Sometimes nachos can’t wait for lunch. These vegan breakfast nachos are a wonderfully decadent way to start the day. There’s layer after layer of refried beans, tofu scramble, creamy cashew queso, and avocado. Vegan & gluten-free.
When my husband and I first started dating, we’d spend every weekend together watching marathon viewings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ordering in food for delivery.
We’d get pizzas, which we’d then top with chips for our own impromptu taco pizzas (since taco pizza isn’t sold in the Southland), Thai stir-fries, Mediterranean platters, and Indian curries.
However, unless we wanted to cook, there was one meal where we were forced to go out into the world – breakfast.
Every weekend we’d lament that there was no available Breakfast Delivery Service.
(Breakfast is the time people really don’t want to get up and showered and out of the house before coffee and food. With a breakfast delivery service, you’d just have to make it as far as the front door, hand off some cash, and say good morning to biscuits and gravy.)
So at least once every weekend and sometimes twice, we’d head to our favorite diner for breakfast. We’d slide into one of their big, cozy booths.
The diner was really old school with swivel stools around a counter. There was someone walking around with a pot of coffee to give your cup a “warm up.” And our server already knew what our order would be because it was always the same.
This was before either of us had gone vegan. After discovering it on the menu, every time I’d order the huevos rancheros.
They made their huevos rancheros with a double layering of tostadas. There was one crisp tostada slathered with refried beans. It was topped with another tostada, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese.
As I broke my fork into the crisp tostadas with a crack, it made a terrifically satisfying crunch. I liked how there was a combination of hot and cold, soft, smooth, creamy and crunchy.
During the week sometimes I’d pick up a bag of tostadas at the grocery store and make my own version. The tostadas were easy enough to find in Southern California and pretty widely available.
Where I live now, they’re less common. Plus, nowadays I like to choose organic corn products as much as possible, because they’re a common GMO crop. Finding organic tostadas is even trickier.
Vegan breakfast nachos
These days when I make my own version of the diner’s huevos rancheros, first, I veganize them with creamy cashew queso, easy vegan refried beans, tofu scramble, tomatoes, onions, quick pickled jalapeños, chunks of fresh avocado, and a smattering of hot sauce.
And instead of round crisp tostadas, I use organic tortilla chips. I call them Lazy Rancheros, or more accurately, breakfast nachos.
(Note: I call for Ancho Chili Powder in the recipe, because I think it has a much better depth of flavor than your average chili powder. It’s the only chili powder I use these days. However, if you can’t find it in your area, feel free to swap it out with your regular chili powder instead.)
Make it your own
This recipe has endless options.
- If your early morning energy fights against you making cashew cheese, refried beans, and a tofu scramble, by all means just pick two.
- Make it as breakfast-for-dinner.
- Swap out the refried beans or tofu scramble for black beans instead.
- Use these ingredients for a breakfast burrito! Stuff a tortilla with the scramble, beans, tomatoes, and onions. Then smother it in the cashew cheese sauce.
I am very heavily in the savory breakfast camp. And this platter of breakfast nachos is nearly perfection for me. A spicy scramble with hearty refried beans and creamy queso is a beautiful way to start the day.
So what is it lacking? Well, if I could just find a way to have it delivered to me while I’m in my pajamas, now that would be heaven.
Breakfast Nachos with Refried Beans & Cashew Queso
Creamy Cashew Queso
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped small to medium
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ⅓ cup orange yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped small to medium
- 10 ounces super firm tofu from a vacuum-packed package*
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup salsa
- 8 ounces tortilla chips
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Toppings: chopped tomatoes, jalapeño slices, hot sauce
For the Creamy Cashew Queso
- If using a non high speed blender, soak the cashews for 8 hours in water, and then drain them. If you're using a high speed blender, soaking isn't necessary.
- Using a blender, blend raw cashews, vegetable broth (or water and half a vegetable bouillon cube), nutritional yeast, white miso paste, cumin, ancho chili powder, and salt. Blend until totally smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Transfer the cashew mixture to a small pot. Bring the pot to a medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for about 10 minutes. If it begins to simmer, lower the heat. Continue stirring and cooking until the cashew mixture has reduced and thickened, making a velvety smooth queso.
For the Tofu Scramble
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil to the skillet, and sauté the onion, garlic, and bell pepper for a few minutes, until the mixture is fragrant and softened.
- Crumble the tofu into the pan with your hands. Add water, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, ancho chili powder, and salt to the tofu. Stir until the spices are evenly combined with the tofu and cook for a few minutes, until the tofu is warm throughout.
- Add the jarred salsa to the tofu, spread evenly throughout the mixture, and cook for a couple minutes more until warm and combined.
For the Refried Beans
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion and garlic a few minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
- Add pinto beans to the skillet along with water, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt.
- When the water begins to simmer, lower the heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed, except for a couple of tablespoons.
- Using a fork or potato masher, mash the beans until smooth. If the beans are too dry, add water by the tablespoonful until they are soft and smooth like mashed potatoes, but not too watery.
- Add ground pepper and taste for salt, adding more if necessary.
For the Breakfast Nachos
- Spread tortilla chips across a platter.
- Evenly spread spoonfuls of tofu scramble and refried beans. Generously spoon creamy cashew queso across the nachos.
- Add dollops of fresh avocado, fresh cilantro, and the toppings of your choice. Serve immediately with plenty of napkins.
Here are more vegan nachos recipes I know you’ll love:
- Fully loaded vegan nachos with cashew queso
- Fried vegan nachos with spicy black beans
- Build-your-own vegan nacho bar
- Vegan 7 layer dip