Cheesy Vegan Nachos

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Septembers in Chicago are an ideal time to visit – the fall foliage is stunning and the weather is just perfect. It also marks the return of football season. Whether you’re into college football or the NFL, it’s an exciting time! If you’re a sports fan like me, vegan game day snacks are hard to come by. Whether I’m at a bar for Sunday Fun Day or at a friend’s place, I typically have few vegan options. Loaded nachos are my weakness and cheese fries are always on my mind – but the vegan versions are only available at a few spots in the Windy City. I usually end up ordering take out from my favorite vegan comfort food spot – Upton’s Breakroom. I’m not sure exactly what’s in their cheese sauce but my goal was to recreate something similar at home. The cheese sauce in this recipe is great because it’s relatively low in calorie and dairy free. It’s also cashew free, so say goodbye to soaking cashews overnight for this one. Of course vegan cheese sauce doesn’t taste exactly like traditional cheese sauce, but it has a delicious cheesy flavor and texture that won’t make you miss the dairy. It’s creamy, spicy, and thick enough to use as a stand alone dip. I always try to use fresh ingredients in all of my recipes. Many recipes for nacho cheese sauce call for onion powder and garlic powder but fresh onion and garlic make this sauce over-the-top good! You’ll need a high powered blender or food processor to get the smooth texture. Feel free to add more jalapenos if you like it extra spicy! You can also use seitan chorizo or refried beans instead of black beans. I didn’t top my nachos with avocado because they’re already very rich tasting but you really can’t go wrong by adding some diced avocado. This sauce is also great on broccoli, cauliflower, and baked potatoes. I also use the base of this sauce in my vegan macaroni and cheese recipe. I hope you make some vegan nachos this football season! If you do make them, be sure to tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook and Instagram or Pin the recipe on Pinterest! And, of course, UMich Go Blue!

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Cheesy Vegan Nachos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 1 large bag of organic tortilla chips
  • For the cheese sauce:
  • 1 small carrot, peeled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small white potato, peeled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (about 3 tbs)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs almond flour
  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbs vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (about 3 tbs)
  • 2-3 tbs lime juice (juice of half a lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Toppings:
  • 1, 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Vegan sour cream ( find the recipe here or use store bought such as Tofutti brand)

Directions

First, make the Pico de Gallo. Combine diced tomatoes, onion, minced jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and chill. Boil potato and carrot in a small saucepan until they are soft all the way through, drain water and set aside. In a small saute pan, sauté shallot in vegan butter for about 2 to 3 minutes. Next add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add jalapeno, cumin, paprika, and chili powder and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add almond milk, almond flour, nutritional yeast, and salt and whisk until smooth. Heat mixture until just boiling. Remove from heat and carefully transfer to a food processor or blender. Add boiled carrot and potato and blend mixture in food processor until smooth. Makes about 1 1/4 cups of cheese sauce. Assemble nachos in a large bowl: top tortilla chips with vegan cheese sauce, black beans, pico de gallo, and vegan sour cream. Serve immediately. May store vegan cheese sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/4 cup cheese sauce: 103 cal

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