Veggie Nachos Perfected! (Recipe Included, Additional Napkins Are Not)

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook takes good ideas where she sees them. Having made nachos for years, in many variations, I have a new version that was met with wild applause by The Practical Cooks Junior. It’s not easy being cheesy. And even less easy being a sweet potato. Read on.

Hello beautiful sweet potatoes.

Hello beautiful sweet potatoes.

Veggie Nachos Perfected (A recipe and a method to the madness)

The key here is layering. I’ll leave exact proportions to your specifications, but don’t be shy about the cheese. The order of operations is actually important here. It is the thing that transforms this from idle snack to actual recipe.

These veggie nachos come loaded.

These veggie nachos come loaded.

1 bag of high-quality tortilla chis (I specify, because wimpy chips simply won’t stand up here)
2 cups or so cheese of choice, shredded (we used the shredded Mexican blend from Trader Joe’s)
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
salt
1 can black beans, rinsed well
1/2 of something tomatoey (use red salsa if you want more heat or diced tomatoes for milder)
1 small to medium sized sweet potato, peeled and diced small
2 or 3 handfuls of baby spinach
green onions, sliced
1 avocado, diced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put foil over a pizza pan or baking sheet, put a layer of tortilla chips on it. Quantity depends on size of crowd and the preferred ratio of stuff to chip. Cover with a generous layer of cheese (half of what you’re using), bake until cheese melts, remove pan from the oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. When hot but not smoking, saute the garlic and the onion briefly, toss in the cumin and a sprinkle of salt, then add beans. Stir well.

The veggie nacho rainbow: black beans, sweet potatoes, and some spinach for good measure.

The veggie nacho rainbow: black beans, sweet potatoes, and some spinach for good measure.

3. Add the tomatoey item of choice, and the sweet potatoes. Stir, cover, and cook at medium to medium-low for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked but not mushy. Add spinach and cook till it wilts, a couple of minutes more.

This is not the time to hold back the cheese.

This is not the time to hold back the cheese.

4. Pour bean mixture over cheesy chips, spread out to cover the chips. Leave no chip behind. Cover with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts, another 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, and immediately sprinkle with the green onions and avocado, so that they stick in the glorious melty cheese.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

Serve promptly with sour cream, salsa, and a whole lot of napkins.

What’s on your nachos? Post a comment below, or Tweet!

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Up next, The Great Sweetener Race: Molasses vs. Honey!

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6 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Snacks

6 responses to “Veggie Nachos Perfected! (Recipe Included, Additional Napkins Are Not)

  1. this looks simply delish! the vegetarians in my house (and the world) are multiplying. so i’m happy to move in that direction myself as far as my offerings. but tonight i made steak wrapped in bacon and.. well.. i’m not ready to leave that sort of perfection behind just yet..

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  4. Desiree

    Made this for dinner, substituting pinto beans instead of black beans and olives instead of pickled jalapeño. This was a fabulous way of turning a snack into a full meal! I’ll definitely be making this a staple in my house.

    • The Practical Cook

      So glad to hear that! Great substitutions, a very flexible framework to have an easy weeknight meal. Also great for movie-viewing, if you wear bibs. 🙂

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