These loaded nachos are layered to ensure that every bite is packed with toppings and extra melty cheese – no boring chips here! Spicy black beans and easy avocado sauce make these a vegetarian nacho lover’s dream come true!
Societal norms would probably say that the amount of times I’ve eaten these nachos in the past two months is unacceptable.
But you can imagine what I say to that…
A big ol’ “you can’t judge me for my nacho consumption”. Especially in these times. And especially when there’s a kitchen renovation going on and tequila in the cupboard.
Oh, and it was Cinco de Mayo. And the sun started shining and the patio chairs were begging to be used (like, they absolutely insisted).
Which, yes, boils down to the basic necessity to enjoy loaded vegetarian nachos multiple times a week.
And so, my friend, if this too becomes your life now that this loaded nacho recipe is here, there is absolutely zero (and I mean ZERO) judgement for how many nights a week nachos are on the menu.
Pssst: they make an excellent afternoon snack – that in-between ‘didn’t eat lunch but too early for dinner’ time (something I know a lot about these days).
What are Layered Nachos?
Yes, you read that right. I said layered. They’re loaded, too, but I definitely meant layered.
Spicy Black Bean Nachos that are LAYERED. You’re smart people, I’m sure you get what layered means.
For nachos, it means a layer of tortilla chips – one thin layer – topped with cheese, the oven-safe toppings. Then, another layer of chips. And then, another layer of cheese, and toppings…and I think you get the point now, right?
This means that each and every nacho bite has a melty cheese pull. And each bite has texture and crunch, and flavor galore.
This means that there is no chip left behind. That you won’t be stuck with the poor little chip that got forgotten in the middle of the chip pile. No way, friend, every chip is accounted for.
Have you always been making your nachos this way and are wondering why in the world I am posting a recipe online sharing how to layer nachos?
If that is you, then by golly you have been doing it right all these years.
Or, are you like me, and your mind is completely blown? Like me, who used to just put a pile of chips on a baking sheet, let the cheese melt, and then add some toppings and hope for the best?
Yes, friends, that was me. Leading a very sad nacho life. Until my boyfriend queued me into the absolute best way to make loaded nachos. And I’m never going back.
If you’re like me, I hope you never go back either. Let’s do this vegetarian nacho recipe thing right from here on out.
Spicy Black Bean Nachos
This is what I love most about these layered nachos (besides the layering, as we covered): the spicy black beans.
The black beans are cooked with a bounty of spices (again, pretty customizable if you don’t have a certain spice, never fear!). This is what goes into the beans:
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- chili power
- dried oregano
- black pepper
- lime zest and juice
Yep, I know it’s quite a few spices but trust me when I say they are what bring the flavor and spice to these loaded nachos (vegetarian but full of texture and flavor, nonetheless!).
The lime brings the brightness to round it out beautifully, too. It’s the little things!
The Other Toppings
The thing I love most about nachos is how easy it is to customize with your tastes, and with what you have at home.
There’s no topping ingredient that you MUST have (ok, well, maybe besides some form of cheese…), and if you don’t like a certain topping (ahem, I know you black olive haters are gonna come after me), you can absolutely leave it out!
Here’s my topping recommendations:
- cheddar cheese
- pepper jack cheese
- jalapeno slices
- red onion
- black olives
- green onions
- fresh lime juice
- avocado sauce
And for the dips:
- sour cream
- pico de gallo/salsa
In that list I mentioned avocado sauce as a topping and this is one topping I don’t like to do without. It’s bright, creamy, and a bonus healthy addition to nachos.
You cannot argue with 3 ingredients, either. For the time when you don’t want to make guacamole, you can throw them in the food processor and drizzle on the nachos.
Which really, the avocado sauce drizzle means that you don’t risk losing toppings while dipping and yet get a big avocado bite each time. Full of solutions to get every bit in your mouth!
It seems I could go on about layered nachos, and spicy black beans, and avocado sauce forever, but you’ve got spicy black bean nachos to make, margaritas to pour, and patios waiting. Enjoy!
Layered Spicy Black Bean Nachos
- 2 tsp neutral cooking oil
- 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt more to taste
- 1 lime juiced and zested
- 10 oz. tortilla chips
- 5 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 5 oz pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 jalapeño sliced
- 1/3 cup black olives sliced
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup fresh diced tomato
- 1 cup romaine lettuce shredded
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup scallion sliced
- Avocado Sauce
- Sour Cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 13x9 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add black beans, cumin, onion and garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, and the lime juice and zest. Stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes until hot, stirring occasionally so the spices don't burn. It will become 'clumpy' with the black beans.
- Spread a thin layer of tortilla chips on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the shredded cheeses evenly across. Then evenly spread jalapenos, olives, and red onion (as desired). Spread another layer of chips, and repeat the cheese and toppings layers.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and top with additional toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, scallions, and avocado sauce. Squeeze with another lime as desired. Serve with dips and enjoy!