Make it your Own: Nachos!

Ever since my boyfriend moved in I've been finding myself serving more and more dude food for dinner. You know, pizza, nachos... My boyfriend gets more excited about mac and yeas' casserole than he does about say, african groundnut stew on bulgar. Luckily, I feel equally excited about both.
Even though the quickest junk dinners come from the frozen aisle at the grocery store, I find that many of them are nearly just as fast to throw together from home.
Thus, I present my quick and healthy nachos. A bag of chips provides a satisfying base for a can of beans, a couple handfuls of (vegan) cheese, and the fixin's are anything I have on hand in the fridge. Assembling them takes as much time as the oven does to preheat and they are a great way to use up leftovers such as rice or small bits of vegetables I might have lying around. The best part is, they are healthy! And much more fit for a meal than their traditional "nacho cheez sauce" smothered counterparts, don't you think?

1. For nacho night, pre heat the oven to 400 degrees and spread several handfuls of your favorite salted tortilla chips out on a baking sheet.

2. Chop up your fixin's! Nachos are a great way to use up random vegetables or leftover items in your fridge. Here are some of my favorites:

  • diced bell peppers 
  • chopped red onion
  • chopped scallions
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped black olives
  • shredded cabbage
  • grated carrots
  • grated or diced zucchini 
  • leftover cooked rice
  • leftover cooked beans
  • minced garlic
  • diced jalapeno
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • cubed or crumbled fresh tofu
  • crumbled veggie burgers or your favorite mock meat

Toss on as many of these as you like. Chances are, you have quite a few of them around the kitchen. Make sure they are evenly spread over the bed of chips.

3. Open a can of your favorite refried beans. I prefer black refried beans but here I am using regular pinto. Empty the contents into a bowl and add about 1/3 cup of hot water.

4. Mix well and spread over your bed of chips. The water allows the beans to be distributed more easily. 

5. Cover the whole mess in grated (vegan) cheese. I like Daiya brand because it melts. Try the cheddar or the pepper jack. Or combine several.

6. Bake for about 7 minutes until the (vegan) cheese melts. Check it here and there. You don't want to burn your chips!

7. Serve hot with your favorite dips. I made fresh guacamole and also fresh roasted salsa using this recipe.

I make about these every other week. I store (vegan) cheese and commercial salsa in my freezer so I can toss these together any time I need to. Everybody loves nachos! And if you don't, get out.


  1. Thanks for the link to my blog! I'm glad you enjoyed the spicy roasted salsa as much as I did!

  2. Totally! I was debating whether to type in this recipe after trying it from the magazine and was happy to find I could just share yours! I liked it a lot though I agree, it was WAY spicier than I thought!

  3. I love the idea of baking nachos with refried beans already on them! I've never thought of cooking other ingredients into them, but I bet it starts smelling pretty amazing pretty quickly!