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Home Healthy food Recipe Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos with Cashew Queso

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos with Cashew Queso

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Sweet potato nachos are the ultimate vegan game day recipe! This recipes pairs sweet potatoes with a refreshing and flavorful black bean salsa and a spicy, creamy cashew queso that you’ll want to pour on everything.

Overhead view of bowl of sweet potato nachos on a pink background

Recipe features

  • Diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Drizzled with a creamy, slightly spicy cashew queso
  • Topped with a delicious homemade black bean salsa (it’s a lot like Texas Caviar!)
  • Perfect for family dinners or as a game day appetizer!

What you’ll need

Labeled ingredients used to make black bean salsa

Sweet potatoes: We are using orange fleshed sweet potatoes, not Japanese sweet potatoes or yams.

Canola oil makes the sweet potatoes crispy, but any other neutral oil, like peanut or vegetable, will work here.

Bell peppers: Choose red, orange or yellow for a sweeter salsa. Green will also work.

Red onion: Yellow onion also works. Omit if you don’t like raw onion.

Grape tomatoes can be replaced with sliced cherry, roma or beef steak tomatoes.

Frozen corn: Canned corn also works. Thaw frozen corn and pat dry with a paper towel before adding to the salsa.

Marinade: Apple cider vinegar, lime juice, agave (can be replaced with honey if that meets your dietary preferences), chili powder and cumin to make a sweet and tangy marinade.

Labeled ingredients used to make cashew queso

Cashews: Choose raw, unsalted cashews.

Miso: Yellow miso is best here but white will also work. Miso is usually in the refrigerated “health foods” or “plant-based” section. It can be omitted if you can’t find it. Miso provides all of the salt in the queso, so adjust for salt if omitting.

Nutritional yeast adds body and a cheesy flavor. You can usually find nutritional yeast in the health food section, by spices/seasonings or with baking ingredients.

Corn starch helps with thickening. Arrowroot starch also works.

Step by step instructions

There are three different components to this recipe: sweet potatoes, black bean topping, cashew queso. The queso and black beans can be made while the sweet potatoes cook.

Sweet potato “nachos”

Sweet potato nachos before and after baking

Before you begin: Wash the sweet potatoes well and pat with a paper towel to dry. Keep the skins on! Slice sweet potatoes into ¼ inch rounds.

  1. Add the sliced sweet potatoes a large bowl and toss to coat with oil.
  2. Layer on a lightly oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet. You will likely need two sheet pans and will need to work in batches unless you have a convection oven.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes total, flipping halfway through for even cooking. The sweet potatoes are ready when firm and crisp.

Keep a close eye on the sweet potatoes during the last 10 minutes of cooking so that they don’t burn.

Black bean salsa

Overhead view of large glass bowl filled with black bean salsa

This can be prepared while you bake the sweet potatoes.

  1. Slice and dice peppers, onion and jalapeno.
  2. Make the marinade/sauce by whisking together the lime juice, apple cider vinegar and agave syrup (honey also works, depending on dietary preferences).
  3. Toss the salsa ingredients and the marinade. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prefer a hot topping? Transfer the salsa to a medium sauce pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Cashew queso

Overhead view of cashew queso before and after blending
  1. To soften the cashews for blending, cover them in very hot water from a tea kettle for an hour. You can also cover them in cool water overnight.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth. This will take anywhere from 1-2 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.
  3. Transfer the queso to a small sauce pot and cover. Cook over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add an extra splash of water to thin as needed.

FAQ and expert tips

  • Soaking cashews: You don’t need a high speed blender to make the cashew sauce. Soaking the cashews helps soften them and makes them easier to blend. Soak cashews in very hot water for an hour or in cool water overnight or up to 24 hours. The longer they soak the easier they will be to blend.
  • Spiciness of cashew cheese: Start with 1 large or 2 small chipotle peppers for a lightly spicy cashew cheese. Add more if desired. Fresh jalapenos would also go well and make this extra spicy!
  • Mandolin vs hand slicing: I slice the sweet potatoes with a very sharp knife because I don’t have a mandolin. A mandolin definitely works best and will require less prep time but it is not required to make thin sweet potatoes.
  • Red onions flavor: Red onions often have a strong “bite” to them. You can remove this bite by soaking diced onions in a bowl of cold water for at least ten minutes. The cold water pulls out most of the astringent taste, leaving you with the same old red onion flavor, without the bite.
How do you store this?

Store components separately in the fridge. Cover and keep refrigerate for up to 3-4 days for best quality.

Can you reheat sweet potato nachos?

Yes, but I recommend storing the sweet potatoes on their own or they won’t reheat well. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until firmed up. The queso can be reheated the same way that you warmed it up in the recipe.

Why won’t my sweet potatoes get crispy?

There are a few things that can cause this. Make sure the sweet potatoes are completely dry before coating them thoroughly in oil. Don’t overcrowd sweet potatoes on the pan and make sure no pieces are overlapping.

You can also check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to make sure that it’s truly the temperature it says it is (it’s surprising how often oven temps are wrong!). When in doubt, just bake them longer.

Can I use shredded cheese instead of queso?

Definitely! When the nachos are just about ready, remove them from the oven and sprinkle with your favorite cheese. Return to the oven and bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Hand pulling sweet potato chip covered in queso out of bowl of chips

Looking for more recipes?

Hand pulling sweet potato chip covered in queso out of bowl of chips

Print Recipe

Sweet Potato Nachos with Cashew Queso

Sweet potato nachos are the ultimate vegan game day recipe! Crispy sweet potatoes are topped with a refreshing and flavorful black bean salsa and lightly spicy, creamy cashew “queso” in this delicious recipe.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Total Time45 mins

Servings: 5 servings

Author: Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LDN

Instructions

Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper. You will likely need two sheet pans and will need to work in batches unless you have a convection oven.

  • Wash the sweet potatoes well and pat to dry. Keep the skins on! Slice sweet potatoes into ¼ inch rounds using a very sharp knife or mandolin.

  • Add the sliced sweet potatoes a large bowl and toss to coat with oil. You can also just coat them directly on the sheet pan.

  • Layer on a lightly oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet. The sweet potatoes should not be overlapping. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes total, flipping halfway through for even cooking. The sweet potatoes are ready when firm and crisp. Keep a close eye on them during the last 10 minutes of cooking so that they don’t burn.

Black Bean Salsa

  • Make the marinade/sauce in a small bowl by whisking together the lime juice, apple cider vinegar and agave syrup.

  • Add the salsa ingredients to a large bowl: black beans, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, corn, tomatoes. Drizzle the marinade onto the salsa and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder and salt. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cashew Queso

  • Drain water off of the soaked cashews. Roughly chop the chipotle peppers.

  • Add all ingredients to a blender: cashews, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso, onion powder, garlic powder, corn starch. Blend until very smooth. This will take anywhere from 1-2 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.

  • Transfer the queso to a small sauce pot and cover with a lid. Cook over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add an extra splash of water to thin as needed.

Serving

  • Place sweet potato nachos in a large serving dish or on individual plates. Serve black bean salsa from a slotted spoon (this will drain off the excess liquid) and drizzle with cashew queso. Top with fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and diced avocado. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Canola oil makes the sweet potatoes crispy, but any other neutral oil, like peanut or vegetable, will work here.
  2. Soaking cashews: You don’t need a high speed blender to make the cashew sauce. Soaking the cashews helps soften them and makes them easier to blend. Soak cashews in very hot water for an hour (I use my tea kettle) or in cool water overnight or up to 24 hours. The longer they are soaked the easier they will be to blend.
  3. Black bean salsa: Prefer a warm salsa? Transfer the salsa to a medium sauce pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through.
  4. Storage: Store components separately. Cover and keep refrigerate for up to 3-4 days for best quality.

     

Serving: 1servingCalories: 576kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 18gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 313mgPotassium: 1315mgFiber: 16gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 21281IUVitamin C: 81mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 5mg

Update note: This recipe was originally shared April 18, 2018. It was updated on March 8, 2021 with new photos, a video and the addition of cashew queso. The base recipe remains the same.

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