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Appetizers/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Vegetarian Recipes

Veggie Nachos and Sriracha Beer Queso Recipe

Sriracha Beer Queso

Photos by Lindsey Johnson

The word “obsessed” is possibly one of the most overused words in the English language right now, so rather than saying I’m obsessed with the idea of a nacho bar party, I’ll say that I’m enthralled with the idea. I’m not sitting on my kitchen floor red-eyed with my knees pulled up to my chest, slowly rocking back and forth while babbling about black beans and queso, nor am I yelling “if I can’t have you, no one will!” at a plate of tortilla chips. But I’m really into the idea of throwing a party where everyone can assemble their own food with a variety of toppings—grilled cheese, tacos, burgers, there are so many possibilities!

Veggie Nacho Bar Party
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to assemble a DIY veggie nacho bar. Here’s the idea: everyone gets a plate that they can fill with tortilla chips. And then, the world is their oyster. You’ll have all different kinds of toppings set out on the table, so people can customize their nachos with whatever they like. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tortilla Chips // Get a few different types for variety—traditional white corn, blue corn and maybe even some of the ones made with vegetables, like sweet potato, beet or kale tortilla chips.
  • Salsa // Again, you’ll want to have more than one variety. Store-bought is fine, but it’s easy to make your own too—I love this Cucumber Mango Salsa recipe.
  • Guacamole and Sour Cream // Need I say more? If you have guests who are vegan, make a cashew-based sauce, like this Cumin-Lime Cashew Cream, as a sour cream alternative.
  • Cilantro, Sliced Green Onions, Jalapeños and Lime Wedges // These garnishes are essential for nacho-making. Unless you’re one of those freaky weird cilantro haters.
  • Beans // You can use rinsed beans right out of the can, but I like simmering black beans with a little salsa, cumin and smoked paprika to infuse them with flavor.
  • Fajita Veggies // It is a veggie nacho bar, after all! Quickly sauté some vegetables with fajita seasoning—a variety of peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and onions are perfect.
  • Queso // You could do shredded cheese or queso fresco, but then you’d have to find some way to melt the cheese. Queso is more practical! You can find a gazillion queso recipes online, some as easy as melting cheese in the microwave and stirring in canned tomatoes and chiles, but my favorite is my Sriracha Beer Queso.

The Sriracha Beer Queso, which you’ll find below, is something I whipped up a few years ago as a sauce for mac & cheese. But without the elbow noodles and with a little less liquid, it’s an ideal topping for nachos. You can make it as mild or spicy as you want—if heat isn’t your thing, start with a tablespoon of sriracha and work your way up from there. And if you like things extra spicy, swirl some additional sriracha over the top before serving.

Veggie Nacho Bar Party
If you’re planning on having everyone eat at the same time, you’ll be fine setting everything out on a table as-is. But if you’re going to leave the nacho bar out and let people come back to it throughout the party, fill a large tray with ice and put the cold toppings in there and use candle food warmers or small slow cookers to keep the warm toppings warm.

Sriracha Beer Queso

Sriracha Beer Queso

A spicy queso dip that's perfect for ladling over a plateful of nachos. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Warm Beer & Cheddar Dip.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup lager
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha + additional for serving
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions for serving optional


  • Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it's melted, whisk in the flour. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in the milk and beer, add the sriracha and whisk until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking until melted. Season with salt to taste. Transfer the cheese sauce to a bowl and swirl sriracha over the top, then garnish with green onions.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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  • Reply
    Lori @ RecipeGirl
    January 26, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    My family would go nuts for this queso! I will have to make it soon!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 26, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Such a great party idea, I love it!

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    January 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    My boyfriend and I are both huge sriracha and beer fans, so I bet we would LOVE that queso!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday
    January 26, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    That dip looks so glorious! Would be perfect for a party or get together! Can’t wait to make my own version!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I love the idea of veggie nachos. When I make nachos I usually try to stuff as many vegetables in there as I can get away with.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings
    January 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I have never thought of hosting a Nacho Party – Great idea for Superbowl Sunday!!!

  • Reply
    Joanne Bruno
    January 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I am equally enthralled with the idea of a DIY food party. I mean, what could be easier on the part of the host, OR more fun! All I have to say is it better include this queso or I will be severely disappointed.

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    February 1, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Amazing. I want to make a bucket of that queso and be left alone with it.

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