Recipe: Vegetarian Nacho Salad

This is a recipe  I make constantly in hot weather.  In fact, I usually double or triple the batch of chilli and freeze it, so that I can just briefly reheat it on hot days and then put together the salad without warming up the house further.  Because it’s so straightforward (being closely related to my vegetarian taco recipe), and tends to vary a bit depending on what salad ingredients I have, I haven’t previously written it down and the ingredients list will be a little vague.  Think of it more as an idea than a recipe, and alter it to your liking!

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olive oil
1 brown onion
cumin, chipotle chilli, oregano, paprika, and any other herbs or spices you like to put in chilli, to taste.  I’m sorry, I really couldn’t tell you how much I use.
2 tins black beans or red kidney beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1-2 handfuls of salad greens
250 g cherry tomatoes
1-2 capsicums or sweet chillis
1 lebanese cucumber
4 tiny carrots
85 g tinned corn
1 avocado, or guacamole
juice of 1 lime
tortilla chips, plain or any flavour you like.
grated cheese – I use a four cheese mix that includes mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and I think an easy melt cheddar.

Now what will you do with it?

First, make the refried beans / chilli.  Chop the onion finely, and sauté it in a small saucepan with all the herbs and spices until it is soft.  Drain the beans and add to the onion.  Use a fork or a potato masher to mash them in.  Add the tinned tomatoes, and stir.  Simmer for twenty minutes, while you prepare the salad.

Do you honestly need me to tell you how to prepare a salad?

(Oh, alright then.  Slice, chop or tear your veggies and combine them in a bowl with the lime juice.  Guacamole, if using, can be used as part of the dressing or can go on top at the end.  Your call.)

When you are ready to serve things, put a handful of tortilla chips on the bottom of 2-3 large serving bowls.  You are going to make two layers of everything, so if this is serving 2 people, put a quarter of the salad in each bowl, followed by a small handful of grated cheese and a ladle or so of the refried beans.  Cover with more chips, more salad, more cheese and the rest of the beans.  I usually have about 1 serving of beans left over.

Serve!  This will look enormous, but the bulk is mostly salad.  I like to think that this makes it super healthy in spite of its silly size.



Use any salad ingredients you like, any beans you like, and any cheese or nacho chips you like.  You can substitute out the onion and use a couple of cloves of garlic and maybe a small fennel bulb instead if onion is a problem for you.

This recipe is gluten-free, assuming you used gluten-free tortilla chips (and they mostly are), vegetarian, low glycemic index (assuming you didn’t go too crazy with the portions), egg-free and nut-free.  If you skip the cheese, or use a vegan cheeze, it will be vegan, too. The beans make it non-fructose friendly, I’m afraid. Sorry about that.


One year ago: Farmers’ Market with CHOCOLATE

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2 comments for “Recipe: Vegetarian Nacho Salad

  1. January 13, 2014 at 11:29 am

    This looks cool – a lighter alternative to nachos at home!

    • January 13, 2014 at 11:46 am

      It’s a favourite of ours in summer – it feels like healthy junk food, which is always a plus!

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