Healthy vegetarian nachos? Yes, it's possible! This Loaded Veggie Nachos recipe is topped with spicy, smoky portabella mushroom meat, veggies, and more.
Nachos: the staple food of teenage boys everywhere. It's not really the type of thing you eat as a meal once you've reached adulthood. If someone asks you what you had for dinner last night and you answer "Nachos," they're bound to make some unkind assumptions about you.
For example, they probably assume that you ate said nachos while sitting on a bean bag chair and using an overturned cardboard box as a table, a bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red by your side.
They might also imagine that this meal took place in front of an episode of Cops. These are the things people think about you if you tell them you eat nachos for dinner.
But nachos can be classy too! And you can make them without the neon orange cheese sauce and greasy taco meat.
Loaded Veggie Nachos are nachos that you can eat as a meal without shame or guilt. Instead of being loaded with bad things, they're loaded with (mostly) healthy and delicious things.
Vegetarian Nacho "Meat"
On the subject of greasy taco meat, I replaced that with coarsely chopped portobello mushrooms. I'm really not big into meat analogues, so I hated using the word "meat" in the name of this recipe, but I didn't know what else to call it.
I used this as the filling for my Baked Portobello Taquitos recipe too and I loved it so much that I made a mental note to try it with nachos.
I put the mushrooms in my food processor and pulse until they're chopped—coarsely, not finely, because you don't want mushroom paste!
After the mushrooms are chopped, I cook them in a skillet with smoked paprika and chipotle pepper to add a spicy, smoky flavor.
It doesn't look too tasty, I know, but trust me, this is good stuff.
Once you've got your mushroom meat all cooked up, you can go to town on your nachos. We topped ours with black beans, chopped tomatoes, Trader Joe's Corn and Chile salsa (the best salsa ever!), cilantro, sautéed zucchini and red peppers, and queso fresco.
If you tone down the chipotle, this is a great kid-friendly Meatless Monday meal too - set out bowls of toppings and let everyone assemble their own plate of nachos.
See? Nachos can be a totally acceptable meal. 😉
Portobello Mushroom Meat
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 portobello mushrooms chopped
- 1 tbsp canned chipotle pepper minced
- salt and pepper
Loaded Veggie Nachos
- tortilla chips
- Portobello Mushroom Meat
- black or pinto Beans
- shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco
- sautéed veggies like zucchini, green or red peppers, corn, etc.
- sour cream
- jalapeno peppers
- green onions
- chopped tomatoes
- anything else you like on your nachos!
Portobello Mushroom Meat
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, cumin, and paprika; cook 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms and chipotle and cook until liquid from mushrooms evaporates, about 8 minutes more.
- Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper.
Loaded Veggie Nachos
- Top tortilla chips with mushroom meat and other toppings.
Jad @ New South says
What a great idea for meatless nachos! I love the flavor of portobella mushrooms.
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh says
Man I haven't had nachos in a long time. Might have to take care of that soon!
Mmmm, now those are nachos that need no meat! I bet the portobellos give it fantastic flavour.
shelly (cookies and cups) says
This is the best invention ever. Mushroom nachos? It's like you can read my heart.
HA HA HA! No, brownies with an entire pecan pie in them is the best invention ever.
Love the meat substitution you used here. Mushrooms are a family favorite, and I never thought to add them to nachos.
mary @ what's cookin with mary says
Was going to make chicken enchi's for dinner tonight and may have to sub in mushroom meat. Everyone could use a meatless Monday around these parts.
You would probably have to make a LOT of it for enchiladas--the mushrooms cook down a great deal!
Brilliant! I've never thought about using portabella mushrooms this way. Can't wait to give this a try!
Kare @ Kitchen Treaty says
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing. The portabello "meat" is ingenious. I usually just pile on beans (and way too much cheese) - but I LOVE this idea.
We totally have nachos for dinner every couple of months. We call them "macho nachos" and load them up and I'm pretty sure "macho nachos" sounds infinitely worse, actually, than just plain "nachos." Hee!
Macho nachos--ha! I love it. 😀
[email protected]'s Recipes says
I am totally tempted with your vegetarian nacho!
Anna @ hiddenponies says
I could eat nachos every single day. Love this veggie version!
Oh my gosh! Kiersten, will you marry me?
HA! No, but I'll make you nachos. 🙂
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
yes please! My kids will go crazy over this!!
Jackie @ Domestic Fits says
Seriously. Nachos, portabellas and chipotle are the true loves of my live. Love this!
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
You know how I feel about mushrooms, so I gotta replace them with meat. (TABOO on your blog, I know.) I'll keep it on the down-low. 😉
Ha! I can't judge, there are a LOT of things that I refuse to eat. 🙂
Love the mushrooms "meat" recipe - great way to get that meaty flavor. My kids love nachos!
Lisa | With Style and Grace says
I've been on a nacho kick lately. love the idea of portabella mushroom meat!
You have just created lunch tomorrow. Yum.
My god that looks delicious!!
I really really love mushrooms, and i really really love them more when they are portobellos!
Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says
Mushrooms in nachos sounds pretty intriguing! I'm going to have to try this out - I love all of the vibrant colors, I can't imagine I'd even miss the meat! Yum!
Diane (createdbydiane) says
Looks great, I just LOVE nachos. Can't wait to try them with mushrooms next!
I love the idea of using mushrooms as a nacho topping! I haven't made nachos in a long time, but I do admit to having them for dinner on the occasional Friday night or Superbowl. I'm usually lazy though and just go with salsa, sour cream and cheese. These sound much more interesting! I'll have to keep an eye out for that salsa if I make another trip to Trader Joe's too
Definitely give it a try! It is so different--in a good way. 🙂 If you like corn, you will love it!
Michelle @ Find Your Balance says
What about avocado??? You left out my fave 🙂
Would you believe I've never actually had an avocado? Or guac? But yes, these would be good toppings too. 😀
I definitely think nachos can be a legitimate meal! And this reminds me I need to have them more often - next time with this mushroom meat, yum!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
Great party food and I like your mushroom "meat".