The Ultimate Vegan Nachos

Oozy, cheesy, loaded vegan nachos everyone loves. When you need a nacho fix, this is how you should roll. At least once. Nachos are always a crowd pleaser, and this is no exception.

The Ultimate Vegan Nachos

Let's do nachos today. I know the title says vegan nachos, but whether you're vegan or not, when you need a nacho fix, this is how you should roll. At least once. Just to see if you like them. I mean, nachos are always a crowd pleaser, and this is no exception, I promise. Chances are, you won't even miss the classic cheese bomb version. On the flip side, your body will thank you because the "cheese" in this version is non-dairy, vegan, packed with beneficial spices, cashews, garlic, and grated sweet potatoes, and lasts up to a week refrigerated.

The Ultimate Vegan Nachos - version #1

All About the Cheese

Sweet potato nacho cheese is a thing for good reason, it behaves a lot like a classic nacho cheese, it's the right color even, but(!) it's arguably more delicious, and made from natural ingredients. I incorporate a bunch of short-cuts in my version to speed things along, like grating the sweet potato. Also, if you make the sauce a day or two ahead of time, you can have a pan of nachos ready to go in a flash. Ready? Let's do this.

How to Get the Toppings Right

I'm including two different versions here. Option one is your typical pile-it-on semi-classic approach (pictured above): baked tortilla chips, black beans, sweet potato nacho cheese, olives, salsa, guacamole, chiles, etc. The other? Option two (pictured below) is what I like to think of as my hippie version: baked tortilla chips, sweet potato nacho cheese, chickpeas, roasted broccoli, guacamole, hemp seeds, pickled serrano chiles. The only things that would make it more hippie-ish would be to sprinkle it with nutritional yeast, and perhaps do a green version of the cheese (which I've considered ;)...

Make Them Substantial

If you're trying to make a meal out of the nachos, a good approach is to pile them high with an added sheet pan of simple, roasted vegetables. Broccoli and cheese is a classic combo (that even a lot of kids like), so I tend to go that route, but experiment! Roast a pan of vegetables while you're making the cheese. Easy.

The Ultimate Vegan Nachos - version #2

Choosing Your Chips

Is it me, or are baked tortilla chips increasingly hard to find? I look for baked chips (and sometimes fail). And/or ones with added heirloom corn, added quinoa, maca, or made from greens, etc. I also look for lightly-salted (some are SO salty!).

Uses for Your Extra Nacho Cheese

Any extra cheese is also tops as a sandwich spread, crudité dip, or keep it on hand anytime you're grilling or roasting.

Oven to Table Convenience

Bake and serve your nachos on the same plate (or pan). I use an oven-proof platter here. A baking sheet or sheet pan also works. It makes it simple to go from oven to table. Pile as many chips as you like on your platter/pan, top with beans, top with cheesy dollops, and bake for a few minutes. Don't worry that they don't look particularly nice, everything changes when you add your finishing toppings! No need to dirty another plate.

More Vegan Recipes

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

The Ultimate Vegan Nachos

4.85 from 13 votes

  • 5-6 big handfuls of baked tortilla chips
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 cup sweet potato vegan nacho cheese (recipe below)
  • 1 ripe avocado
Variation #1 toppings (classic-ish):
  • any/all of the following - sliced olives, chopped scallions, cilantro, chopped red onions, pickled serranos chiles*, favorite salsa
Variation #2 toppings (hippie-ish):
  • swap chickpeas for the black beans, roasted broccoli, guacamole, cilantro, hemp seeds, pickled serrano chiles*
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, arrange the chips on an oven-proof baking sheet or platter. Top with the beans and dollops of the cheese (you'll have leftover). Bake for ten minutes or so, until the beans and cheese are heated through. In the meantime, in a small bowl, smash the avocado with a fork and a pinch of salt. When warm, remove the chips from the oven, top with the avocado, and any other toppings you like.
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Sweet Potato Vegan Nacho Cheese

4.47 from 13 votes

You can skip soaking the cashews if you have a high-speed blender. Use a box grater to grate the sweet potatoes.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 cup grated orange-fleshed sweet potato
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for an hour
  • 1 cup water, if needed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, 3-5 minutes. Add the paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle, and cook for another minute. Stir in the sweet potatoes, cashews, and water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender, add the lemon juice, and blend until completely smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add water a splash at a time to thin consistency if needed. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.


*Pickled Serrano Chiles: I keep these on hand at all times! Slice 8 (or more!) Serrano chiles 1/8th-inch thick and place in 2 cups of white vinegar in a Mason jar. Use the chiles w/in a week or two. You can use the vinegar for weeks after that in dressings, on lettuce wraps, and rice bowls.

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment

Recipe Rating


To Folks w nut allergies try subbing hemp seeds and or raw sunflower seeds or a combo Has worked for me You can give a brief soak


    Thanks Mandy!

    Heidi Swanson

Would love to make a double batch: one for now, one for later! Does the sweet potato cheese freeze well? Seems like it would.


These look amazing! Idk how I've never heard of sweet potato cheese sauce before... can't wait to try it.


Any reason I couldn’t swap this in as the sauce sauce in your quick vegan enchiladas (tweaking the spicing to parallel that in the enchilada recipe)? E.g., any reason to think that soaked/blended cashews wouldn’t respond well to baking?


    Hi Dyana - I think it is well worth a shot! :)

    Heidi Swanson

Delicious! Will definitely make this one again.

Dan the Giant Vegan

Made these last night for a group of non-vegan friends and it was a hit! I added about 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce to the sweet potato nacho sauce instead of the pepper in adobo (didn't have it) and added a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast for a more "cheesy" flavor. It turned out amazing. I roasted red peppers, small tomatoes, eggplant, and put that on top with chopped red onion and cilantro and of course, guacamole. So good! Thank you so much Heidi! I've been a big fan of your blog for the longest time.


oh my this looks incredible! Most vegan nacho's and cheeses really don't grab me but this... I'm going to make it and see if my husband even notices it's vegan haha


Do you have any advice on making a dairy free cheese in a house with severe nut allergies? We can't have any nuts or peanuts in the house. Thanks!

HS: hi Marla - Hmm. Not off the top of my head - but I'm probably just blanking. If I think of anything, I'll pop you an email. I might just opt for a tahini drizzle or something like that instead...


Heidi, do you think this would work well with any other type of nut? My daughter is allergic to cashews.

HS: Hi Kim, you could try - maybe with soaked (skinned) almonds. The cashews lend a nice smooth, creaminess....that's what you're after. xx!

Kim Landman

Can you successfully make the vegan sweet potato cheese with another type of nut? One of my children is allergic to cashews and I would love to try this!

HS: Hi Mara - give well-soaked almonds a try...


I make baked corn tortillas all the time. I put street sized corn tortillas on a foil covered baking sheet (you can lightly spray with oil and salt if you want). And cook them at 400° for about 10min. Just watch carefully. Flip half way through. I'm a big tostada fan so I leave them whole. For the nachos I would cut them up first. So easy, cheap, and delicious. Occasionally I nuke them one at a time for one minute if I'm in a hurry. Just google bake corn chips and you'll find loads of recipes.


Most vegan cashew cheese recipes call for raw cashews, which I don't eat because they give me a severe poison ivy reaction. Just wondering if roasted cashews work as well as raw in your recipe? (I never get why raw is preferred in these recipes, since so many people are highly allergic to raw cashews...and there's rarely a cautionary note). Thanks.

HS: Hi Faith - toasted should work fine, it might even be better!

faith kerr

Baked chips are impossible to find! The only ones I can find these days are GMO so I don't buy them. I've started making my own from organic corn tortillas.


Hey, I just want to say that your recipes lately have been so awesome! I've been making each one... simple ingredients, quick and easy. (and healthy and delicious!!) My style! Thanks!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Leah! :) xx


Thank you for your recipes. I've been looking for nachos and lasagna close to the omnivore versions. These appear to do the trick. I'm trying them out this week. Thanks again.

Alida R Alicea

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.