Jalapeno Popper Dip without mayo has the perfect balance of spiciness, creaminess, and cheesiness. Plus, leftovers of this high-protein jalapeno cottage cheese dip can be turned into something equally delicious.
- About Jalapeno Popper Dip
- How to Make Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Jalapeno Popper Dip without Mayo
Jalapeño poppers are fun, but they take a little bit more effort and time since you have to fill each jalapeño individually.
This jalapeno popper dip is a riff on jalapeno poppers using all the same flavors and ingredients, but it's served as a dip.
That means it's easier to make and saves you a ton of time.
Plus, this version is a little more nutritious version than your normal jalapeño popper dip, yet it doesn't slack on the creamy richness you want from a cheesy dip.
In fact, there are 4 different types of cheese in this dip. Cheddar, parmesan, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
Unlike most jalapeno popper dips, this recipe has no mayo and uses cottage cheese as the binder.
Even if you're not a cottage cheese fan, you'll love this dip. And you won't even know it has cottage cheese in it.
Because this cottage cheese jalapeno dip has no mayo, it has more protein than regular jalapeno popper dip. One serving of this dip has 8 grams of protein.
Plus, if you happen to have leftovers, there are multiple ways you can enjoy this dip.
P.S. If you like jalapeno poppers and you like chili, I highly recommend this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili!
Cream cheese: For extra creaminess in this jalapeno popper dip without mayo, you need a block of cream cheese. A block of cream cheese is preferred over the spread. Regular and reduced-fat cream cheese are good options. Fat-free isn't recommended.
Cottage cheese: The base of this dip is cottage cheese instead of mayo. Similar to cream cheese, regular or reduced fat can be used, but fat-free is not recommended. Since the fat-free version usually has significantly less flavor and creaminess.
Cheddar cheese: Freshly shredded cheddar is best for maximum flavor; however, pre-shredded cheese is fine. Also, any type of cheddar will taste great - sharp, extra sharp, or mild.
Parmesan cheese: Parmesan is used both inside the dip and mixed with bread crumbs for the topping. In a pinch, you can use mozzarella, gruyere, asiago, manchego, romano, or additional cheddar cheese in place of the parmesan.
Jalapeños: This recipe calls for a combo of fresh and jarred (or canned) jalapeños. The fresh jalapeno gives a nice kick to the dip, and the jarred/canned pickled jalapeños have a slightly tart, vinegar taste that cut the richness. Look for deli-sliced or nachos-style pickled jalapenos.
Since jalapenos vary in spiciness, taste the dip before transferring it to a baking dish to make sure it's as spicy as you want it.
Bread crumbs: You can easily skip the bread crumbs, but the crunch contrasts nicely with the creamy jalapeno cottage cheese dip. Any bread crumb will work - regular, whole wheat, panko, gluten-free.
Cost of Recipe
- cream cheese 8 ounces: $1.69
- cottage cheese 1 cup (8 ounces): $1.65
- cheddar cheese 1 cup (4 ounces): $1.99
- parmesan cheese ¾ cup (3 ounces): $2.61
- pickled jalepeño ¼ cup (4 ounces): $0.60
- jalapeño 1 fresh: $0.14
- bread crumbs ¼ cup: $0.08
TOTAL COST: $8.76 or $0.73/serving (Based on San Diego grocery stores 2022)
Note that this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Dip
Time needed: 35 minutes
It's easy to make this healthy jalapeño popper dip, and here's how to do it
- Combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese in a bowl.
- Stir in jalapenos.
- Transfer to a baking dish.
- Mix together parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the cheesy breadcrumbs over the dip.
- Remove from the oven, and enjoy!
Serve with chips, crackers, or sliced veggies.
*Since jalapenos can vary in spiciness, I recommend tasting the dip before covering it in breadcrumbs and baking. If needed, you can add more jalapenos for a spicier flavor. Or add more cheese to dampen the spiciness.
*Place the baking dish on a larger baking sheet to make it easier to transfer the dip in and out of the oven.
Cheddar cheese: Any type of cheddar will taste great - sharp, extra sharp, or mild. Mozzarella or extra parmesan can be used in place of the cheddar.
Parmesan cheese: Options for parmesan are mozzarella, gruyere, asiago, manchego, romano, or extra cheddar.
Fresh jalapeños: You can add an extra ¼ cup of pickled jalapenos in place of the fresh jalapenos.
Pickled jalapeños: Options for pickled jalapenos are to use an extra fresh jalapeno or use canned diced green chiles (a 4-ounce can drained).
How to Make Allergy-Friendly
This is already soy-free, egg-free, and nut-free. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or omit breadcrumbs for a gluten-free version.
Because this has multiple kinds of cheese, it's not recommended to make this dairy-free.
How to Fix a Mistake
Too thick to mix: If you're having a hard time mixing the cheese mixture, make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature. Wait for about 15 minutes to let it soften or microwave for 30 seconds (make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl).
Too spicy: Add extra cheese (any kind) in ¼ cup increments.
Not spicy enough: Add extra jalapenos in 2-tablespoon increments or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Stir well and taste before adding more. The dip will intensify in flavor as it is baked so err on the side of slightly less spicy.
This dip can be prepared up to 4 days ahead of time. Combine the cheeses and jalapenos as directed. Then transfer to a baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. Wait to top with bread crumbs and parmesan until just before baking.
Be sure to allow the dip in the baking dish to come to room temperature before baking; otherwise, the cold baking dish could crack in the oven.
Another option would be to prepare and refrigerate the dip. Then transfer the mixture to a baking dish, top, and bake.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. You can reheat it in a microwavable container for 30-second intervals. Or reheat in a baking dish in the oven at 325°F until warmed through (the time will depend on the size of the baking dish).
Feel free to combine some shredded cheese and bread crumbs for extra topping if you want to revive the leftover jalapeno cottage cheese dip even more.
It's not recommended to freeze it as the texture will change undesirably.
What to Do with Leftovers
If you have leftovers, you can stuff jalapeno halves, cover with more cheese, and bake them into jalapeno poppers.
Another option is to use leftovers as a sandwich spread or for the filling of grilled cheese (since this is mostly cheese).
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can easily reheat jalapeno popper dip. Either reheat in a microwave-safe bowl or in the oven in a baking dish.
This jalapeno dip has cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, fresh jalapenos, and pickled jalapenos. It's topped with breadcrumbs before baking.
Jalapeno dip lasts up to 5-7 days in the fridge. It's not recommended to freeze it as the texture will change undesirably.
Thanks to all the cheese, one serving of this no-mayo jalapeno popper dip recipe (about ⅓ cup) gives you 20% of the recommended daily amount of calcium you need.
Also, you get 9 grams of protein per serving which is quite high for a dip or appetizer.
Served with crackers or chips plus a few veggies could turn this into a really balanced snack or light meal.
What to Serve with Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip
Sliced veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and celery along with chips like pita chips, corn chips, and tortilla chips are all great for enjoying this jalapeno cottage cheese dip. Also, crackers are good too.
Whatever you like to serve with a dip will work!
I've been making this dip for 11+ years and it always gets rave reviews. It's super creamy and cheesy but not too rich that you'll get a stomachache. Plus, I love that I can enjoy this with chips & veggies, and consider it a balanced snack thanks to the protein.
MORE APPETIZER RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
- Avocado Deviled Eggs
- Brussel Sprout Dip with Bacon
- Wasabi Edamame Dip
- Easy Homemade Salsa
Jalapeño Popper Dip
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 8 ounces cottage cheese
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese shredded, divided
- 4 ounces sliced pickled jalapeños drained
- 1 fresh jalapeño seeded and diced
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- Combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and ½ cup Parmesan cheese together in a bowl.
- Stir in jalapenos.
- Transfer the mixture into a 1-quart baking dish.
- Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of the jalapeño mixture.
- Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with chips and/or sliced veggies. Enjoy!!
What to Use in This Recipe
This post was originally published on November 2, 2011. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
How many calories are in a Jalapeno Popper Dip?
One serving of this healthier jalapeño popper dip without mayo has 134 calories and 9 grams of protein.
Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip Nutrition Facts (using reduced-fat cream cheese)