When I say a tray of hot and cheesy vegetarian nachos is one of my favorite things of all time, I’m not messing around. I’m a huge nacho fan.

sheet pan with tortilla chip nachos, black beans, and lettuce with lime wedges and wine in the background

They’re not something we only whip up for the Super Bowl or Cinco de Mayo. These are crave-worthy nachos you’ll catch yourself adding to the menu every single week. 

And there’s absolutely zero judgment for how many nights a week you’re enjoying these loaded nachos as the main dish. They’re just as acceptable on the dinner table as these quick Stovetop Fajitas, satisfying Bean Enchiladas, and my 5-star Sheet Pan Tacos.

If you’ve never made a meatless nachos recipe, you’re in for a treat!

Ingredient Spotlight

When it comes to making homemade nachos, the ingredients are very friendly to customization. So instead, I’m going to give you a formula to follow with 5 key components to incorporate. 

Chips + protein + cheese + veggies + dips = game-day-ready sheet pan nachos. 

  • Crispy tortilla chips – Any kind you like will do. Gluten-free? Use corn tortilla chips. Grain-free? Use cassava tortilla chips. Soy-free? Avoid chips fried in soybean oil. No chips? Check out my Loaded Sweet Potato Fries or Vegetarian Layered Taco Dip and use your favorite fresh veggie sticks for dipping. 
  • Protein – I highly recommend trying my Spicy Black Beans (full recipe below), but if black beans aren’t your thing there are many other options to choose from. Pinto beans, chickpeas, refried beans, or vegetarian taco meats like this Jackfruit Taco Meat or Spicy Sofritas.
  • Cheese – For extra flavorful homemade nachos, use two types of cheeses. I typically use cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese to kick the heat up a notch. If you’re going for saucier sheet pan nachos, drizzle on a cheese sauce like this Creamy Queso! Any cheese or cheese blend of choice will work.
  • Veggies – Top with an assortment of your favorite toppings to lighten things up and add herbaceous flavor that compliments the cheesy crunch. Fresh jalapeño slices, black olives, red onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, crisp romaine, fresh cilantro, scallions/spring onions – you name it. 
  • Dips – The final (crucial) boost of flavor. Sour cream, your favorite salsa, creamy guacamole – again, the sky is really the limit. Leftover Elote Corn Dip (if leftovers exist?!), Avocado Sauce, and Pico de Gallo would be delicious. Don’t be afraid to switch it up and make these your own.
bowl of black beans next to salt bowl, limes, and plate of spices

Want to turn these vegetarian nachos into vegan nachos? Swap out the dairy cheese with your favorite vegan cheese shreds or vegan nacho cheese and use vegan-friendly dips like this Vegan Sour Cream! 

How to Make Vegetarian Nachos

Start to finish, you can have hot vegetarian nachos on the serving table in less than 20 minutes. The first step in making these nachos is choosing a baking vessel. 

I recommend a 13×9 baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Other options include a 9×13 baking dish, a 10″ or 12″ large skillet, or any other baking tray/dish of similar measurements. 

If you’re feeding a huge crowd and want to go larger, go for it. Just note that you’ll need to increase the recommended measurements to fill the tray.

Make the Spicy Black Beans

In a hot, oiled skillet over medium heat, add the black beans along with all of the spices and lime juice, and zest. Stir well to combine, then let it cook for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant. Once warm, set aside and begin to layer.

If you have homemade taco seasoning on hand (or even fajita seasoning) feel free to substitute it in place of all the spices.

Layer the Ingredients

Now for the fun part! To make the best nachos with cheese and toppings in every bite, I recommend building the nachos in layers!

photos repeating adding cheese and toppings to nachos in quick repeating fashion

Spread a thin layer of tortilla chips across your large baking sheet or baking dish of choice. Sprinkle on loads of cheese, followed by the spicy black beans. I also recommend adding toppings that will do well in baking like black olives, and pickled or fresh jalapeno. If you prefer baked red onion, add those too, but the fresh bite is nice.

Then, add another layer! Spread another layer of chips over top, and repeat the shredded cheese, bean mixture, and topping layers.


Finally, bake the vegetarian nachos for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and top with fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce, fresh cilantro, and diced red or green onion.

I also recommend a drizzle of my Easy Avocado Sauce in place of diced avocado or guacamole so you get a bit in every bite.

And for dips? Think outside of the box when it comes to traditional salsa and sour cream. In place of sour cream, try a creamy cilantro lime sauce. For an added kick of spice, try this reader-favorite jalapeno sauce.

birds eye view of sheet pan with spicy black bean nachos topped with tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado drizzle next to cilantro leaves and avocado sauce, lime wedges, and two wine glasses

Serving Ideas

The thing I love about vegetarian nachos is they’re an appropriate menu item in almost every setting. Give them a try for a quick and easy dinner, party appetizer, taco night starter, or a fun lunch option. 

Nachos also pair well with several of my favorite appetizers including (but not limited to):

If you’re off the clock, a Triple Citrus Margarita or Spicy Mango Margarita makes the perfect pair, too! 

Make Ahead Tips

Now, I wouldn’t recommend planning on baking nachos for meal prep, but there are a few ways you can prep for nacho night to make the whole process extra quick and easy (perfect for weeknights!). 

  1. Grate the cheese. As previously mentioned, I highly recommend grating your own cheese for the best results when it comes to melting. Grated cheese will dry out faster than when stored as a whole block, but it will last for up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Grate as much as you’ll need, plus some for the rest of your weekly meals like Grilled Cheese, a perfect pairing – Cheesy Mexican Rice, and Vegetarian Baked Spaghetti.
  2. Prep the beans. The spicy black beans can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Allow to cool, then store separately in an airtight container until ready to use. 
  3. Prep the toppings. All toppings can be chopped, diced, and sliced ahead of time. For best preservation, store in separate airtight containers and pull from the fridge right before layering.
hand pulling nacho with cheese pull

Storage for Leftovers

If you happen to have leftover vegetarian nachos, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat leftovers in the oven or air fryer until hot and crispy again. 

Tip: Have a fork on hand! Rebaking nachos won’t make them as crispy as day 1 and the tortilla chips may be on the softer side.

up close view of nachos on sheet pan with avocado sauce, tomatoes, and lettuce

Can you Freeze Nachos?

Freezing a full tray of nachos isn’t something I’d recommend. With that being said, a few nacho ingredients can be frozen. 

  • Spicy black beans: Prep the beans, allow them to cool, then transfer them to a freezer-safe jar or container and seal tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Cheese: Both shredded cheese and blocks of cheese freeze exceptionally well when sealed tightly with as much excess air removed as possible. 
  • Sour cream and guacamole: Both dips can be frozen, but the texture may change slightly upon thawing. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend intentionally buying excess sour cream and guacamole to stock the freezer, but if it’s going to go bad before you can enjoy it, go ahead and stick it in the freezer!

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

Hand pulling chip from nachos with cheese pull.
5 (1 rating)

Get the Recipe Vegetarian Nachos with Spicy Black Beans

These Vegetarian Nachos aren't your average nachos. Crispy tortilla chips, melty cheeses, protein-rich beans, and as many fresh toppings as your heart desires all baked until hot and bubbly. Plus, I'll teach you the perfect way to make sure there's flavor packed in every single bite!


Spicy Black Beans

Nacho Base

Toppings (as desired)

Additional Dips:


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 13×9 baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a large skillet, add oil and heat over medium. Add black beans, cumin, onion and garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, and 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. Remove from heat.
    2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil, 15 ounces black beans, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 lime
  • 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.
    10 ounces tortilla chips, 5 ounces cheddar cheese, 5 ounces pepper jack cheese, ¼ cup Jalapeno slices, ⅓ cup black olives, ⅓ cup red onion
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and top with additional fresh toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, scallions, and avocado sauce. Squeeze with another lime as desired. Serve with dips and enjoy!
    ½ cup fresh diced tomato, 1 cup romaine lettuce, ¼ cup cilantro, ¼ cup scallion, Avocado Sauce


  • Cheese: use any combination of cheese you like, but I do I recommend always buying blocked cheese and shredding yourself (either using a box grater or food processor). It melts better because it doesn’t have an anti-caking agent. Definitely worth the work, but pre-shredded will work if it’s what you have at home. 
Calories: 527kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 966mg, Potassium: 464mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1352IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 440mg, Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

By the Way…

This recipe is part of our easy vegetarian appetizer collection. Check it out!