Ultimate Loaded Nachos

Learn how to make the BEST homemade nachos! Loaded with gooey queso and tons of fresh fixings, they're the ultimate appetizer or game day snack.

Loaded Nachos

If you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend, you have to make this nachos recipe. If you’re not watching the Super Bowl this weekend, you still have to make this nachos recipe. Jack and I may not be football fans, but we are fans of football food. These loaded nachos are as good as it gets. Every bite has the perfect blend of crispy, creamy textures and tangy, spicy flavors. Serve them as a party appetizer or devour them for dinner. Either way, the entire platter will be gone in minutes.

Nachos recipe ingredients

Loaded Nachos Recipe Ingredients

Ok, confession time: These homemade nachos taste like the cheesiest nachos you’ve had out to eat…but you won’t find any cheese in this recipe. In fact, it’s totally vegan! Instead of loading up tortilla chips with ground beef and shredded cheese, I use these plant-based nacho toppings:

  • Vegan nacho cheese – This oozy, gooey vegan queso is every bit as creamy and delicious as the real thing! I make it with simple, whole foods ingredients like blended sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast. It packs the nachos with bold, cheddar cheese-like flavor.
  • Plant-based taco meat – I have two plant-based taco meat recipes, and both are delicious on these nachos. One is a meaty, savory mix of shiitake mushrooms and walnuts. The other uses a store-bought plant-based ground meat substitute. Cooked with a homemade taco seasoning blend of chili powder, onion powder, and cumin, it’s lightly spicy and super hearty. Whichever way you go, you won’t be disappointed!

Once I drizzle the tortilla chips with the cheese sauce and sprinkle on the taco “meat,” I finish my nachos with these fresh fixings:

  • Fresh cilantro and sliced green onions,
  • crunchy radishes,
  • creamy avocado,
  • juicy tomatoes,
  • spicy jalapeños,
  • and pickled red onions for pop.

The combination is SO delicious! You won’t miss the meat or cheese one bit.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Nacho cheese sauce

Best Nachos Recipe Tips

  • Assemble them right before serving. These nachos are best right after you put them together, when the chips are crispy and the cheese sauce and taco meat are still warm. If they sit for too long, the chips will soften under the queso. No one likes soggy nachos, so always assemble them right before you eat.
  • Leave no chip un-topped! One of my pet peeves is eating the top layer of a loaded nacho plate and finding a stack of bare chips underneath. To make an exceptional nacho tray, make sure to layer the fixings throughout, getting a little something on each chip.
  • Get creative! The topping combination in the recipe below is dynamite, but tons of other fixings would be delicious here too. Have fun creating a mix of nacho toppings you love! Use guacamole instead of the avocado, or swap pico de gallo for the diced tomatoes and scallions. Instead of serranos, top the nachos with pickled jalapeños, or replace the taco “meat” with black beans or refried beans. Try adding dollops of vegan sour cream, or, for a surprising sweet twist, finish the nachos with mango or pineapple salsa. Let me know what variations you try!

Nachos recipe

More Favorite Game Day Snacks

If you love this nachos recipe, try one of these game day snacks next:

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Ultimate Loaded Nachos

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
The ULTIMATE nachos recipe! Loaded with gooey vegan nacho cheese, plant-based taco meat, avocado, and more, they're the perfect party appetizer or game day snack.



  • Spread the tortilla chips on a platter or baking sheet. Drizzle with the cheese sauce and top with the taco “meat”, tomato, scallions, serrano, avocado, radishes, and pickled onions. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges, for squeezing.


5 from 10 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Ani

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Super easy and fun to make. My whole family enjoyed these nachos. Thank you so much for sharing! Your blog is beautiful and your pictures are absolutely stunning.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  2. Hollis Ramsey

    5 stars
    I prefer to have all the ingredients on the side instead of piling everything on top of a load of tortilla chips, to serve alongside homemade chips: real — not vegan — cheese sauce, serranos, jalapeños., cilantro, radishes, pickled red onion, scallions, guacamole, pico de gallo, mango salsa, sour cream, lime wedges. They don’t need meat at all.

    I call them my When Harry Met Sally Nachos (because everything is on the side).

  3. Talin

    How can I prepare cheese sauce?

  4. Andrew

    5 stars
    Really enjoyed this

  5. Dawn

    These look great! I can’t wait to make them.

    Just a quick note for the sentence “I swap my favorite vegan taco meat for ground beef and add a big pile of veggies as a final finishing touch.”

    Should the words ground beef and vegan taco meat be switched around?

  6. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com

    yay, one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasure dishes and sheet pan is a nice way to do it, but hadn’t had a go to a healthy version of this until now, really love the cheese used here, and that you posted recently, pure genius , thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks Sabrina!

  7. Rosanne Gray

    Really enjoyed your web site. Food is fabulous. Keep up the good work.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.