Whet your creativity & your appetite with a build-your-own vegan nacho bar. Fill a table with toppings like spicy black beans, non-dairy chili cheese dip, salsa, and guacamole. Then let your guests pile them onto chips, exactly how they like.
Nacho bars are lots of fun for all ages. And it’s a relatively low cost way to have a dinner party!
In addition to apple picking, one of my favorite fall traditions is carving pumpkins with friends.
This year my “Facebook memories” reminded me just how many years we’ve done it. It seemed like all of October was a highlight reel.
There was the year when we got pumpkins at the orchard, and then headed back for maple spice popcorn & vegan onion dip.
Another year we had Halloween appetizers of spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo cauliflower, and jack o’ lantern salads.
And last year we had a big bowl of vegan 7 layer dip with chips for dipping.
As you could probably guess from my descriptions, while the excuse for our annual pumpkin carving is jack o’ lanterns, what I really look forward to is the food!
We take turns hosting. And it was my turn to host again this year. I decided to do a vegan nacho bar.
Everyone loves build-your-own nachos, because well, nachos. But also each person can make their nachos exactly to their preferences. (Just like vegan walking tacos!)
If you like lots of non-dairy queso, pile it on.
If you need things hot and spicy, add plenty of jalapeño pepper slices & hot sauce.
If you prefer a more minimalist affair with black beans and salsa, so be it.
What cheese to use?
I gave a couple of non-dairy cheese options for the nachos.
First, I made chili cheese dip ahead of time.
Once we were ready to eat, it had gotten a little too thick. So I added a couple splashes of water. Then I warmed it on the stove until it was beautifully creamy, and easy to spoon onto nachos.
This vegan chili cheese dip is especially convenient, because it uses leftover chili. So if you have any lentil chili, vegan three bean chili, or smoky vegan bean chili with Soy Curls on hand or even in the freezer, thaw if necessary, and then put it into your sauce.
I also offered shredded non-dairy cheese, for those who preferred to melt it onto their tortilla chips in the oven.
How to serve individual nacho plates
You could certainly have people make their nachos on the plates that are already in your cupboard. But I thought it would be fun to get everyone individual 6.5 inch cast iron skillets. (You can find them online or at big box stores like Target.)
They are small enough that you can easily do a couple rounds of nachos. Or just pile them on and do it all in one!
The added benefit of cast iron skillets is that you can put them directly in the oven if you’d like to heat the chips, or melt non-dairy cheese shreds onto them.
Don’t forget the hot sauce!
Finally, for a hot sauce lover like me, you’ve got to add some fun hot sauces to the mix.
We all had a good time discussing our various nacho bar toppings & preferred hot sauces.
How to set up a nacho bar
To have a vegan nacho bar, preheat the oven to 350 degrees for anyone who wants to warm their chips and/or melt shredded non-dairy cheese onto their nachos.
Then set up the table with all of your nacho bar toppings.
While I offer a pretty sizeable list of toppings below, keep in mind that you can easily remove anything that you don’t have the time or inclination to make. As long as you have non-dairy queso, salsa, and chips, you’re golden.
If you really want to make it easy on yourself, invite your guests to bring their favorite toppings!
Nacho bar toppings:
- Vegan chili cheese dip
- Shredded non-dairy cheese
- Spicy black beans
- Refried beans
- Chorizo seitan
- Bell peppers
- Spring onions
- Jalapeño pepper slices
- Hot sauce
- Tortilla chips
It’s something to consider for your vegan nacho bar, though. That way if people want to have a couple different kinds of nachos, one batch can be totally different from the next.
Build your own vegan nacho bar
- 1 batch vegan cheese dip
- 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese I like to use the Daiya cheddar block & shred by hand
- 1 batch spicy black beans
- 1 batch vegan refried beans
- 1 cup seitan chorizo warmed in pan
- 2 cups salsa
- 2 batches easy guacamole
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 or 3 spring onions sliced
- 2 or 3 different bottles of hot sauce
- Jar jalapeno pepper slices
- 1 or 2 large bags of tortilla chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all of the toppings on the dinner table for guests to serve themselves. If guests would like to warm their tortilla chips or melt non-dairy cheese onto them, make sure to offer oven-safe skillets. Melting cheese onto the chips will take about 10 minutes in the oven. If they want to just use the chili cheese dip, then the skillets won't need to go into the oven, and you can skip the pre-heating step.