Hold the Cheese! Jalapeno Poppers | Dairy-Free


I crisped up some minced pancetta and mixed it into some dairy-free, Raw Nacho Cheese Sauce. The result was quite tasty! I had my jalapeno poppers, sans the cheese, and was completely satisfied.

These dairy free jalapeno poppers left me completely satisfied! The pancetta took them over the top!

In support of my son and the diet he follows (GFCF), I gave up dairy. Well, sort of. I can endure the temptation of Noosa’s Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt (barely!) and the call of Alden’s Mint Chip Ice Cream (I plug my ears). Oddly, it’s a platter of Jalapeno Poppers that inevitably brings me to my knees.

I don’t know what it is about jalapeno poppers. I find them utterly addicting and would like to kiss the man —and I’m convinced that it was a man—who first grilled up a batch of these green boats of hachacha bacon and cheesy goodness.

Over the 4th of July, I was making poppers with the usual cream cheese, bacon bits and shredded cheese for company that was coming. With a few jalapenos leftover I thought I’d do a little experiment.

I crisped up some minced pancetta and mixed it into some dairy-free, Raw Nacho Cheese Sauce. The result was quite tasty! I had my jalapeno poppers, sans the cheese, and was completely satisfied.

Dairy-Free Jalapeno Poppers

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Easily Vegetarian

Makes: 12-16 poppers
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Soak Time:  2-4 hours
Grill Time: 10-15 minutes


1/2 cup RAW NACHO CHEESE SAUCE (see notes)
2-3 tablespoons crispy fried PANCETTA or BACON BITS
2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced GREEN ONION (optional)


Slice jalapenos lengthwise and deseed using a small spoon. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Fill each pepper half with “cheese” mixture.

Grill on low 10-15 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is heated through. Allow to rest 3-5 minutes before serving.


To balance the saltiness of the pancetta, cut back the measure of salt from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon when making the Nacho Cheese Sauce.

Try to keep the cheese mixture thick by adding as little water as needed to achieve a smooth dip consistency. If you’ve made it on the thinner side, you can add a tablespoon or two of tapioca flour to the cheese mixture to thicken it up.

On Lexie’s List to Try: Grilled Appetizers

Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms on Rosemary Skewers over at Martha Stewart

Beef and Asparagus Negmaki over at Martha Stewart (using honey and gluten-free soy sauce)

More Good Stuff


Stephanie July 12, 2011 - 1:32 am

Oh yum! What a great way to spice up an awesome recipe, and make it safe for the dairy free 🙂

Pam July 12, 2011 - 11:37 am

Lexie, those look great! Hugs!

Shirley @ gfe July 12, 2011 - 12:05 pm

I was wondering if your Raw Nacho Cheese Sauce was going to be involved! You have made many people happy with this recipe, Lexie. LOL on a man creating the original jalapeno popper, but you're probably right. 😉 All can appreciate them though … unless you fear spiciness like I do! I'm getting better though.


CassidyS July 12, 2011 - 12:34 pm

Looks delicious – I love your nacho cheese sauce 🙂

Lori July 12, 2011 - 1:14 pm

Bummer.Allergic to cashews, peanuts and almonds…

Would macadamia nuts or walnuts work?

Looks so yummy!!!

Lexie July 12, 2011 - 1:16 pm

Lori, mac nuts would probably work pretty well — rich, but well. Mac nuts do not need to be soaked : ) If you try it, please report back.


Lexie July 12, 2011 - 1:19 pm

Shirley … I like spicey, but not insane hot and sometimes … though every seed has been carefully removed, one will light me on fire. With these North Carolina roots I've had to build up my tolerance to the spicey foods : )

I forgot to mention that using gloves is the only way to go when slicing and deseeding jalapenos, the oil from the seeds gets on your hands and then you rub your eyes, well, ouch!

Love ya Shirley!


Debbie July 14, 2011 - 3:55 pm

I have my CSA box still sitting unpacked because I didn't know what to do with the peppers. (One is labeled with a red dot to indicate hot!) I must go unpack it now and figure out if I can make this. I love this recipe and am really excited to think of the many ways to use this! Thanks Lexie! xox

Leigha August 14, 2011 - 2:33 am

Oh my goodness! We just made the cheese and it is AMAZING!!!! Hubby thought it was really good! 🙂 The poppers are currently in the oven (don't have a grill.). Hoping they turn out just as yummy! 🙂 Thank you so much for your recipes!


Leigha … music to my ears : ) Thanks for the review. It's pretty addicting stuff. Hope you liked those popper : )


Christy S May 10, 2012 - 2:07 am

This dish was AweSOME!

The nacho cheese, at first, was 'good', but, I was thinking it would be better as a dip for veggies.

However, I trudged through, because I'm a stuffed jalapeno girl from Texas!

All I can say is OMG…. OMG OMG! These things, after they came out of the oven were AMAZING! I'm in LOVE!

THANK YOU for bringing Poppers back!

Lexie May 10, 2012 - 3:09 am

Oh happy tears Christy!!! Glad I could help make a jalapeno popper lovin' Texas girl's day. Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm and love for this recipe. One of my faves, too. Maybe I'll just have to fire up the grill this weekend!



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