These vegetarian nachos are whipped up on a baking sheet and are loaded with melty cheeses, lots of beans, and a colorful array of veggies that turn this classic, delicious snack into a main meal the whole family will devour!
We did all the fall things this weekend: apples and pumpkins! I also donated 8 bags of clothes, shoes, dresses, swimsuits, and more. It was time for a major closet clean-out. We also spent time with friends having a little season end soccer get together that was Mexican food-inspired. I brought my favorite Vegan Crock Pot Refried Beans which will be served as leftover this week in the form of Superfast Bean Tostadas with Cabbage Slaw. My kids go crazy for anything served on a “chip”, be it a toatada or nachos. I remember my former podcast co-host and Registered Dietitian, Gina, making the argument that nachos were, for all intents and purposes, the same as tacos and I had difficulty arguing otherwise! These health-forward sheet pan nachos did not disappoint and my omnivore family didn’t miss the meat at all!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Meatless (Monday): It’s fun to go meatless once in awhile…and it’s good for you, too! Including more fiber-rich beans in your diet is always a good choice and this recipe makes doing so easy in a big time explosion of flavors!
- Game Day: College football is in full-swing and next comes basketball and before long, Super Bowl. Nachos are a mainstay at sporting get-togethers and this easy vegetarian nachos recipe is perfect for any huge nacho fan on game day!
- Weeknight Warrior: These simple ingredients comprised largely of pantry staples are whipped up in a matter of minutes! You can even skip the plates and serve right from the baking sheet – so fun!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chips: I like a yellow corn tortilla chip, however white corn or blue corn chips work great. Use a shape, size, or brand that you prefer.
- Cheese: Most shredded cheese options will work great — Monterey jack, mild or sharp cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.
- Beans: Canned beans work perfect, however any cooked beans are great. I used half black beans and half pinto beans. Any combination of beans will work, though – kidney beans, chili beans, cannelini beans, etc.
- Corn: Canned or fresh corn kernels can be used in place of frozen corn.
- Onion: Red onion gives a fun addition of color, however white or yellow onion work great. Green onion would be a nice finish but isn’t as suitable for baking.
- Bell Pepper: Any bell peppers will work. I used red bell pepper for a nice color contrast. Feel free to use more or less, or omit, if you prefer.
- Tomato: I love the addition of fresh diced tomato on a loaded nacho, especially if you don’t serve with pico de gallo. Any tomato will do – about 3/4 cup.
- Jalapeno: This is a great addition for those who like things a little spicy…but easy to pick off and discard for those who don’t! If you like things really spicy, try a serrano (or 2!) inplace of jalapenos.
- Avocado: Creamy, diced avocado is a loaded nacho must! An avocado crema or thinned guacamole for an eye-catching drizzle is a nice touch!
- Cilantro: A bit of chopped cilantro is the perfect finish for the nachos!
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- Store leftover nachos after being completely cooled in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- If you don’t plan to eat or serve the whole recipe at once, don’t add the fresh toppings to the portion you wish to save. Reheat leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F for 7-8 minutes.
- Use parchment paper for a super easy clean-up!
What do you suggest for dipping options when serving these nachos?
There’s no going wrong with your favorite salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, or sour cream (plain Greek yogurt is even better!). A shake of hot sauce, even! I like to serve a few dipping options right on top of the nachos for a fun presentation. My Grilled Salsa Roja is among my favorite toppings, for sure!
Can you add ground beef or vegetarian meat crumbles to this recipe?
Absolutely! For your meat eaters, use 12-16 ounces of cooked ground beef or meat crumbles in lieu of half the beans (or all of the beans, if you prefer). It would be best to season the meat or meat substiute with a bit of taco seasoning or a few shakes of chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Follow the recipe directions without change!
Why do you add the cheese at two different times?
When you have LOADED nachos, you want all the goods to stick to the chips. The melted cheese acts as the “glue”, so to speak. Adding half of the cheese, then the other ingredients, followed by the second layer of cheese, ensures the goodies don’t all go sliding off when you dig in!
There’s too many chips for a single layer of tortilla chips on my baking sheet, what should I do?
If you have a larger or over-sized baking sheet, that’s your best option. Alternatively, use two standard baking sheets and distribute half the chips and toppings among the sheets equally.
- This recipe is high in fiber, offering over 6 grams of fiber per serving
- If you use a gluten-free tortilla chip, this recipe is naturally gluten-free
- With sources of protein-rich cheese and beans, these nachos offer up 20 grams of protein per serving, offering lots of staying power and a nice balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
- Beans contain phytonutrients and are a good source of iron, folate, phosphorous, and potassium.
- The addition of fresh toppings allows you to bulk up the vegetables in this recipe!
- 11.5 oz corn tortilla chips
- 12 oz shredded colby jack cheese, divided
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup jarred jalapeno slices
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line an over-sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the chips in a single layer, filling in any gaps with chips, arranging to each edge and corner. Top with half the cheese.
- Add the beans, corn, red onion, and bell pepper, folllowed by the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes; remove from oven and serve hot with toppings.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 25.8gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 647mgCarbohydrates: 47.6gFiber: 6.5gSugar: 2.5gProtein: 20.0g
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