Red Pepper Poppers

by Susan on November 5, 2009


Recently, I hosted a raw food pot luck at my home. Talking to everyone, at all levels of involvement with raw food was interesting and enlightening. It is always fun to see what raw food dishes people show up with. One couple brought some jalapeno poppers, made the raw food way. They were very good. I was inspired to take a shot at it and see what I could come up with.

Instead of using green jalapeno’s, I opted for small red cayenne peppers, for the color and the ripeness. The heat is about the same. The filling is made from pine nuts, cashews and a few other ingredients. Eggplant “bacon” tops completes the bite size morsels. There are quite a few recipes out there for eggplant “bacon”. This one was inspired by a trip to the spice shop and a desire to make it quick and easy. It turned out great. I had to fight my daughter to keep enough for the photos!

Raw Food Recipes: Pepper Poppers

Pepper Poppers with Pine Nut Filling and “Bacon”

The day before, make the bacon.

Eggplant Bacon

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 t.  Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 t. Ground Chipotle Peppers (I get them pre-ground)
  • 2 T Agave (or liquid sweetener of your choice)

Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, slice the eggplant into strips about 1/8″ thick. Set aside. Mix together marinade ingredients. Place eggplant in marinade, making sure all is covered. Cover and let soak for 2-3 hours. Dehydrate at 116 for at least 12 hours, or until crisp.

The day of:

Pine Nut Filling

  • 1 1/2 C Pine Nuts (presoak for 4-5 hours.)
  • 1/2 C Cashews (pre-soak for 4-5 hours)
  • 1 1/2 Lemons (juice from)
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 2 T Nutritional Yeast (not considered raw, but used frequently in raw food recipes)
  • 1 T Smoked Paprika
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 Red Pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.


  • 10 Cayenne Peppers
  • Filling
  • Eggplant Bacon

Cut peppers in half and remove seeds. I use plastic gloves when doing this. Be careful to not touch your face while doing this. The heat is in the seeds. Fill pepper halves with pine nut “cheese” and top with eggplant bacon. Enjoy!!

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Trevor November 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm

This looks amazing!


Crystal November 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Those look great!


GirlonRaw November 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Can’t wait to try this recipe. :)


ofek November 6, 2009 at 1:21 am

you are one of the most creative raw-chefs out there!
I tried stuffing de-seeded hot peppers before but the dish came out rather spicy at the end. is there a trick to it?


Susan November 6, 2009 at 7:57 am

Peppers are hot by nature. Taking out the seeds helps a ton but they are still going to be spicy.


Mark November 6, 2009 at 10:39 am

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. This is a keeper!


Mandi November 6, 2009 at 11:34 am

Wow! This made my heart skip a beat. I really miss poppers! I will be trying this out ASAP. Thank you so much.


debbie November 6, 2009 at 11:36 am

ok that bacon totally faked me out!!!!!!!
looks so delish.
thanks for the continual inspiration!


Pam November 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Those look so so so good..yum!



Heather November 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Oh wow, those look fantastic! Always such creative recipe ideas, here!


Gena November 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Brilliant and creative, as always.


Java Guy November 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

I’m going to have to dig out the food processor for this one! Can’t wait.


Mary Turtle November 7, 2009 at 8:30 pm

You are something else. That eggplant “bacon” is amazing! One of these days I am going to have to actually try some of your food.


El November 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

You are incredibly creative. What a great way to present an appetizer! Fantastic.


Leslie @LaMamaNaturale November 8, 2009 at 5:00 am

This is my first time commenting here! Love your site! New to raw- incorporating more and more into my diet. This recipe sound delish- just made some eggplant bacon the other day! Will have to give this a go. 😉 Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to listening in on your radio interview. :)


Leslie @LaMamaNaturale November 8, 2009 at 5:01 am

Okay, I lied- maybe not the first time- but it sure felt like it! LOL! 😉


Caleb November 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

Whoa, these look amazing. Will definitely have to try these for a party in the future.


scooter November 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm

This looks great, but just a few things. One, chipotle peppers are not raw, soooo the “bacon” is not raw so be careful who you serve these too, a 100% raw person might be pretty upset. Two, a cayenne pepper is a little misrepresented, as it usually is a pretty hot, maybe a sweet pepper would have been a better way to say it. I’m totally ready to try this though.


Susan November 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm

You are right. Chipotle peppers are smoked. The bacon calls for 1/4 teaspoon of the powdered form in the marinade. It is for flavor, not nutrition. By the time you eat the bacon, you are probably getting a couple of grains of it. But yes, if someone is 100% raw you might want to inform them. Also, the peppers are called cayenne peppers in the store that I bought them. They are hot. Not eye watering hot, but they are spicy.


Kimey January 16, 2010 at 3:18 am

I can’t believe that is n ot real BACON!!! What a great job you did!!!


Jo Anna March 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

The bacon looks incredible. Super excited try this on an AELT!


Amber Rose March 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

i made the bacon out of this because it sounded so good. and i use to like bacon when i ate meat, whew, gosh its been almost 5 years, anyways i did not have chipotle peppers so i used spicy red, still very lovely! yummy!


edna March 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Do people really eat that stuff? Sounds and looks awful.


Susan March 12, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Lol…I guess you won’t be eating it.


Goody March 13, 2010 at 11:01 am are right Susan I guess edna wont be eating it.

I am always amazed at people and the fact that they feel a need to leave their “baggage” in other peoples “homes”.

if you don’t care for something why is it even necessary to comment? just keep it moving..


Susan you have opened up my raw mind in so many ways that I would have never thought possible..

while winter has found me almost 80% non raw instead of my preferred 80% raw, just coming to your blog inspires and motivates me..

please keep servin’ it


Shakira April 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

That looks yummy…the cayenne peppers that we have in Jamaica are really tiny though, they’re called “bird peppers”, i suspect I would have to use jalapenos for this…for us, those are fairly mild, we’re used to habaneros on a regular basis :)


Helene April 13, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Yes Edna–that was quite rude–and I am sure you knew that!~ Most people love this site–so I am in agreement that if you are going to say something negative and I am SURE you know before you that do: Please dont


Helene April 13, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Can you indeed substitute with green jalapeno’s AND put them in the dehyrator (how long?) to give them the commercial microwavable “jalapeno poppers” consistency- to get them a little soft?


Susan April 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Yes… you can substitute. You will have to experiment with them in the dehydrator to achieve the desired softness that you are looking for.


Shana April 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I just made these. Oh my goodness, they are amazing!!!! I am new to a raw food diet and I love experimenting. These are fabulous to the max!!!!!


Chel June 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I’ve been reading about eggplant bacon for awhile. Does it really have the qualities of bacon? What about the texture?
I’m asking because I’m trying to venture out and try new recipes.



Susan June 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I honestly don’t know how to answer that. It has it’s own flavor and texture. It is not fat laden meat so it isn’t going to be the same.


Chel July 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thanks! Either way I’m going to try it! It ooks great! Thanks for the recipe.


Charlot July 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm

My friend is starting a raw food diet so I told her about your site. You have so much great info. I have been raw for 2 years and feel great!

Charlot :-)


amanda July 16, 2010 at 3:10 am

They turned out fantastic – wear the gloves!!!!


Tesha July 29, 2010 at 9:01 am

These look amazing definately going to give these a try this weekend.


dee July 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I coun’t get my bacon crispy any sugessions?


Susan July 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

You have to remember this is a veggie not a fat laddened piece of pork that is fried. That said…it will still be a little chewy. If it is too chewy, dehydrate more…


dee August 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Did you peel the eggplant?


Susan August 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Dee: yes


dee August 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Sorry about my questions. I made it again and it was great. My only problem was I ate it as soon as it as done like it was potato chips, so I went out to get more eggplants and could not find any organic in the area.But, I have another snack food I can take with me kale chips and eggplant bacon.Thanks for all your advice.


Liz September 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Dee: I know this is a couple months late, but I have found that when I put dehydrated goodies in the fridge (nuts, crackers, etc.), they will often get a very crispy; I’ve had great success with another version of eggplant bacon (this one looks delicious and simple—I’ll have to try it!). Also, if you don’t mind if it’s 100% raw or not, you could use maple syrup, as it dehydrates crunchy. Those poppers are beautiful—can’t wait to make them!


Caitlin February 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

I have heard people say that the heat is in the seeds, actually capsicum (heat) is found in the white flesh to which the seeds are attached. If you want less heat remove both the seeds and the white flesh.


simone February 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

i made these today…yum! the kids weren’t into the peppers, but love the cheeze and bacon. i couldn’t find the chipotle peppers in my grocery store and could have gone for some small sweet reds, but figured i’d try jalepenos and it worked well for me…maybe the small sweet reds would work better for my kids, or other people who want less heat/spice though…just a thought.


Jackie April 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

This bacon is to die for! I make 2 batches at a time so I can use it on burgers, cauliflower mash,pizza and more!! I ring out the eggplant before I dehydrate and it comes out nice and crispy. It also makes a nice garnish for squash soup!


Gayle October 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Could this be made with anahiem peppers for a less spicy treat?


Susan October 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I don’t see why not…


Rhonda Bowler December 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Please tell me where I can buy Smoked Paprika and Ground Chipotle Peppers?
Thanks Rhonda


Susan December 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Laurie March 26, 2012 at 11:31 am

YUM! Although I haven’t prepared jalapeno poppers in my kitchen… your pictures are inspiring! I have ordered them from a local company, and they are addictively good. I like the attention you pay to the fact that jalapeno’s are not ripe when green, so you choose the other spicy red peppers… many people are unaware of that little fact. 😉 I think I will find some spicy red peppers and experiment with your recipe. Many thanks!


Alina November 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

No salt??


Sandy February 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

AMAZING! I am researching the raw diet for my family(which consist of 3 carnivores and a vegetarian). One of my thoughts were ‘what about the ‘poppers’? Now I know! Thanks!


Tamara March 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi! I like a lot of your recipes and noticed you use a dehydrator quite a bit. Being that I’m just “trying” a few raw recipes, is there another option for dehydrating?


Lynette Strickland May 10, 2013 at 6:42 am

Please help! I followed this recipe to a “t” and all I got was a bunch of limp yellow strips of eggplant. I dehydrated it forever. Your is so beautiful…what am I doing wrong?


Susan May 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Did you drain off the marinade and dehydrate it on screens?


Lynette Strickland May 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Yes, I drained off the marinade and am still drying them on screens- just not crispy yet at all…kind of floppy :(


Susan May 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

First, you should understand that the texture of the “bacon” will never be like fried bacon. Not that crisp. But it shouldn’t be limp, either. Maybe you cut the pieces too thick? Thin is best.


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