Let’s talk nachos! There are few things as delicious as a loaded nacho plate – loads of bubbling cheese, fresh veggie toppings, heaps of guacamole, tangy salsa… Ugh, so good!
Never eating nachos again was a real fear of mine when we were making the transition to veganism. Sour cream and tons of cheese were the highlight of eating nachos, right? And our first few vegan nacho plates just weren’t as “stuff-yourself-delicious” as our previously perfected non-vegan plates. Thankfully, through many trials, our vegan nacho plates are now just as good, if not better, than our non-vegan ones! Today I’m going to share all of our tips and tricks for making a kickass vegan nacho plate that will have you, and everyone you serve it to, in total awe.
Now get ready for this because I’m downright passionate about what it takes to make a mindblowing nacho plate, okay? You’ve been warned!
First things first, a fantastic nacho plate requires a good, sturdy base. That means high quality tortilla chips AND proper chip placement. Our favourite brand is Que Pasa, they’re organic, lightly-salted, and just the perfect restaurant style tortilla chips. (They also have these awesome O’Canada red and white corn tortilla chips that are perfect for Canada Day nachos! Add some blue corn chips to the mix for a 4th of July theme!)
Now onto the chip placement. This is so important! Don’t pile up a mountain of tortilla chips, smother it with toppings, and bake. This is how you end up with a top layer of chips that are covered in gobs of cheese and toppings with a ton of toasty but totally naked chips underneath. That is not how you make an awesome nacho plate. The key is to take your time layering the chips in just one slightly overlapping layer. Just like the picture above. See how there’s a little overlap so you’ve got a good strong base, but a lot of the chips are exposed? That’s perfect. No need to spend all day, just make sure to put in a little extra effort here.
We prefer Daiya cheese shreds for nachos, a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of cheddar and mozzarella style shreds. In my opinion, the shreds have the best consistency. They also save you time – no grating required, yay!
Now, let’s talk toppings. Finely chopped toppings are key for proper topping dispersion and variety. Now, how to get those toppings to stay stuck to your chips? First, sprinkle you’re entire nacho plate with a light layer of “cheese”, then add your finely chopped veggies, and finish off with another light sprinkle of cheese. After melting your toppings will be as good as glued to your chips.
Now onto the cooking – this is where personal preference comes in. Do you like your cheese all melty and gooey? Make sure you don’t cook your nachos for too long, just long enough for the cheese to start bubbling. Do you prefer your cheese to be kind of crisp with lots of toasty chips? Let the cheese bubble under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the edges of your chips are toasty brown. MMmmm…
Now it’s time to take these nachos to a whole ‘nother level: vary the taste and texture by adding fresh crisp veggie toppings, ON TOP of the hot cooked toppings. I always top a nacho plate with fresh shredded lettuce, a little extra chopped tomato, and a little bit of cilantro. (A note of caution on the cilantro: I used to DESPISE cilantro but it’s grown on me over time and I really enjoy a sparse amount with Mexican food (especially in guacamole, yum!) William hates cilantro like there’s literally nothing worse. So decide for yourself whether or not to include it.)
Last, but certainly not least, the dipping sauces – Salsa and homemade guacamole are obvious choices that just have to be included with every vegan nacho plate. We always include some roasted garlic hummus too. Salsa, guacamole and hummus is our holy trinity of dips for all things nachos, burritos, tacos, but our Best Vegan 7 Layer Dip would be perfect too!
That’s it, that’s all you need to know to make a completely out-of-this-world-delicious and totally vegan nacho plate! Cook some up the next time you’re entertaining. Canada Day (or 4th of July for our American friends!) might be the perfect occasion! Happy nacho eating everyone!
- Approx. 6 cups or 1/2 425g bag of tortilla chips (we recommend Que Pasa brand)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped vine-ripened tomato (seeds removed)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 2 tbsp finely minced jalapeño (seeds removed) (optional)
- 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds (we recommend Daiya)
- 1/2 cup vegan cheddar shreds (again, Daiya)
- 1/2–1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/3 cup chopped tomato (seeds removed)
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup guacamole
- 1/2 cup roasted garlic hummus
- 1/2 cup salsa
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Spread chips out in a single layer.
- Combine the mozzarella and cheddar and top the chips with 1/2 of the cheese mixture.
- Evenly sprinkle the tomato, green pepper, red onion, black olives, black beans, and jalapeño over the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of the cheese over top.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese melts.
- Turn the oven on to broil. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute (or until the cheese is just bubbling) for gooey melt-y cheese. For crunchier cheese and toastier chips, let the cheese bubble for 2-3 minutes before removing from the oven. Take care not to allow the chips to burn.
- Top with shredded lettuce and cilantro. Serve with hummus, guacamole, and salsa. Serve immediately.