Vegan Loaded Nachos with Cashew Cheese Sauce
If you’re a nacho lover like me, you’ll want to try these vegan loaded nachos! They’re perfect for a shared plate with family and friends to impress a crowd for little effort.
Start with a base of restaurant-style tortilla chips, followed by a black beans sauce, a creamy cashew cheese sauce, and topped off with red onions, cilantro, smashed avocado, gherkins, and olives.
They take only 25-minutes to make and use minimal ingredients for maximum flavour — a win-win situation!
If you love nachos but have felt like it’s just not the same without cheese, then I have some good news for you.
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The creamy, rich, and easy vegan nacho cheese I’ve created for this recipe is the perfect way to complete your nacho experience.
You won’t miss the cheese at all. In fact, this is even better!
Since these nachos aren’t baked, you’ll still get that creamy, melt-in-your-mouth flavour without feeling disappointed with the vegan cheese that just doesn’t cut it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good vegan cheese, but they vary so much and can be a letdown at times. So making your own creamy goodness to go with these vegan nachos is the way to go!
If you make the entire batch of the cashew cheese sauce, you’ll have some extra. It can be used in so many other things! Try it on tacos, over steamed veggies, baked potatoes, quesadillas, burritos, burgers, just to name a few.
What’s in these vegan loaded nachos?
These nachos have comfort meal satisfaction but are made healthier! Here’s what you’ll find:
Tortilla chips – ideally use a sturdy chip that will carry your toppings and not go soggy under them. You can buy good-quality chips from Mexican restaurants, specialty stores, or look for them in your local supermarket. Double-check that they’re thick and look like they can carry some weight behind them. I got mine from my local bulk food store. Either that or even just plain old corn chips will do the trick. When I’m feeling lazy, this is what I use and just accept that extra soggy chip or two at the end.
Beans – the black beans and fire-roasted red peppers with spices in a quick tomato sauce. The perfect protein addition that will also help keep you fuller. You can swap out the black beans for pinto or kidney (red) beans. For extra creaminess, mash your beans at the end to resemble refried beans.
Cashew cheese sauce – this is the hero on the plate. It adds a beautifully rich and creamy flavour and compliments the beans and toppings really well. It’s made of cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, a vegan sriracha hot sauce, smoked paprika, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and salt.
Smashed avocado – this adds an extra element of creaminess and good quality fat to these nachos. You can’t have nachos without avocados in my opinion. If you don’t want to mash it, you can slice it and add it on top.
Cilantro and red onion – they brighten up the meal and add a touch of colour and different flavours. We eat with our eyes first, after all!
Gherkins and olives – they compliment the dish beautifully and add balance to the overall meal. Another wonderful addition are pickled red onions. Mine is the lazy person version with just straight red onion ha!
That’s it! You can add a squeeze of lime to it if you like a bit more zing or other ingredients that I’ve listed below.
Other toppings you can use on these veggie loaded nachos
I’ve deliberately kept these nachos simple but still super delicious. You can keep it as is or add some other wonderful toppings that can often be found on nachos. You can customise them to your liking. Here’s some inspiration!
- Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
- Hot sauce
- Pickled red onions
- Green onions
- Vegan sour cream
- Other beans like kidney (red) or pinto beans
Tips for making the best veggie nachos recipe
- Always assemble the nachos fresh. The beans and cashew cheese can be made ahead of time, however, I would make the smashed avocado fresh put it together just before serving. If making the beans and sauce ahead of time, add a little bit of water to loosen the consistency before plating up. I would reheat the beans before adding.
- It’s best to choose a sturdy, thick tortilla chip for nachos. You don’t want soggy chips that have collapsed under all your toppings. For extra crunch, you can quickly bake the chips on high heat in the oven, however, I don’t find this step so crucial as they’ll most likely be cold again by the time you finish putting it all together. You do you though!
- This recipe is a guide, you can adjust it to your liking with the suggested additions above. I would, however, not swap out the beans and cashew cheese in this recipe. These are the main flavour carriers.
- For extra spice, add jalapeños, hot sauce or salsa to the cashew cream. I think that the sriracha adds a good amount of heat, but adjust to your flavour preference.
This recipe will quickly become a favourite, and you’ll have weekly nacho night like we do a little too often!
It’s a great throw together meal that can also be made as a crowd-pleasing appetiser! You can easily scale this recipe up by doubling or tripling it.
Make it for a birthday party, Cinco de Mayo, game day, or any other get-together.
These loaded vegan nachos are:
- Easy to make
- Perfect for a party or a weeknight dinner
Other delicious recipes you’ll love:
- Smokey Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Bruschetta Toppings Done Four Ways
- 20-Minute Creamy Vegan Red Pepper Pasta
- 5-Ingredient Vegan Guacamole
If you try this recipe, let me know! We’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest.Print
Vegan Loaded Nachos with Cashew Cheese Sauce
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2*
These easy and delicious vegan loaded nachos with cashew cheese sauce are the ultimate comfort food! Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a shared plate for friends and family.
Cashew cheese sauce:
- 1 cup / 140g raw cashews
- ¼ cup / 23g nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon vegan sriracha hot sauce (or other hot sauce)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped (from a jar, about ¾ cup)
- 1 can / 400g / 14.10 ounces black beans, drained and washed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup / 250g passata / crushed tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Lime wedge
- 300g / 10.58 ounces tortilla chips*
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Black olives, pitted and chopped in half (we used kalamata)
- Gherkins / pickles, chopped
- Cilantro / coriander
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Soak the raw cashews in boiled water for 15 minutes. Then drain.
- To make the beans: While the cashews are soaking, make your beans. To a skillet on medium-high heat, add all the bean ingredients and ⅓ cup / 80ml of water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
- To make the cashew cheese sauce: While the beans cook, add the drained cashews and the rest of the cashew cheese sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender along with ½ cup / 120ml of water and blend on high until you get a creamy and smooth cheese sauce. If you find that it’s still a little too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water at a time in between blending until you’ve reached the right consistency.
- To make the smashed avocado: To a small bowl, add the avocado and mash it well, mix it with the salt and squeeze in the juice of the wedge of lime.
- To assemble: To a large plate or flat tray, do a thin layer to the tortilla chips, followed by dollops of the beans, then drizzle over the cashew cheese sauce, followed by all the toppings. Generous dollops of the smashed avocado, onion, olives, gherkins, cilantro, and lastly, lime wedges for extra zing if wanted. Serve straight away.
Tortilla chips: Choosing a sturdy, thick tortilla chip for nachos is best. You don’t want soggy chips that have collapsed under all your toppings. You can quickly bake the chips on high heat in the oven for extra crunch. However, I don’t find this step so crucial as they’ll most likely be cold again by the time you finish putting it all together.
Best made fresh – Always assemble the nachos fresh. The beans and cashew cheese can be made ahead of time. However, I would make the smashed avocado fresh put it together just before serving. If making the beans and sauce ahead of time, add some water to loosen the consistency before plating up. I would reheat the beans before adding.
Adjust to your liking – This recipe is a guide. You can adjust it to your liking with the suggested additions earlier in the post. I wouldn’t, however, swap out the beans and cashew cheese in this recipe. These are the main flavour carriers.
Like heat? The sriracha adds a good amount of heat but adjust it to your preference. Add jalapenos, hot sauce, or some spicy salsa to the cashew cream for extra spice.
Yield: This serves two as a main meal or four as a snack or appetiser.
Cashew cheese sauce recipe: This recipe makes double what you will use, so you can enjoy it on other dishes like tacos, over steamed veggies, baked potatoes, quesadillas, burritos, burgers, just to name a few.
- Diet: Vegan