We were invited to the big game day on Sunday and wanted to bring some vegan party food since we didn’t know if there would be vegan options for us. When I think of party food, I immediately think of bacon in/on jalapeno poppers, pizza, potato skins, chicken wings, and nachos. It was easy to rule out the chicken, pizza, and nachos. So that left us with the options of bringing either jalapeno poppers or potato skins, and the latter just sounded tastier.
So as I got to making these, the potato skins morphed into twice-baked potato poppers. They are a bit painful to make because the skins of a yukon gold potato is more delicate than that of a russet potato, but the outcomes are certainly worth it! And ya know, it tastes just like the “real” thing, but better!
Vegan Yukon Gold Potato Poppers
14 small yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to season
4 slices of vegan bacon
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup plus vegan sour cream
1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1/3 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place potatoes on a baking sheet, and roast for about 45 minutes, or until a fork can be inserted into the potato easily. Remove from heat, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the pan with a little cooking spray, and “brown” the vegan bacon until it has crisped. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon into small bacon bits with your hands.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh and place into a small bowl. [Be careful not to break the skins especially since the skins are more delicate on yukon golds.] Place the skins back onto the roasting pan.
To the innards, add the almond milk, sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese, green onion, and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly using a fork, while mashing the potatoes. Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. [You might be wondering why I didn’t add the bacon bits to this mixture. I did this on purpose because I don’t like my “bacon” soggy. I’ve always liked crunchy bacon for its taste and texture. Feel free to add the bacon bits to the mixture if you’d like.]
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top the potato poppers with bacon bits and green onion. Arrange on platter, and serve immediately by itself or with vegan ranch dressing.
Vegan Ranch Dressing
1 cup vegan mayonaise
1/4 cup vegan buttermilk, plus more if needed (1 cup of unsweetened almond milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl using a whisk. If the dressing is too thick, add a little more vegan buttermilk to desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate. Use as necessary and enjoy!