Loaded Veggie Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips
These easy, simple and healthy nachos are loaded with nutrient-rich vegetables, protein packed beans, and covered in cheese, avocado, and fresh cilantro and lime. You can have this easy weeknight meal prepared in less than 30 minutes… and the kids can help too!
Weeknight meals are about to get a whole lot more fun!
Normally, when you’re thinking of an easy weeknight meal, you think sandwich, salads, leftovers.
What if I told you that you can make nachos, even with homemade tortilla chips, in less than 30 minutes??
That’s right, these cheesy and delicious nachos come together in no time! By using leftover veggies, a delicious homemade taco seasoning mix to add a huge flavor boost, and fresh herbs, you can have make a super flavorful meal with very little effort. And, I’ve included tips on how your kids can help you with the cooking, so you can actually have some fun while making dinner.
Nachos can absolutely be a healthy meal
You might think of nachos as a once in a while treat meal, something you would only get out at a restaurant or at a party.
But, when done right, nachos can absolutely be an easy and healthy meal!
Let’s take a look at the nutrients in this nachos recipe:
Fiber is beneficial for our bodies in so many ways. Fiber aids with digestion, helps keep our cholesterol down, and supports a healthy immune system. This recipe has got fiber from many of the ingredients, like:
all the veggies!
As with fiber, protein is essential to keep our bodies functioning. Protein builds our muscles, hair and skin, gives us energy, and also supports a healthy immune system. This recipe doesn’t have any meat in it, but it’s still got plenty of protein! The ingredients with protein in it are:
You could also add your own favorite protein to these nachos. Other great sources of protein are:
chicken, beef or pork
fish or seafood
veggie meats (like soy chorizo)
scrambled eggs (breakfast nachos, anyone??)
any kind of cooked beans or lentils
I remember when I was growing up, it was the middle of the ‘fat is bad!’ age. There were so many products that were “Low Fat” or “Fat Free” and researchers genuinely thought that fat was the enemy.
But science has evolved! Now we know how important fats are for our bodies. Fats give our bodies energy, help us absorb some key vitamins, and some healthy fats can actually keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
For babies and toddlers especially, healthy fats are important for their growth and brain development. Your brain is the fattiest organ in your body, so for little ones who are still growing, getting enough fat in their diet can help support their growing brain as well.
Healthy fats in this recipe are found in:
Other sources of healthy fats you can use when making your own nachos are:
fatty fish (like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines)
chia seeds (just sprinkle them right on top!)
Vitamins & Minerals
Because this recipe is full of veggies, we’ve got loads of nutrients! Vitamins and minerals help keep your body working smoothly. They protect your cells from damage, help give you energy, keep your bones healthy and strong, and support growing kids.
The ingredients in these nachos with lots of vitamins and minerals are:
Of course, you can use any veggies you’d like to make your nachos. All vegetables have vitamins and minerals, so choose whatever your family likes (or whatever you want to use up from your refrigerator!).
Kids can help cook this recipe!
In the recipe below I’ve included ideas for how your kids can help you cook this recipe. Including kids when you’re cooking is a fun activity for them, but can also help them develop valuable life skills and healthy eating habits.
Cooking with your kids:
Reduces picky eating
Builds self-confidence and helps them learn new skills
Promotes family bonding
Gives kids a positive exposure to foods (vegetables can be fun!)
Loaded Veggie Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips
Serves: 4. Prep Time: 15 Minutes. Total Time: 25 Minutes
8 Corn tortillas
2 Tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
1 can black or pinto beans, drained
2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix (see recipe below)
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or jack works best)
Your choice in toppings. I used:
leftover sautéed green bell peppers and corn (you can also use fresh veggies, frozen veggies that have been defrosted, or any leftover cooked veggies you have in your fridge)
fresh lime wedges
Preheat oven to 350. Use a brush or your hand to brush both sides of each tortilla with oil. Then cut tortillas into 8 wedges each. (Kids can help spreading the oil on the tortillas. Preschoolers and older can help cut the tortillas into wedges, with adult supervision).
Arrange tortillas on a baking sheet - you’ll need 2 sheets. (Kids can help place the tortilla wedges onto the cool baking sheet).
Bake in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes, until the edges start to crisp and turn a little brown. Rotate the pan in the oven about halfway through cooking time. No need to flip the chips as they cook. The chips will get more crisp as they cool.
Cook beans - Add drained beans, 1/2 cup water, and the taco seasoning mix into a small saucepan. Heat on stove until warmed through. (Kids can help by shaking the taco seasoning into the beans, and pouring the water onto the beans. Older kids can measure the water. Just make sure the pot is not hot!)
Melt the cheese. Move all the tortilla chips to one baking sheet and cover in shredded cheese. (Kids can help sprinkle the cheese over the tortilla chips, be careful if the baking sheet is hot). Bake in the oven for about 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts. Remove from oven.
Assemble the nachos. Add beans, veggies, and any other toppings you have. (Kids can help sprinkle the toppings over the nachos. Be careful if the pan is hot).
Try serving your nachos family style and let each person choose which toppings they like. Just prepare the chips with melted cheese and let each person decide what other toppings to add. This is a great way to introduce picky eaters to new ingredients without pressure.
Use any leftover veggies you have in your refrigerator. Anything tastes great once it’s covered in cheese!
Make it vegan or dairy-free by using a non-dairy cheese.
Easy Taco Seasoning Mix
Makes: about 1/2 cup. Total Time: 5 Minutes
4 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1 Tbsp granulated onion (or onion powder)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika (even better if you have smoked paprika!)
1 tsp ground black pepper
Optional: ½ tsp cayenne pepper
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.