Nachos! Everybody loves them, whether you get them in a Mexican restaurant, at a ball game, or make them in the microwave after a night of drinking. The combination of crunchy chips and creamy melted cheese, with a liberal embellishment of spice and salsa has all the elements that bring us back again and again. Luckily for the plant-based eaters, I’ve got a vegan nacho sauce that hits all the right notes to satisfy your nacho needs. Then we’ll shake it up a little with tangy Raspberry and Avocado Salsa, for a party in your mouth!
Vegan Nachos are All the Fun
For these purely plant-based nachos, I used pine nuts as the base. Pine nuts are already rich and creamy, and don’t need to be soaked to puree easily. They are also a healthy, whole food, so you can feel good about eating them. I used almond milk, but you can use your favorite non-dairy milk- just make sure it is unsweetened and plain. The “original” and plain versions of most non-dairy milks are quite sweet, and it’s a bit of a disaster when you make a cheezy sauce with sweet milk.
This recipes makes about 2 1/2 cups of “queso,” so you can save some to dip your chips in tomorrow, if you don’t need to eat it all tonight. It’s also very fun to use as a mexiacn mac and cheez sauce, or to pour over cooked veggies.
Explore Fruity Salsa
Once you have a solid queso recipe, all you need is a great salsa. Of course, you can open a jar and skip making it, in a pinch. But I love to make salsas with whatever is in season, and shake up the tomato salsa hegemony. Fruit need not always be in sweet desserts, and you’ll taste raspberries in a new light, when they are allowed to be tart. Avocado is also a fruit, and the creaminess of the green flesh adds to the overall “cheeziness” of these vegan nachos. A little cumin and some poblano chile makes it a fresh and flavorful salsa.
This summer, you deserve to gather with your (safely vaxxed) friends and have some festive food. If nachos were a part of your fun times before you got interested in plant-based eating, then this cheezy snack is exactly what you need to celebrate.
Party on, with plants!
Cheezy Nachos with Raspberry Avocado Salsa
- 1 cup fresh raspberries washed and patted dry
- 1 large avocado diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 medium poblano pepper diced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch salt to taste
- 8 ounces tortilla chips
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons champagne or rice vinegar
- 1 medijm tomato chopped and squeezed
- 1 large jalapeno seeded and minced
- In a medium bowl, place the raspberries, avocado, lime juice, poblano, mint, scallions, cumin and salt. Mix gently.
- Grind the pine nuts and garlic to a paste in a food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, and miso and puree to mix thoroughly. Reserve.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread tortilla chips on a heat safe platter. In a 2 quart pot, whisk the milk, cornstarch, oil and vinegar. Place over medium high heat and whisk constantly as it comes to a boil. When the sauce boils, reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes, then scrape into the processor with the pine nuts and puree to mix. When very smooth, transfer back to the saucepan, then stir in tomatoes and jalapeno. Stir over low heat just to warm, then take off the heat.
- Heat chips in the oven for about 5 minutes, or microwave. Drizzle sauce over warm chips and serve immediately with salsa.