The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

The ultimate fully-loaded vegan nachos with chili, black beans, roasted tomato salsa, refried beans, tomatoes, olives, onions, jalapeños, radishes, guacamole, and a gooey nacho sauce.

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.

Recipe Facts


Active: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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  • 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)
  • 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


  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. 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. 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. 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. 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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