The ULTIMATE vegan nachos, these are loaded with smoky cauliflower "cheese" sauce, sweet pineapple salsa, black beans, cilantro, and tomato.
If you made Thursday’s stuffed peppers and have leftover pineapple salsa and leftover chipotles, this recipe is for you! And if you didn’t, well that’s ok, you can still make it anyway 🙂
This is a nacho plate that you can feel good about! Instead of weird boxed nacho cheese, we’re making an oozy, spicy cheese-like sauce out of cauliflower. Seriously, is there anything that the mighty cauliflower can’t do?
What’s in Chipotle Cauliflower “Cheese” Nacho Sauce?
Good question! This irresistible sauce consists of 10 simple ingredients:
- Cauliflower makes up the bulk of the sauce and contributes to its luscious creamy texture.
- Potato gives this “queso” the oozy, thick consistency typical of classic nacho cheese.
- Cashews combine with the cauliflower and potato to perfect the cheese’s creaminess. They also add necessary richness.
- Water thins the sauce.
- Apple Cider Vinegar makes it tangy.
- Olive oil adds richness along with the cashews.
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce makes this “queso” smoky and a little spicy. (If you have any left over, blend them into this handy creamy chipotle sauce!)
- Garlic, onion powder, and sea salt balance & perfect its flavor.
Cook the cauliflower and the potatoes, then blend everything in a blender, and voila! The special ingredient (aside from the hidden cauliflower) is the chipotle pepper. You can find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at nearly every grocery store in the Mexican aisle. These canned peppers are spicy but – most importantly – they also have a wonderful, deep, smoky flavor. That smoky flavor in the sauce is such a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the pineapple salsa.
Don’t forget your nacho toppings!
Load these up with black beans, tomatoes, diced red onion, and cilantro, and you have a hearty, healthy nacho plate that’s practically meal-worthy and definitely party-ready. If you have the time, I highly recommend making the pineapple salsa here, because the sweet/smoky contrast it adds takes these nachos over the top. Mango salsa would be a great choice as well.
Chipotle Cauliflower Nachos
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup peeled and cubed Yukon gold potato
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 3 tablespoons water, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo*
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Tortilla chips
- ½ cup diced cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup Pineapple Salsa
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Make the sauce: Place the cauliflower and potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1-inch. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain, let cool slightly, then place in a high-speed blender with the cashews, water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, chipotle pepper, garlic, onion powder, and salt. Blend until smooth.
- Spread the chips onto a platter, drizzle with the chipotle cauliflower sauce, and top with the cherry tomatoes, black beans, scoops of pineapple salsa, red onion, and the cilantro. Serve and enjoy!