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I will always have the deepest respect for nachos:
The unabashed miscreants of the food world!
It’s one of those rare eating experiences when it’s completely normal, and highly encouraged, to be messy and careless.
The melted cheese and saucy toppings will coat your hands and mouth. Chopped tomatoes, beans, corn, and chip crumbs will fall everywhere on the table and floor. Splashes of salsa and sour cream will splatter all over your clothes, glasses, and hair.
Yup, we long-haired beauties can’t escape that fate.
But do we really care?
Not at all. We love the mess. We embrace the mess.
Because we know in just a few minutes, after devouring that huge platter like animals, it will all be over.
Might as well as enjoy it while it’s right in front of you.
If you’re craving a huge, messy plate of a freshly made appetizer, try my bright and colorful meatless take on this favorite food: loaded chili and lime jackfruit vegetarian nachos!
The jackfruit I’m using comes from the popular Chicago-based natural foods company Upton’s Naturals.
They offer delicious and natural alternatives to meat, and their products are sold in a variety of flavors, like chili lime and barbecue. Perfect for use as meat replacements in a variety of recipes, many vegetarians and vegans agree that prepared jackfruit is similar in texture to pulled pork.
Upton’s Naturals Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit, available on Amazon
The fruit’s meaty, tender texture is the perfect vegetarian substitute for recipes that are typically made with meat, like these loaded nachos.
And trust me, you won’t miss the meat! Try my recipe below to get a huge mouthful of big and bold flavors.Print
Let your party guests devour a huge plate of loaded chili lime jackfruit nachos, a vegetarian alternative with bright and bold flavors.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 10–11 oz prepared jackfruit (Chili Lime, or your favorite style)
- 1/2 bag (6.5 ounces) tortilla chips
- 1 15-ounce can drained black beans
- 1 6-ounce can drained black olives, sliced
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar cheese are fine)
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 cup salsa or pico de gallo
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes, sliced into wedges
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the jackfruit, and stir until softened and warmed, breaking up larger pieces, for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Spread the tortilla chips on the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Scatter the jackfruit over the nachos. Spread the beans, black olives, and corn kernels on top of the nachos. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the toppings.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted and starting to bubble. Remove from the heat.
- Add the other toppings: jalapeno, avocado, salsa, and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Nachos
- Method: Baking/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Appetizers
Keywords: vegetarian, nachos, tortilla chips, appetizers, meatless
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Open and drain the cans of beans and olives in a colander. Set out the chips, jackfruit, corn, and cilantro. Measure the shredded cheese and salsa or pico de gallo. Cut the jalapeno, avocado, and limes with a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board.
For the corn, you can use fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned and drained. Whatever you like best.
Set out a large cast iron skillet or other large, oven-safe pan.
If homemade is your game, skip the bag and make our recipe for homemade tortilla chips!
Step 2 – Saute
Heat the vegetable oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the jackfruit, and stir until softened and warmed. Break up any large pieces with the spoon. This will take just 5 minutes. Set aside.
Step 3 – Layer
Spread the tortilla chips on the bottom of the cast iron skillet.
Spread the cooked jackfruit on top of the nachos. Then, add the beans, black olives, and corn kernels on top. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over all of the toppings. Get the cheese in all the exposed cracks and crevices to get ooey-gooey goodness in every layer!
Step 4 – Melt
Place the skillet in the heated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted and staring to bubble. Remove from the heat.
Step 5 – Garnish and Serve
As soon as the skillet comes out of the oven, quickly top it with the cold garnishes: jalapeno, avocado, salsa, and cilantro.
Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side. Squeeze the lime on your nachos whenever you want a burst of bright acidity. Enjoy!
Build Your Own Mix of Toppings
Don’t just limit yourself to what I suggest in this recipe. Create your own mix of tasty toppings!
Sliced green onions, sour cream, pickled veggies, seared tofu chunks – options are pretty much endless. Choose a fun combination of your favorite vegetarian ingredients. Everyone for your next game day party will love devouring this. Heck, you can even put all of the toppings on a pizza for another fun alternative.
If you want a completely vegan dish, it’s easy! Simply substitute vegan cheese, and you have yourself an animal-free appetizer to enjoy.
Who loves messy finger foods? What will be your combination of ingredients to mix on top of your nachos? Let me know by writing a comment below, after you rate this recipe!
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.