These easy vegan nachos are the perfect weeknight meal to please the whole family. I mean, who could say no to cheesy, crunchy, fresh deliciousness? How are these nachos cheesy without any (actual) cheese, you ask? Well, we double up on our vegan cheese by using store-bought vegan shreds and a homemade cashew queso that takes only 5 minutes to whip up. We need some stringy, pulley cheese AND some gooey, creamy cheese to really scratch that cheesy itch.
YOU’LL LOVE THESE VEGAN NACHOS:
- They’re beyond easy. I mean… we all know nachos are pretty easy to make, right? Plus, the homemade queso whips up in only 5 minutes. To me, this is the perfect blend of quick to make and still adding some love to my meal.
- They’re super satisfying. Nachos aren’t exactly something listed as “health food” in my mind. Yet, these babies satisfy that little voice in the back of my head that screams “CHEESE” (I hope I’m not the only person with that voice or else this is embarrassing). I love cashew-based cheesy recipes because they make for a super creamy result for a sauce or even fondue.
- They’re pretty dang healthy. When you compare these nachos to your average (americanized) beef & cheese nacho, they have less saturated fat (and absolutely zero cholesterol) while providing more healthful fat from olive oil and cashews. Plus, they are a heartier source of satiating fiber with the bell peppers and black beans. Overall, these nachos pack a healthful punch while still delivering that gratifying nacho experience.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine queso ingredients in a high power blender and blend until smooth. Taste queso and adjust as needed. Bland? Try a bit more salt. Needs more cheesy flavor? Try a bit more nutritional yeast.
Then, toast your chips on a lined sheet pan for about 5 minutes. While the chips are toasting, combine black beans with the oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pep. Once chips are done toasting, remove them from the oven and turn the oven down to 300 degrees.
Next, add the cheese, black beans, queso, and bell peppers to your chips and bake for about 10 minutes. When the cheese appears melty, remove for the oven and add your additional toppings. All that’s left to do is dig in!
- Toasting the chips isn’t entirely necessary if you don’t have time. It just dries the chips out a bit to prevent soggy nachos.
- Feel free to play around with the toppings! I chose to top mine with vegan sour cream, salsa verde, fresh cilantro, and pickled jalapeños.
- While delicious, these nachos aren't anywhere near authentic. The original nachos are pretty different from what they have become here in the states. Mexico in my Kitchen's Mexican Nachos are a much more authentic version to try!
OTHER EASY WEEKNIGHT MEALS:
Easy Vegan Weeknight Nachos with Creamy Cashew Queso
FOR THE QUESO:
FOR THE NACHOS:
- 1 13 oz bag sturdy tortilla chips
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp shallot-infused olive oil (or: oil of choice +½ teaspoon onion powder +½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 7 oz bag vegan cheese shreds (or: shredded mexican cheese blend for non-vegan)
- 2 bell peppers , diced
- ½ cup salsa verde (or: your favorite salsa)
- 2 tablespoon vegan sour cream (or: regular sour cream for non-vegan)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- a few pickled jalapeno slices
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Blend: Add cashews, water, green chilis, nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, and salt to blender. Blend until smooth.
- Toast: Spread chips out onto a large lined baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Toss: In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the oil, beans, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. When the chips have toasted for 5 minutes, remove from oven and turn oven down to 300 degrees.
- Bake: Add the beans, bell peppers, queso, and cheese to the chips. Bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cheese appears melted.
- Top: Once nachos have finishes baking, add desired toppings such as salsa, vegan sour cream, pickled jalapeno slices and cilantro.
- Store: Nachos are best when they're fresh. However, if you do not add the cold toppings, you can store the nachos 1-3 days in the fridge. They are best reheated in the oven at 300 degrees for ~10 minutes.
- The queso comes together best with a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or the kitchenaid blender above (this is what I have). If your blender is not high-speed, it may help to soak the cashews in the hot water for about 15 minutes before blending.
- I like to thin my sour cream with a little water to squeeze it over the nachos since I have noticed vegan sour cream does not seem to squeeze out of a bottle very well otherwise.
- These nachos are also great without the queso if you are really pinched for time.
- Likewise, you can skip the toasting step to save another 5 minutes.