These loaded Vegetarian Nachos piled high with sautéed onions and peppers, pinto beans, and sweet corn are smothered with a creamy green chili cheese sauce.
A great snack for at home movie night, the secret to making the perfect plate of nachos is using sturdy restaurant-style tortilla chips. With all the good stuff on these veggie nachos, you need a chip that will hold up without getting soggy.
Vegetarian Nachos with Green Chili Cheese Sauce
One of my very favorite restaurant appetizers is the “endless” chips and salsa at Chili’s Grill and Bar restaurant. Seriously, I just can’t help myself and my poor family struggles to get their fair share. It’s the same way with movie popcorn, but that’s another story!
My chip sharing problem is solved when we make nachos at home by building nachos in disposable aluminum pie pans for individual servings (or for easier sharing between just two people).
- Restaurant-style tortilla chips — avoid using thin chips for the best results
- Red and green bell peppers
- Canned pinto beans (or black beans), rinsed and drained well
- Canned whole kernel corn, drained
- Green onions
- Pickled jalapeño slices
- White American cheese — I buy a big block at the deli counter
- Milk — for the cheese sauce
- Diced green chilies
To make these nachos even heartier, add cooked chicken or ground beef seasoned with taco spices.
Green chili cheese sauce
The cheese sauce is made from deli white American cheese, a little milk, and a can of diced green chilies. I buy my cheese at the deli counter and just ask for a big block, not slices, and cut it into cubes myself.
Melt the cheese with milk and a can of diced green chilies over low heat until creamy. That’s it — a delicious cheese sauce with just three ingredients!
Veggie nachos in aluminum pans
The beauty of making these nachos in individual pans is that you can let each person build their own nachos using the ingredients they like best.
Put a layer of chips in the bottom of the pans and add peppers, onions, beans, and corn. Drizzle with some cheese sauce and repeat — piling the plates as high as you like.
Once the layering is complete, pop the pans into the oven for just a few minutes to get it all nice and hot. Last, top the nachos with diced fresh tomato, green onions, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño slices.
We like making the nachos in the individual pans, but of course this recipe can be made in one large pan as well. Enjoy, friends, and Happy Cinco de Mayo!
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- 1/2 pound white American cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 small can green chilis
- Restaurant-Style tortilla chips, not thin chips
- 1 medium sweet onion, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 green pepper, julienned
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 15.5-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or black beans)
- 1 8.5-oz. can sweet whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- Pickled jalapenos
- Cut cheese into cubes and place in a medium saucepan with the milk and green chilis. Melt together over low heat, stirring often, about 7-8 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, saute onion and peppers in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are tender and the peppers begin to have a bit of char.
- To assemble the nachos, place a thin layer of chips on individual aluminum pie pans, a pizza pan, or a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1/3 cheese sauce.
- Add a layer of onions and peppers, 1/2 of the beans, and 1/2 of the corn. Add another layer of chips and repeat all layers (cheese, sauteed vegetables, beans, and corn) and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and garnish with diced tomato, green onions, cilantro, and jalapenos, if desired.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 1214mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 19g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!