodles.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you don’t have tenders, simply slice chicken breasts in half horizontally and then slice in half to get the correct size. If using thighs leave as is.
  2. To make the cashew cream: Place 1 cup of cashews in a bowl and cover with cold water for at least an hour, or up to 8. Drain the soaked cashews and place them in a small food processor or high-speed blender. Puree with 1/4 cup water of and ½ teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth.  Keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days! See post for more information about cashew cream!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Shenandoah Valley Organic! All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

If you are looking for a versatile side dish that works for both a quick weeknight meal or a decadent holiday dinner look no further than this Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon recipe! Cooking the brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup is sure to make this side dish a fan favorite for everybody! This paleo-friendly recipe is sweet and savory and definitely going to be in your winter meal plan rotation!


Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

 

 

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I was never a fan of brussels sprouts until a few years ago, and now I can’t get enough! This dish converts even those who say they don’t like brussels sprouts! This easy brussels sprouts recipe combines savory and sweet tastes to adhere to just about anyone’s liking!  And I mean.. Maple + Bacon = side dish WIN.

How good are brussel sprouts for you?

  • Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • They are low in calories and high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C.

What is the best way to cook brussel sprouts?

This way, trust us!!!!!


Brussel sprouts with maple syrup

Watch the video:

Like this veggie side dish? Try these other favorites:

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Spaghetti Carbonara (Gluten-Free)

When we were in Italy, Carbonara was a staple at almost every restaurant. What I love about this dish is that it uses pantry staples and it’s easy enough to make on a quick night, while having robust flavor. It uses minimal ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find! I knew I wanted to give you a perfect Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara that everybody will love! You’ll feel fancy and totally surprise your family and guests. Made in partnership with ALDI.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara

I am so excited to partner with my friends at ALDI to bring you today’s easy spaghetti carbonara recipe! It’s a total staple that’s affordable and beyond delicious.

There’s more to love about the liveGfree line at ALDI! The gluten-free brand is now backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal! This means that each liveGfree product was evaluated and quality tested by the food and nutrition experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute, so you know it’s a product you can trust. They also guarantee quality on all of their private-label products. If a customer doesn’t like an ALDI-exclusive product, they can bring it back and they’ll return your money and/or replace the product!

Essential Carbonara Ingredients:

  • Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: I’m loving liveGfree Brown Rice Pasta from ALDI
  • Egg Yolks: ALDI has SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Eggs
  • Bacon or Pancetta: I’m loving Appleton Farms Never Any! Bacon that was raised free from antibiotics, added hormones, steroids and animal byproducts. The more than 20 Never Any! meats have also earned the Good Housekeeping Seal.
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan: We used Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese or you could use the Priano Parmesan Cheese Wedge in this recipe
  • Tons of fresh Stonemill Ground Pepper

Gluten-Free Pasta Aldi

Because it’s only a few simple pantry ingredients, you want them to be high quality! Normally when making a cheesy type of pasta, you thicken with some sort of starch or flour, but this dish is thickened with egg yolks, making it naturally gluten-free (assuming you are using gluten-free pasta).

spaghetti alla carbonara

How do you make carbonara

spaghetti carbonara recipe

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:15 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. liveGfree Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 cup pasta water
  • Stonemill Sea Salt Grinder for water
  • 6 pieces nitrate-free Appleton Farms Never Any! Bacon, sliced into 1/2" pieces (see note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese , plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Stonemill Ground Pepper, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook bacon until crispy. If there is an excessive amount of bacon grease, as in more than 2 tablespoons drain the excess. Add smashed garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute and then remove them. You want to cook it just long enough to release the garlic flavor into the bacon.
  3. In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  4. Once pasta has finished cooking, reserve about 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Drain pasta and return it back to the pot.
  5. Working quickly add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg yolk mixture and whisk together. Add this mixture to the pasta. The residual heat from the pan and the hot pasta will cook the egg yolks gently without scrambling them. The sauce should be rich and creamy, but not overly thick. Add more of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce (see note). Add salt to taste if needed, but the parmesan cheese and bacon should be enough to season it.
  6. Serve immediately with additional black pepper, parmesan cheese and garnish with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Traditionally carbonara uses pancetta. We used bacon here because you are more likely to have this on hand than pancetta. If you'd like to stick to the authentic flavor than sub in about 4 oz. diced pancetta.
  2. Depending on the brand of pasta you use, you may need more water to thin out the sauce.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

 

Here’s the lovely GF Carbonara we enjoyed in Italy at Rome Cavalleri!

Carbonara in Italy

Want other gluten-free pasta dishes? Try these favorites:

This post is sponsored by ALDI. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

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Collard Greens with Bacon

These braised collard greens with bacon are the perfect combination of smoky, salty, sweet, sour and umami with an optional hint of heat if you want! These vitamin rich vegetables are the best addition to a southern fried chicken dinner, or they make a great side with other braised meat and vegetables.

How to cook collard greens

Collard Greens with Bacon

Collard greens with bacon a staple on southern tables, but really they should be a staple everywhere! These vitamin-rich greens are in abundance in the summer months and for sure you’ll see them at any farmer’s market or tucked away in your CSA box. When they’re braised with smoky bacon they’re just what you want on your table now!

What Are Collard Greens?

Collard greens are dark, leafy greens with a tough stem, related to the turnip, mustard greens, and kale family. These iron and vitamin-rich greens do best when cooked low and slow and often with a smoked meat, like a ham hock or bacon. While tasty, this method of cooking greens isn’t often conducive to weeknight meals, so we re-vamped the traditional southern braised greens to be ready for any night of the week!

Are Collard Greens Healthy?

Collard greens supply good doses of protein, fiber, calcium and iron, but also provides more impressive amounts of other key vitamins and minerals.

Collard Greens Recipe

How Do You Prep Collard Greens?

  1. Start by cutting out the tough, fibrous stem. You can do this easily by laying each collard green on top of on another, rolling them up and slicing out the stem.
  2. Next you want to wash them really well. Greens can hold a lot of grit, so you want to fill a large bowl with cold water and submerge the greens. Swish them around for a moment to get all of that grit out, and then let them sit so all the dirt settles to the bottom. Then pull out the greens. If they were especially dirty you may want to repeat this step once or twice more until the water is clear.

Collard Green Recipe

This week we’re taking a trip down south and dishing out a new recipe each day to complete the ultimate Southern Fried Chicken Dinner! Each day this week we’ll be sharing a recipe to complete an epic southern dinner!

Stay tuned for the rest of the week for the Ultimate Southern Dinner:

Collard Greens

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:45 Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally until crisp, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Lower heat to medium-low and add sliced onion. Cook until beginning to soften, 7 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Return heat to medium heat and add 1/4 of the collard greens and 1 cup chicken stock. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and let the greens cook down a bit until you can fit more in the pan. Continue to add more greens until all are able to fit in the pan.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally until the greens are completely wilted down and have changed color to a dark green, about 25 minutes. Add more liquid if it has evaporated before the collards have cooked down. 
  5. Add coconut sugar and apple cider vinegar and and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, about 5 more minutes. Taste and season with red pepper flakes, and salt if needed (though do taste, as the bacon will add quite a salty flavory). Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. Collard greens, especially those from the farm, can be really gritty! Make sure to wash well by plunging the greens into a large bowl of cold water and letting them sit for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water by pulling them straight up without disturbing any dirt that fell to the bottom of the bowl. 
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!