Vegan Nachos are made without cheese or meat, but have all the comforting flavors you love! Customize them with any toppings you like for an easy appetizer or snack.
Featuring flavorful black beans and an easy dairy-free queso, these vegan nachos come together quickly. You can even make the toppings ahead of time if you plan on making them for a party.
Serve with a side of guacamole and salsa for dipping and they will taste like a restaurant-quality dish. (Only it’s gluten-free and dairy-free!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
My popular vegan queso is made with cashews and a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. For this recipe, I decided to leave out the nutritional yeast, just to see if you’ll miss the extra cheesy flavor, and in this case, it’s not needed.
Paired with seasoned black beans, red onion, and bell pepper, these nachos are ready to eat in less than 20 minutes. Top them with sliced jalapeños, avocado, corn, or cilantro for extra flavor.
You can also add your favorite vegan taco meat for extra protein or vegan sour cream for extra creaminess.
How to Make Vegan Nachos
To prepare the queso, cover the cashews with a 1/2 cup of hot water. Let them soak and soften while you gather the other ingredients.
In a high-speed blender, add the lemon juice, salt, the juices from the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, and turmeric (for color).
Pour the soaked cashews along with the soaking water into the blender. Secure the lid and blend until smooth, about 60 to 90 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula to make sure everything is blended evenly.
Transfer the blended cashew mixture to a bowl, then stir in the diced tomatoes with green chilies. Taste the queso and adjust any flavoring as you like. You can add a tablespoon of jalapeno juice from a jar of jalapeno slices if you’d like a spicier flavor.
If you want warm queso, transfer it to a mini crockpot to warm up, or pour it into a small saucepan and let it warm on low heat while you prepare the black bean topping. Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the red onion and bell pepper until soft, about 8 minutes. Then add in the drained black beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt.
Stir until the beans are hot, about 3 to 4 minutes.
To assemble the nachos, start with a base of tortilla chips on a large platter. Spoon the black bean mixture over the top, followed by the warm queso.
Serve with sliced jalapeños, green onions, a dollop of guac, pico de gallo, or any other nacho toppings you love.
Leftover vegan cheese sauce and black beans can be stored separately in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make another batch of warm nachos, arrange the tortilla chips on a baking sheet and layer on the toppings. Let them bake in the oven together at 350ºF for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Roasted sweet potato slices or cubes make an excellent alternative. Or you can serve the black bean filling and cheese sauce over a bed of cilantro-lime rice for a burrito bowl!
You can spread refried beans on each chip if you prefer a less messy nacho plate.
Easy Vegan Nachos
- 1 cup cashews (not roasted or salted)
- ½ cup very hot water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Real Salt brand)
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (for color only)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
Seasoned Black Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ red onion , diced
- 1 red bell pepper , diced and seeds removed
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans , drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 cups tortilla chips
- 1 batch guacamole
- 1 cup salsa or pico de gallo
- 1 jalapeno , sliced
- 1 handful fresh cilantro , roughly chopped
- To make the Vegan Queso, place the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with ½ cup hot water. Let them soak while you measure and add the salt, lemon juice, and turmeric to a high-speed blender. Open the can of diced tomatoes and drain the juices into the blender as well.
- Add the cashews along with their soaking water to the blender, secure the lid, and blend until very smooth. It won't necessarily taste like cheese yet, so pour it into a bowl and stir in the diced tomatoes. Taste the mixture and make any adjustments to taste. (You can also blend the tomatoes into the mixture if you prefer a less chunky queso.) If you'd like to serve this warm, transfer to a small saucepan and stir often over low heat. If the queso thickens too much, add a tablespoon of water to thin it out again.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, and pepper. Stir until the veggies soften, about 6 to 7 minutes. Then add in the drained beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Stir until the beans are hot, about 2 to 3 more minutes.
- To assemble the nachos, place some chips on a serving dish and top them with the warm black bean mixture and queso. Add any extra toppings you like, such as guacamole, salsa, sliced jalapenos, or fresh cilantro, and serve right away.
- Leftover queso, beans, and other toppings can be stored separately in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
If you try these Vegan Nachos, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them.