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Vegan loaded nachos - I'm your number one fan.
Nachos are always a good idea... but when it's borderline summer time and cinco de mayo is just a few days away.. nachos sound like an even more fantastic idea altogether.
I went ahead and called this recipe - the best vegan loaded nachos recipe ever, mostly because I honestly do think these are the best vegan loaded nachos, ever. Period. 😛
Now, I may be biased.. which is why I had several non-vegan friends try this recipe out and let's just say they all went for seconds so I think that's a good sign, right?
These nachos have it all. They're crunchy, salty, spicy, savory, and so so yum. Topped with mouth-watering vegan walnut taco meat, lovely fresh notes from the pico de gallo, creaminess factor from the guac AND a spicy kick from the nacho cheeze... you'll be dreaming about these nachos for days. 😛
Let's talk about the recipe
There are three ways that you can approach this recipe.
1. Keep it super simple
If you're all about keeping it simple then by all means do. Use this recipe as a starter guide or as a framework to create your own nachos with store bought products. For example - instead of making your own chips, you can just buy nacho chips from the store.
You can also buy 'already made' vegan taco meat (usually available in whole foods, trader joe's, or other local natural food stores). You can use store bought salsa instead of making your own pico de gallo.. and you can definitely use your favorite store bought vegan cheeze sauces as well. The point is... you can make this as easy as you'd like orrrr you can go for the whole 'shebang' and make each part on your own at home.
Keeping in mind that homemade is always best - I can't guarantee how your nachos will turn out if you choose to sub for store bought products. Also keeping in mind that many of these store bought products do contain oils and sugars - which would not make this meal 'whole food plant based oil free'.
2. Make everything from scratch
This is the way that I make the nachos and even though it seems a bit overwhelming at first (ahh how many recipes does it take to make one nacho recipe?!) please take a step back, take a deep breathe, and read the following words - you can make the BEST homemade-from-scratch-oil-free vegan nachos in about an hour give or take.
That's not too bad right? Yes, you'll be cooking non stop and doing lots of multi tasking but the end result is so so sooo worth it.
Honestly, that is what makes *this* vegan nacho recipe extra special, making it from scratch.
So what's the third option I mentioned?
3. Part homemade, Part Store-bought.
If making everything from scratch just seems unrealistic for you then go ahead and buy a few of the items already made. I do this myself sometimes when I'm short on time. You can definitely find good quality guac already made in stores. You can use store-bought salsa instead of pico de gallo. In this way, you'll have a few of the items ready to go and you'll just have to make a few things at home yourself. Win-Win!
Time Saving Tips:
Remember you can always plan ahead and that's something I actually recommend. The vegan walnut meat is a great meal prepping item because you can make it, store it in an airtight container in your fridge and just reheat it the next day when you are ready to use it. You can also make the cheeze sauce the night before but I wouldn't make it any more far in advance than that because vegan sauces tend to sour quickly (like within 2 days)!
Nachos have a lot going on - but it's always worth it in the end! Make this for yourself and someone special or double the recipe for a larger group. Nachos make for great appetizers or a side dish in small portions, or make a meal out of it and serve a whole plate worth of nachos! Either way, you can't go wrong.
Are your a nacho fan? Please tell me all about how much you love nachos down below! 🙂
Have left overs?
If you end up with left over walnut taco meat, pico de gallo, guac, or vegan cheeze sauce - you can make raw vegan romaine lettuce tacos!
with love + gratitude,
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The Best Homemade Vegan Loaded Nachos Ever
The best homemade vegan loaded nachos recipe ever. You won’t need another. Loaded with homemade vegan sundried tomato walnut meat, simple pico de gallo, and nacho cheeze sauce. Recipe is flexible – feel free to get creative and add your own toppings!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Nachos
- Cuisine: Dinner
- 1 bag of Tortilla chips (or you can make these oil free homemade tortilla chips).
- Homemade sundried tomato walnut taco meat or your favorite store-bought vegan meat alternative such as Gardein Meatless Ground Beef Crumbles – but keep in mind store bought varieties usually include sugar and oils. Homemade is best.
- Simple Pico De Gallo (a handful of cilantro, 1-2 tomatoes, half of a red onion, 1 garlic clove and the juice of one lime) or you can use store bought chunky salsa.
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup Guacamole (if you want to make your own, check out this homemade guac using your food processor) For a quick an easy guac: Smash up one avocado with a fork and add the juice of one lime, and sprinkle with salt if desired. You can also just use avocado slices instead of guac if you prefer.
For Vegan Nacho Cheeze Sauce:
- 1 red bell pepper (160g)
- 1/3 cup (46g) cashews (soaked if your blender is not powerful)*
- 1/3 cup (49g) of hemp seeds (you can also use 1/3 cup sunflower seeds instead)
- 1/2 cup (107g) of vegetable broth (water works too but you’ll miss out on the color that the veg broth provides)
- 2 garlic cloves (7g)
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) onion powder
- 1 teaspoon (4g) garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon (1g) of chipotle pepper powder (you can also use cayenne pepper, I prefer the chipotle flavor though). Also, if you like lots of spice feel free to add more but I feel with 1/8 tsp it is spicy enough, so taste test first and then adjust.
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt or more, adjust as needed.
Other options for toppings:
- Chopped jalapenos
- This vegan green cilantro garlic sauce, so yum!
- Cooked Black beans (you can use canned black beans to save time)
- Vegan Sour Cream
*If you are not making everything from scratch then you can skip to step #3 and begin there.
- Begin by making your tortilla chips as instructed in this recipe. While your chips are baking in the oven – go ahead and make the walnut meat as instructed in this recipe. I usually pop my walnut meat in the oven while the chips are baking as well.
- Next go ahead and make the pico de gallo by chopping all ingredients, placing them in a bowl and coating them with the juice of one lime. Make the guac by mashing up the avocado with a fork and squeezing the juice of one lime (or lemon) and mixing. Set aside.
- Make the nacho cheeze sauce – throw all ingredients in your blender and process until smooth.
- Finally, once chips are ready, walnut meat has roasted, and all the toppings are ready to go – layer your nachos in this order (or any order really, but I like this order in particular): place chips on a plate, then add the walnut meat (or your store bought version) on top, next add the pico de gallo or chunky salsa, add a dollop of guacamole or avocado slices and drench – I mean drizzle – with the nacho cheeze sauce or store-bought vegan cheese. Add any additional toppings you like.
- It is now time to DIG in and enjoy.
- This recipe is very flexible – feel free to use your own toppings and quantities.
- If your cheeze sauce is not very ‘pour-able’, you can add a bit more veg broth or water one tablespoon at a time until you reach a thinner consistency. I find that 1/2 cup of veg broth works great but feel free to adjust as needed.
- If you do not have a powerful blender it is always recommended that you soak the cashews for at least 20 to 30 minutes so that you can achieve ultimate creaminess factor. If you have a vitamix, blendtec, or another powerful high-speed blender you don’t need to soak.
- If spicy sauce is not your thing – you can try these with this cilantro garlic sauce instead.