The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: You can use as many or as few of the toppings as you wish. High quality store-bought tortilla chips can be used in place of the fresh, but the chips will not stay crisp as long. For better results, cut the recipe for the vegetarian bean chili in half, omitting the kidney beans and using the full amount of chopped garbanzo beans for a chili with more uniform texture.

This recipe requires that you complete many other recipes before you begin. All recipes except for the guacamole can be completed several days in advance, leaving only the guacamole, fresh sliced vegetables, and layering for the final day just before serving. If using chilled pre-made toppings, warm them up in the microwave or on the stovetop before applying, or alternatively, build nachos in layers, placing them in the oven for five minutes to warm the toppings in between each layer.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 2 to 3 as a main course or 6 to 8 as an appetizer
Active time:15 minutes once ingredients are assembled (see note above)
Total time:20 minutes
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab: The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 16 fresh corn tortillas, stacked in groups of 8 and cut into 6 wedges each
  • 2 cups (about 1/6th of a full recipe) Vegetarian Bean Chili (see note above)
  • 2 cups (about 1/4 of a full recipe) Spicy Vegan Refried Beans
  • 2 cups (1 recipe) Vegan Nacho Sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 recipe) Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • 1/2 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh radishes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh picked cilantro leaves
  • 1 recipe The Best Basic Guacamole

Procedures

  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F. Add 1/3 or tortilla chips and cook, agitating and flipping them constantly with a wire mesh spider until bubbles slow to a trickle and chips are pale golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl, season with salt, and toss. Allow to drain for 30 seconds, then transfer to a second bowl. Repeat with remaining chips in two more batches.

  2. 2

    Layer 1/3 of chips in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or baking dish. Dollop with 1/3 of chili and 1/3 of refried beans. Drizzle with 1/3 of cheese sauce, then sprinkle with half of black beans.

  3. 3

    Layer with another 1/3 of chips. Dollop with 1/3 of chili and 1/3 of refried beans. Drizzle with 1/3 of cheese sauce, then sprinkle with remaining half of black beans.

  4. 4

    Layer with remaining 1/3 of chips. Dollop with 1/3 of chili and 1/3 of refried beans. Drizzle with 1/3 of cheese sauce. Transfer to oven and bake until edges of chips are well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

  5. 5

    Top with half of salsa, tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, radishes, scallions, onions, cilantro, and a big dollop of guacamole. Serve immediately with remaining salsa and guacamole on the side.

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