Cheesy vegetarian nachos loaded with healthy veggies and black beans are a fabulous easy 25-minute weeknight meal! Baking them on a sheet pan is so simple, and it’s the perfect way to make sure every tortilla chip is crispy – not soggy – and loaded with the goods.
A drizzle of bright, flavorful homemade avocado-lime crema finishes off the veggie nachos once they’re out of the oven!
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Sheet Pan Baked Veggie Nachos
Is anyone else a HUGE nacho fan? They are definitely in my top 5 all time favorite foods.
There are so many things to love about sheet pan nachos. They make such a simple and yummy meal or snack, and really feel like a throw-together dish that doesn’t require advanced planning. (Same with this crock pot chicken enchiladas verde recipe!).
As a busy mom and dietitian, I’m always looking for nourishing main dish recipes that come together quickly for weeknights. That’s why sheet pan meals are a favorite of mine, and this one is especially perfect for when you’re short on time!
Plus, you can easily mix and match whatever vegetables and toppings you have on hand. Nachos are great for parties and gatherings, too, because you can easily make a lot of them (just use multiple sheet pans)!
I like my nachos extra loaded, with lots of bright ingredients. So I went heavy on the fresh and colorful toppings in this nachos recipe with black beans, diced bell pepper, and more deliciousness.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these loaded vegetarian nachos:
- tortilla chips (The sturdier, the better, for loading them up! You’ll need enough to cover the sheet pan with a bit of overlap.)
- black beans (I highly recommend using low sodium canned black beans, since nachos are plenty salty on their own.)
- bell pepper (Any color is fine!)
- red onion
- jalapeño pepper (Remove the seeds first if you don’t like much spice, or omit entirely.)
- shredded cheese (I highly recommend thick-shredded cheese, as it melts better for nachos. Cheddar Jack or Mexican-style blends are great cheese for nachos, but you can use your favorite!)
- salsa (You can make your own, or buy pre-made salsa.)
And for the avocado crema:
- avocado (Make sure it’s ripe! It should give a little when squeezed, but not too much. If it’s pretty soft, that means it’s overripe.)
- fresh cilantro
Keep in mind: this is a super versatile recipe! If you want to swap out certain veggies, beans, cheese, or even what sauce you drizzle on top – that’s totally fine. You do you!
How to Make Loaded Veggie Nachos on a Sheet Pan
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange tortilla chips on a lined sheet pan, in a single layer with a bit of overlap. (Parchment paper, foil, or a silicone baking mat are all great options for easy cleanup!).
Top the tortilla chips with black beans, diced bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeño.
Hot tip: I don’t typically saute/cook my bell peppers and onions before arranging them on the sheet pan, because I find it’s an unnecessary extra cooking step.
They get pretty tender while baking with the rest of the nachos, just be sure to dice them finely so they cook quickly!
Next, sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over everything, making sure to cover the chips and toppings well because obviously every single bite needs to have some cheese in it, am I right?!
Then, bake for 10-15 minutes, watching to prevent overcooking, until the cheese is melted.
While the nachos are baking, make the avocado crema. (See the next section for more on that.)
When the nachos are done baking, remove them from the oven and drizzle with avocado crema.
Lastly, add any additional toppings you like, such as salsa and cilantro. Then, enjoy!
If you’re making these vegetarian sheet pan nachos as a main dish, this will make around 3-4 servings per sheet pan (depending on the size). As an appetizer, each pan will serve around 6-8 people.
How to Make Avocado Crema
Avocado crema is super easy to make at home, and really elevates any Mexican-inspired dish!
You just blend together avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, salt, and 1/4 cup water until smooth. (It should be more drizzly than guacamole, similar in texture to ranch dressing).
To make drizzling easier, you can place the avocado crema in a zip-top bag, seal the zipper, and cut a small hole in the corner. This creates a makeshift piping bag for squeezing crema evenly over the nachos!
(This avocado lime crema is really similar, but less drizzly, if you prefer a thicker sauce.)
How to Make Oven Nachos Not Soggy
Here are a few tips to keep your nachos from getting soggy:
- Make sure your oven is fully pre-heated before baking the nachos. (That way, you’re cooking the nachos at the correct, high heat temperature for the correct amount of time).
- Be sure to fully rinse and drain your black beans before adding them to the tortilla chips.
- If you’re adding salsa on top, be sure to add it after cooking. Or, better yet, add the salsa as you eat (rather than dumping the salsa over the nachos).
- Buy thick, sturdy tortilla chips.
- Make sure to use a high quality cheese that melts well in the oven (see below for more details on the best types of cheese to use!).
The fact that this is a vegetarian nacho recipe (that doesn’t use ground meat) also helps keep the nachos from getting soggy!
What’s the best cheese for nachos?
Cheddar jack is my favorite cheese to use in nachos. It provides the sharpness of cheddar with the gooey melty-ness of monterey jack/pepper jack.
Mexican-style blends tend to include these two, plus one to two other gooey, melty cheeses, so they also work great!
If you can find pre-shredded cheddar jack or Mexican-style blends, look for the “farmstyle cut” or thick-shredded ones (if they’re available).
I find that the thickly-shredded cheese melts into a more gooey layer that coats the veggies, while finely shredded blends tend to create a thinner layer that cools and hardens quickly (and you don’t get that satisfying cheese pull).
If you’re shredding your own cheese, just shred on the larger holes of a box grater!
Queso fresco and cotija cheeses are delicious, but are best reserved for tacos or as a post-bake nacho topping. They both crumble and don’t get super melty (similar to feta), so they don’t glue all the toppings to the chips very well.
More Nacho Topping Ideas
While these nachos are already loaded, you can absolutely add more toppings! Here are some tasty ideas:
- sweet corn
- black olives
- a squeeze of lime juice
- plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- diced avocado
- diced raw zucchini (this won’t change the flavor and will add a little crunch, plus a veggie volume bonus)
However you choose to enjoy them, I hope they’re a hit! Gotta love having a super quick, delicious meal in your weeknight dinner repertoire. 🙂
You’ll find the full loaded vegetarian nachos recipe at the end of this post.
What are your favorite nacho toppings? Let me know in the comments!
Here are some more Mexican-inspired dishes to try:
- Instant Pot Mexican Chicken (or try this crockpot Mexican chicken version)
- Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
- ~8 oz sturdy tortilla chips (enough to cover the bottom of a sheet pan with some overlapping)
- 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced*
- 8 oz thickly shredded cheddar jack or Mexican-style blend cheese**
- 1/2 cup salsa (fresh/pico de gallo or jarred, optional)
For avocado crema:
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone baking mat.
- Arrange the tortilla chips in one layer on the sheet pan. Top with black beans, bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeño. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the chips and toppings.
- Bake nachos for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- While the nachos are baking, make the avocado crema: Scoop the avocado into a blender and add the lime juice, cilantro, garlic, salt, and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth and light in texture (it should be more drizzly than guacamole, closer to the texture of ranch dressing).***
- Remove the nachos from the oven and immediately top with the salsa, avocado crema, and extra cilantro. Serve immediately.
*I like the mild kick of thinly sliced jalapeños on my nachos. Be sure to slice them thinly, so they get tender in the oven and don't overpower with heat. You can also use jarred pickled jalapeños for a slightly milder kick, or omit them if you don't like any spice.
**The best types of cheese to use: Cheddar jack is my favorite cheese for nachos. It provides the sharpness of cheddar and the gooey meltiness of monterey jack/pepper jack. Mexican-style blends tend to include these two (plus one to two others), so they also work great! If using pre-shredded cheese, look for the "farmstyle cut" or thick-shredded ones (if they're available). Thickly-shredded cheese is better for melting over nachos. If you're shredding your own cheese, just shred on the larger holes of a box grater!
***If desired, pour the avocado crema into a disposable zip-top bag, seal the zipper, and cut a small hole in a corner of the bag - you can use this makeshift piping bag to drizzle the sauce over the nachos. I love this method for getting the crema evenly distributed. It's not quite thin enough to be pourable from a bowl, but spooning it over the nachos works too.
- I recommend using low sodium black beans here, because the end product can end up being pretty salty with regular canned black beans. But feel free to use what you have around. The key to getting black beans that don't dry out while baking is to layer them with the veggies under the cheese!
- I don't typically saute/cook my bell peppers and onions before arranging them, because I find it's an unnecessary extra cooking step. They get pretty tender while baking with the rest of the nachos, just be sure to dice them finely so they cook quickly!
- Nachos are also a great application for leftover veggies, so go ahead and pile on pre-cooked veggies if you have them left from another meal.
- When I'm making nachos in a pinch I usually top with jarred salsa. But homemade salsa or fresh pico de gallo from the refrigerated produce section really level it up. The simple salsa recipe here or salsa verde recipe here would be great!