I don’t know about you, but I used to find something so satisfying about that fake, nacho cheese you can get with chips at a baseball stadium or rollerskating rink. Obviously, this “cheese” sauce is probably one of the worst things you can eat. Is it even food? I don’t really know, but somehow the mystery made it taste even better.
Now that I’ve been awakened to what real food is, I no longer crave fake nacho cheese. I crave the nacho “cheese” sauce listed in the recipe below. If you’re a vegan meal plan subscriber and/or a regular reader of this blog, you may recognize the ingredients from our *amazing* vegan mac & cheese recipe. Here, we added just a touch of heat to give it that spicy flare a plate of loaded nachos deserves.
You’ll also notice we opted for sweet potato crisps over corn tortilla chips you can buy in a bag at the store. You can absolutely make this recipe without sweet potatoes! We just wanted to offer a healthy alternative, because that’s what we’re all about.
Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
Sweet potato crisps
4 long, skinny sweet potatoes, washed and sliced ¼-inch rounds
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nacho “cheese” sauce
1/3 cup earth balance
2 Tbsp. shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked
2 tsp. sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne, optional
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup fresh pico de gallo or salsa
1 large avocado, pit removed and diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the sweet potato rounds on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. You may need to use two baking sheets depending on how many sweet potato rounds you have, as you don’t want to overcrowd them.
- Drop sweet potato rounds in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss, coating each piece evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Arrange sweet potato rounds in a single layer (without overlapping) on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue to bake, checking every few minutes until just brown and crispy, about another 8 minutes or so. Remove crisps from the oven and transfer to a large serving platter.
- To make your nacho “cheese” sauce, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
- Add the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup Earth Balance, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, paprika and cayenne to a blender along with the cooked vegetables and cooking water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle the nacho “cheese” sauce atop the sweet potato crisps, followed by the toppings of your choice. We like black beans, corn, chopped green onion, cilantro, pico de gallo and diced avocado. Serve warm.
You’re going to have quite a bit of “cheese” sauce leftover after you fully smother your sweet potato crisps. Don’t let it go to waste! We suggest trying it with our Loaded Baked Potatoes or Scalloped Potatoes.