hese Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos

Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos

Looking for a munchies recipe to make for your next movie marathon or game night? These Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos are easy to make, addicting, and super versatile so you can easily adapt the recipe to what you like most about nachos (cheese…lots of melty cheese).

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smoky quinoa on baking tray

You all ready to eat your hearts out on Sunday during the Super Bowl? I have no idea who is playing, where it’s at this year, or who will be performing at half time, but what I do know that our living room table is going to be filled with delicious snacks. I’m planning to make a huge mound of these nachos along a Pumpkin Cheese Ball, this Roasted Beet Dip, and a batch of Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. Once you factor in all the time I’m going to spend making and eating all of this, who has time to watch a sports game anyway? ; )

But for real, if you do make anything for the big game on Sunday, you should make these Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos. I can’t believe I even need to sell you on this because nachos are basically the best snack / meal / anytime food on the planet but here we go: They are filling, delicious, and seriously THE BEST party food.

The quinoa is seasoned with salsa and spices to resemble a crumbled meat and you can add as many or as little toppings as you feel like. I like to make sure I have a mix of crunchy (quinoa), melty (cheese), spicy (pickled jalapeños), and a few vegetables (sliced tomatoes and onions) for good measure.

What’s Needed for Vegetarian Nachos?

The toppings you use on these veggie nachos are up to you, but here’s what I used to make my sheet pan nachos:

  • Quinoa
  • Salsa
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Jalapeño
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Radish
  • Lime juice
  • Hot sauce
veggie nacho ingredients laid out on countertop

How to Make Veggie Nachos

I’ve given detailed instructions on how to make these sheet pan nachos in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of how I made this vegetarian nachos recipe:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. Fold the cooked quinoa into a mixture of salsa, nutritional yeast, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the quinoa has browned.
  4. Once the quinoa is done, it’s time to assemble your sheet pan nachos!
  5. After you’ve layered the nacho fixings on the sheet pan, place under the broiler to melt the cheese.
  6. Garnish with toppings and serve.

Can I Make These Sheet Pan Nachos Vegan?

Easily! Simply swap out the shredded cheddar with your favorite vegan cheese. Or, make a batch of my Vegan Chili Cashew Queso and dollop that over your veggie nachos.

Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos on sheet pan

Tips for Making Meatless Nachos

You can make the quinoa ahead of time and then just let it reheat when you melt the cheese right before serving.

Any type of tortilla chip will work in this vegetarian nachos recipe. However, I recommend buying thicker tortilla chips so they don’t break under the weight of the toppings.

You’re welcome to switch up the veggie nacho toppings as you see fit. Just be sure to add the fresh veggies and herbs after you broil the nachos, otherwise your vegetables will wilt.

Want More Vegetarian Mexican Recipes?

Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

These Smoky Quinoa Vegetarian Nachos are easy to make, addicting, and super versatile so you can easily adapt the recipe to what you like most about nachos (cheese…lots of melty cheese).

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: nachos
Servings: 6
Smoky Quinoa:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white quinoa , rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chunky tomato-based salsa
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast , optional
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • dash salt and pepper
Everything Else:
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 jalapeño (fresh or pickled)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 radish , thinly sliced
  • lime juice , to taste
  • Hot sauce (optional – if you like it spicy)
For the smoky quinoa:
  1. Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup salsa, nutritional yeast (if using), olive oil, cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper.

  4. Once the quinoa has sat, fluff with a fork and transfer to mixing bowl. Fold until the quinoa is completed coated with the salsa mixture and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spread out into an level layer on the baking sheet to ensure even baking.

  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (time varies so much because different salsas will have different amounts of water content), stirring halfway through, or until most of the quinoa has browned.

  6. Remove from heat and serve warm.

To Assemble:
  1. Turn broiler to high. Place half the bag of chips on a baking sheet along with half the cheese, salsa, and jalapeno slices. Place remaining chips on top and top with remaining cheese, salsa, and jalapeno slices.

  2. Place baking sheet in oven and broil until cheese is melted and gooey.

  3. Remove from oven and finish with tomatoes, cilantro, radish slices, lime juice, and hot sauce. Serve right away.



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