This Vegan Jalapeño Popper Pasta Bake is a creamy, tangy, cheese lover’s dream! All of the elements of the classic appetizer, but as a main course! Optionally Spicy, Gluten-Free.
- 8 ounces (225 g) pasta of choice
- 8 ounces (225 g) jalapeños, finely diced and seeds removed (about 6–8 peppers)
- 1 cup (150 g) fresh corn
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 8 ounces (225 g) dairy-free cream cheese (see notes for substitutions)
- 1 cup (236 ml) dairy-free milk (I used cashew)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 7 ounces (198g) dairy-free mozzarella shreds
- Sliced jalapeños and cilantro, for serving (optional)
- Prep: preheat the oven to 425F and set a 9×12″ (or similar sized) casserole dish to the side.
- Cook the Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain, but do not rinse.
- Assemble: add the pasta to the casserole dish along with the jalapeños, corn, onion, cream cheese, milk, spices, and salt. Sprinkle the top of the casserole dish evenly with plant-based cheese, and cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
- Bake: bake in the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes covered, then move to the top rack of the oven and bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Broil the casserole for 3-5 minutes, or until the top is browned.
- Serve: Serve warm, topped with sliced jalapeño and chopped cilantro (or as desired). Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Vegan Cream Cheese: If you don’t want to use store-bought cream cheese, you can use this tofu and cashew-based filling instead! You could also use equal parts of unsweetened vegan yogurt, in a pinch
- Pro Pepper tip: It helps to wear gloves while handling the jalapeños, to avoid getting their spicy heat on any other body part you touch after!