We can’t be friends if you don’t love nachos. I really, really freaking love nachos. Id say nachos and asian noodle soups are tied for the lead for my favorite ‘meal’. Pineapple gets the lead for real whole food favorite though. But whatever. Who cares about the amount that I love nachos. The important thing is that you give me nachos everyday (or often would be nice). Like a lot of the foods we eat in our household, we just sort of combine a few things to create a meal, no real recipe required. But since I get asked, “how do you make vegan nachos?” A LOT, I felt I needed to put together a post so I could stop explaining and just send me people a link 😉  And so voila, this is a “you can stop asking, here is how we make our stupid easy tray of nachos post.”

But also, let me say: I get it. The idea of nachos without cheese is a tough idea to wrap your brain around. It’s wired into our brain that nachos NEED junky shredded cheese to actually be nachos. I lived with this way of thinking for years and year. Fun fact: I also gained 30 something pounds by living this way one year (but there was also the addition of wine and pasta that did not help my situation. But now, I could never, ever imagine living this way. Before I went vegan (I was vegetarian) I was more addicted to cheese than anyone I knew. My roommates and I would shop individually. They would each by a normal sized bag of cheese for themselves for the week. And I would legit buy a family sized bag… just for me. And I lived this way for years (and had a slew of digestive problems and sinus infections thanks to this), until I finally was able to break my addiction.

And yes, cheese addiction is a real thing. If you didn’t already know this, then you should give it a google. The chemicals in cheese make your brain want it, need it (oh baby oh baby). And it takes about a good two weeks of not eating  dairy to stop craving it. But once you can get past the first two horrendous weeks of craving cheese, man it feels good. Say goodbye to sinus infections, heart burn, constipation, etc.

But anyway, I didn’t create this post to give anyone a cheese lecture. #NOTTHEPLAN. I just want you guys to know that I completely understand if the idea of nachos without cheese sounds scary or terrible. Because at one point, I totally thought this too. But it’s not terrible, I promise. We’ve tried this “recipe” out on countless friends and family with great success. It was even a hit with a table full of kids (four steak eating, cheese loving kids). Well one kid hates avocado, but otherwise: success! No one misses the cheese with this dish. Promise.

So let’s have at it, yeah? Vegan nachos: let’s do ittttt.

Super Easy Vegan Nachos

You’ll need:
-One bag of tortilla chips
-One package of refried beans (about 13 – 15 ounces of refried beans).
-Two to three plum tomatoes, cubed
-A handful of cilantro chopped
-Two to three avocados, cubed
-A few leaves of romaine, thin sliced
-Green onion, sliced
-Optional: a bit of thinly sliced red onion
-Optional: nutritional yeast

How to:
-Turn on oven to 450F
-Lay out tortilla chips on a sheet tray
-Prep all your veggies! It’s like, super easy and takes all of two seconds. Give everything a good dice and chop.
-Take a spoon and scoop out even-ish piles of refried beans onto your tortilla chips. THIS WILL NOT LOOK PRETTY. Just be okay with that. I like to sprinkle on nutritional yeast on here too, but that’s totally optional. You could also mix in some nutritional yeast in with the beans before you plop it on. I mean, hey, you could even make your own refried beans! But we’re not here to make this a complicated recipe. This is supposed to be a stupid easy quick family meal, so maybe just skip all that.
-Place tray in oven and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until chips become golden brown*
-Remove tray from oven and layer on your goods! First the tomatoes, then red onion (if using), lettuce, green onion, and cilantro
-And voilà: NACHOS!!!

*I actually like to put the tomatoes in the oven too. And/or layer on hot sauce on this step too. But when eating nachos with Marlowe (the norm), hot sauce is not an option. But when it comes to adding the tomatoes it’s up to you: How do you prefer tomatoes? Cooked or raw? Tough choice I know.

Oh and a squirt of lime is always delicious too.

See, not pretty. But so good.

We’re super fancy and serve on plates, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that we start munching as soon as it comes out of the oven. Nom nom nom.

And there you have it, a ridiculously easy meal! And delicious!  And I mean, sure it’s not like, a health food by any means, but it’s not the worst thing for you either! Even if you love dairy, try these vegan dairy free nachos out! You should be pleasantly surprised at how much you love them 🙂

Try these nachos out this week and let me know how it goes! It’s only Monday so I expect a full report by the end of the week. Thanks 🙂 Cheers friends!

Want more recipes? Check them out here!


  1. Meghan Campbell

    Drea! Love this recipe, thanks so much. We made it tonight. My daughter, Ruby, was absolutely unconvinced to even try it until I casually mentioned that “Marlowe, the little girl from Florida” (that I sometimes tell her stories about) loves it. Ha ha. She was into it 👍 We enjoyed it for sure. I’ve been vegan since May and these recipes are magic to me.. so appreciated!! Love being able to enjoy old fave foods. The photo was taken in dim light (dark up here in Canada in the evenings!) but you ge the idea. Delish. Stay warm up North, friends! Hugs!