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BBQ Black Beans Vegan Nachos
Looking for new and interesting vegan dinner options? Then you’ve got to check out these BBQ Black Bean Vegan Nachos!
Yes, I know… nachos for dinner? Think about it though — there’s something really appealing about enjoying a meal comprised solely of snacks, isn’t there? And these vegan nachos are far healthier than their traditional counterpart. They feature slow-simmered, fiber-loaded bbq black beans and Vitamin A packed sweet potatoes. And that creamy “cheese” sauce? That’s 100% homemade, plant-based vegan cashew cream sauce. The party doesn’t stop there though! As you can see, these vegan nachos have achieved fully loaded nacho status. Read on!
Skip the Meat! BBQ Black Beans Make the Ultimate Vegan Nachos!
One of the best parts of these vegan nachos are the bbq black beans. They are deeply flavorful — the result of being slow-simmered until the barbecue sauce reduces and the beans become soft. An ingredient like this might sound time-consuming or tricky, but it’s actually really easy. These bbq beans take about 15 minutes to pull together. They’re a simple combination of sautéed onions & garlic, black beans and vegan bbq sauce (Annie’s Naturals Organic Original BBQ Sauce is vegan).
Vegan Cooking with Black Beans
If you’re new to vegan cooking, you might not be too familiar with cooking with black beans. Also known as black turtle beans, these legumes are most often associated with Mexican fare. You’ll find them in my Deconstructed Vegan Tamale Recipe with Jackfruit and my Black Bean & Sweet Potato Vegan Enchiladas. Black beans though, can also be found throughout the rest of the world’s cuisine. Cajun, Creole, Jamaican (check out my Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit with Fresh Mango Salsa), Indian and Chinese food all have recipes that feature black beans. And for good reason.
Black beans are high in protein, fiber and B vitamins. They’re low on the glycemic index which means that eating black beans won’t lead to a spike in blood sugar. Instead they provide a steady source of fuel. They’re flavor is mild with a meaty texture — making them a vegan darling for almost any dish.
Black beans can be purchased dry or canned. I often use canned black beans as a time-saver. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, they’ll be soft and ready to add to your favorite burrito or as a topping to your tacos. I always drain and rinse canned beans to reduce the sodium in my final dish. If you opt for dried black beans, just know that you have to plan ahead. They need to soak for at least 8 hours before you can cook them in accordance with a recipe.
Making a Vegan Cheese Sauce for These Vegan Nachos
Even I can understand that the highlight of any plate of nachos is the cheese. All that baked ooey-gooey-ness. That being said, I don’t really miss it now that I have this cashew vegan nacho cheese recipe dialed in. The blended cashews make it super rich and creamy – a healthier alternative to dairy cheese. And, the nacho flavor comes from simple ingredients like red onions, tomato paste and brown mustard. All items that you likely already have in your refrigerator.
To the new vegan cook, making vegan cheese may sound daunting. After all, cheese is something that’s typically aged and no one’s got time for that. Of course, some vegan cheese options do take time. However, this vegan cashew cheese is an exception to the rule. Cashews are a naturally soft nut, making them an easy conquest for a high-speed blender. Just soak them in hot water for 30 minutes before blending and you’ll be well on your way to welcoming dairy-free cheese into your life.
Some Special Touches on These Vegan Nachos
I like my vegan nachos fully loaded. Fully-loaded in terms of ingredients, but also fully loaded with flavor. And I mean all five senses. To me, the perfect plate of nachos should be a combination that is mostly savory with a healthy dose of salty. I don’t like to stop there though. My dream vegan nachos also include some heat, a little bit of tanginess and just a hint of sweetness. So how do I achieve all that?
I’ve already described where these vegan nachos find their savory. The slow-simmered BBQ black beans, the creamy avocado and the vegan cashew cheese have that flavor sensation covered. Salty comes from the tortilla chips, the toasted pumpkin seeds and the quick-pickled red onions which is also where I find the bit of tanginess. Spicy, which actually isn’t a flavor sensation but a chemical reaction (see my Chile De Arbol recipe if you’re interested in reading up on that), comes from the pan-fried jalapeños. And finally… sweetness. I definitely don’t want too much, but the hint of sweetness in this vegan nachos recipe is from the roasted sweet potatoes and the molasses and brown sugar in the barbecue sauce.
Is your mouth watering yet?
What’s In My Kitchen to Make This Vegan Nachos Recipe Easier?
Want to know what tools and resources I keep on hand to make my vegan cooking even easier? Here’s a short list of what helped me create this blog post and recipe. For the complete list, visit my Shop where you can find the kitchen gadgets I like as well as a list of books that I recommend.
Before I get into cooking, I want to share these napkins. I found these on Etsy over a year ago and, not only do I LOVE them, I buy them as gifts for nearly everyone I know.
These napkins are upcycled and reusable, allowing you to not only avoid throwing away paper products but to also reuse fabrics – a small but significant way to cut back on water, dyes and chemicals used in the production process.
These napkins are so darling (they come in lots of different patterns and colors) and they’re machine washable. I just throw them in with whatever load of laundry I’m doing. They don’t wrinkle easily, so a quick fold will have them back on your table doing what they were meant to do… be reused!
No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But, I own this set of Global™ knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.
Down a broiler pan? These aluminum baking sheets come highly recommended by the cooks who know best – Epicurious, Cooks Illustrated and Food & Wine. I bought mine because I needed a good, sturdy baking sheet to use under the broiler. One that wouldn’t warp – and this one lives up to the task.
Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so these baking sheets cook evenly. They’re also light in color, so they discourage over-browning.
It’s true – a Vitamix is an expensive blender. But, oh! The things it can do and do well. If you’re interested in getting more into vegan cooking, or you just want to eat healthier, then I think that this is a must-have kitchen tool. I use my Vitamix daily for breakfast smoothies and it really gets the job done when making vegan cheeses.
There are many versions of the Vitamix on the market. This is the version that I have.
Love to cook with cast iron? Ever forget how hot those handles get? Yeah, me too. The Ove Glove will help to protect your hands when cooking (and forgetting).
These pot holders are heat safe to 540 degrees and two come in a package – one for holding the handle and one for supporting the bottom of your cast iron skillet (because we all know it’s too heavy to pick up with one hand).
I only bought one of these a few months ago, but wow! I’m so much happier not peeling garlic cloves with my fingernails. I’m pretty sure I’ll collectively get at least a day of my life back because of this device.
BBQ Black Bean Vegan Nachos
Looking for the best vegan nachos recipe? This plant-based nachos recipe is tasty and easy, featuring bbq black beans, roasted sweet potatoes and a cashew cheese sauce spiked with healthy nacho flavors! Better yet, these vegan nachos are of the fully loaded variety, with pickled red onions, charred jalapeños, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh lime!
For the Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp safflower oil
For the BBQ Black Beans
- 1 tbsp safflower oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onions
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic minced
- 1 cup vegan BBQ sauce I like Annie's Naturals Original Organic BBQ Sauce
- 2 14 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
For the Cashew Cream Nacho Cheese
- 1 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp yellow miso paste
- 1 tbsp brown mustard
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup red onion roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400º.
Wash and dice the sweet potatoes into small bite-sized pieces. Toss in 1 tbsp of safflower oil and roast for 15 minutes, pausing to flip the sweet potatoes halfway through.
While the potatoes are roasting, heat a medium sized sauce pan. Add 1 tbsp safflower oil and heat until shimmering. Add the chopped yellow onions and salt and reduce the heat to medium-low. Sauté until the onions begin to brown. About 10-12 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
Add the barbecue sauce, black beans and water. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Then simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened and the beans are soft. About 10 additional minutes.
Drain and rinse the cashews and combine them with the water, tomato paste, miso paste, brown mustard, nutritional yeast, red onion, lemon juice and garlic. Blend until smooth.
Heat up a small skillet and add 1/2 tbsp safflower oil. When shimmering, add the sliced jalapeños. Fry the jalapeños until bright green and charred. Remove the jalapeños from the skillet and drain any excess oil by resting them on a paper towel.
Prepare a baking sheet with tortilla chips. Top with the BBQ black beans and roasted sweet potatoes. Drizzle on the cashew cream vegan nacho cheese sauce. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, pumpkin seeds and pickled red onions. Bake until hot. About 10 minutes.
Garnish with diced avocado and torn cilantro.
About Herbivore’s Kitchen
Herbivore’s Kitchen is a blog run by me, a plant-based home chef and aspiring food photographer. I switched my and my family’s diet to a plant-based diet after learning about the health benefits of going vegan. Making this change has prompted a variety of food and holistic-lifestyle related questions that I explore through this blog. I talk about how to pick and prepare the most nutritious foods, to how to reduce waste at home, to how to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on the road.