20 Minute Loaded Vegetarian Nachos
If you’re in the mood for nachos but also want to eat something healthy, these veggie-loaded sheet pan nachos are perfect for you! They’re cheesy, crispy, and packed with diced veggies and black beans. Best of all, these tasty vegetarian nachos take just 20 minutes to make. Top with homemade avocado-cilantro crema, and enjoy!
We love nachos in our household. For as long as I’ve known my fiance (going on 13 years), a cheesy tray of nachos has been one of our favourite late night or game day snacks.
But being a dietitian and a pretty big nutrition nerd means that I know a plate of tortilla chips and cheese alone isn’t going to keep me full for very long, nor is it going to make me feel all that great afterwards. So, why not compromise?
Instead of ditching the nachos altogether (I would never), I’d rather add some nutrition to my nachos with things like fibre, healthy fats, and plant-based protein. The result? These super loaded, super flavourful vegetarian sheet pan nachos with chopped veggies, cilantro, black beans, and avocado crema made with fresh avocados and greek yogurt.
Not to toot my own horn, but these are better than any restaurant plate of nachos I’ve ever had. Inspired by my Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos recipe, these make a great shareable appetizer, game day snack, or even an easy meal for two. And honestly, they’re pretty darn healthy too!
How to Make Healthy Nachos:
The term ‘healthy’ can be quite relative and often unique to the individual. To me, a healthy eating pattern is one that involves a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, proteins (including plant-based proteins), and grains. I also believe that a healthy diet makes room for foods that we love – like nacho chips. 😉
That being said, there are a few things I looked to add when making this quick and nutritious loaded veggie nachos recipe:
- Fibre: Adding ingredients like vegetables and beans is a great way to increase the fibre content of nachos. This is why I love making my nachos with black beans! Eating more fibre helps to slow down digestion, making us feel full. It also promotes regular digestion and more stable blood sugar levels. Vegetables also add a variety of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Protein: Adding beans is a great way to add plant-based protein to meatless nachos. In addition to protein, beans also add fibre, magnesium, calcium, iron, folate and potassium.
- Healthy Fats: Sources of healthy fat like avocado support heart health, help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) from other foods, and also help us feel sated after eating.
Are Tortilla Chips Healthy?
Like I said, the word ‘healthy’ is relative. While tortilla chips on their own may not be the most nutrient-dense, they do make a great vehicle for nutrient-dense ingredients like vegetables and beans.
As a Registered Dietitian, I like to create meals that are well-balanced with mostly nourishing ingredients. I try to include a carb for energy (like tortilla chips), fruit and/or vegetables for fibre and important micronutrients, and a protein (like black beans) to help me feel full.
Tortilla chips can be healthy. It just depends what you pair them with!
Which Veggies Should I Put on Nachos?
Generally, there are a few particular vegetables that I love to put on my nachos, but luckily nachos are super customizable, so you do you! Here are the ones I like:
- Diced red and yellow bell peppers
- Diced red onion
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- Sliced jalapeno peppers
Here are some other veggies to put on nachos:
- Shredded lettuce
- Pickled jalapeno peppers
- Banana peppers
- Diced roma tomatoes
- Green bell peppers
- Yellow or white onions
- Black olives
Loaded Vegetarian Nachos Ingredients:
To make these no meat nachos, here’s what you’ll need:
- Tortilla chips
- Red and yellow bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Black beans
- Jalapeno pepper (optional)
- Cheddar cheese
To make the avocado cilantro crema, you’ll need:
- Fresh cilantro
- Plain greek yogurt
- Lime juice
- Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
Are these Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos Spicy?
With the addition of sliced jalapenos, the nachos are mildly spicy. If you don’t like spicy things, feel free to omit the jalapeno peppers. Alternatively, you can use a mild pickled jalapenos instead as these tend to be less spicy than fresh ones.
The avocado cilantro crema has a very slight kick to it as it does contain srirachia. You can adjust the amount of sriracha or hot sauce in the crema to make it more or less spicy if you prefer.
If you like your nachos really spicy, I’d recommend adding a drizzle of sriracha on the nachos in addition to the blended cilantro avocado sauce.
Tips for Making the Best Veggie Nachos:
I’ve made a lot of nachos over the years, so here are some tips for making the best meatless nachos ever, in just 20 minutes!
- Don’t go overboard on the veggies! While I love vegetables (hey, I’m a dietitian), I think it’s important to have the right balance of chips, cheese, and veggies. Too many vegetables will weigh the nachos down and eventually make them soggy.
- Use a variety of vegetables: That being said, using a bunch of different veggies like peppers, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños adds different flavours and textures, which always makes nachos more satisfying.
- Broil them on low. I like to broil my nachos because it melts the cheese and gives the top layer of tortilla chips a nice browned crisp. I broil them on low because when you have your broiler on high, you run a much higher risk of burning your nachos. 10 seconds too long and they’re burnt!
- Enjoy them immediately. I recommend serving these nachos immediately because they’re hard to reheat once the cheese is melted and you’ve added the sauce.
- Add fresh herbs! Add a sprinkle of fresh cilantro before serving the nachos for a punch of fresh and delicious flavour.
Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!
I hope you love this recipe for loaded veggie, no meat nachos as much as I do. If you try it, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Oh, and be sure to take a photo and tag me on @hannahmagee_rd so I can see!
PS: If you liked this recipe, I think you’ll love my Vegetarian Irish Nachos just as much!
Here are the baking sheets I use for my nachos!
- Medium and large cookie sheets have many uses
- Non-stick surface for easy release and quick cleanup
- Material: Steel
20 Minute Loaded Vegetarian Nachos
For the Loaded Veggie Nachos:
- 125 grams corn tortilla chips, about 1/2 large bag
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced red and yellow bell peppers
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
For the Cilantro Avocado Crema:
- On a large baking sheet, add a layer of corn tortilla chips. Top with black beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and sliced jalapenos, then sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat with another layer of chips, beans/veggies, and cheese. Set aside.
- Make the cilantro avocado crema by blending together the avocado, cilantro, plain greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic, sriracha and water in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. If you need to thin the sauce out more, add water 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Broil the nachos on the top rack of the oven on low for approximately 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the top layer of tortilla chips begins to brown.
- Remove nachos from the oven and drizzle with the fresh avocado cilantro crema. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately. Enjoy!