Are you into it for the meal, the margs or the celebration of culture (superfood stuffed piñata, anyone?) We’re all celebrating Cinco De Mayo in some way, shape or form – even if we’re just in it for the tacos. Spare yourself a little post-fiesta remorse by whipping up this insane nacho recipe from Pamela Salzman that turns sweet potatoes and a bunch of other veggies into something we could’ve never imagined. Trust us when we say these have been tested on well-worn nachos lovers…

Cinco de Mayo is days away and nothing says “fiesta” like a big platter of loaded nachos! Unfortunately, most nachos are greasy, loaded with inflammatory fats and lacking any decent nutrients. Say adios to those and hola to this healthy sweet potato nacho recipe with the most insanely delicious vegan “queso.” Creamy, flavorful, and full of veggies, this queso is delicious on everything from roasted sweet potato chips, baked potatoes, chips and roasted vegetables. Generously drizzle it on roasted sweet potato rounds and go crazy with healthy toppings for a perfect Cinco de Mayo feast!

I know you guys don’t have time to make every delicious recipe you stumble upon, but if I do say so myself, these nachos are ridiculous. I taught a cooking class in Dallas – the capital of queso – and served just the “cheese” sauce with chips prior. Everyone just about lost their mind. That’s all I’m going to say…

Serves 4-6


3 medium-large sweet potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the “queso:”
5 Tbsp unsalted butter (not vegan) or organic Earth Balance (vegan)
2 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 cup (7 oz) chopped Yukon gold potatoes (you can leave the peel on)
¼ cup chopped carrots (about 1 small carrot)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
¼ cup raw cashews (if your blender is weak, soak in water for 1-5 hours and drain)
1 ¾ tsp sea salt (use 1 ½ tsp if using Earth Balance)
¼ tsp garlic, minced (about 1 medium clove)
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional, but add it if you have it)
¼ tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Suggested toppings: black beans*, sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño, fire-roasted corn, cilantro, sliced avocado or guacamole, tomatillo salsa


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Place the sweet potato slices in one layer on the sheet pans and brush both sides with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, flip over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crispy.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

Place the cashews, salt, garlic, butter or Earth Balance, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne in a blender or food processor. Add the softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender or food processor and process until perfectly smooth. Give this a minute or two until it is perfectly creamy and smooth.

To assemble the nachos, place 1 layer of sweet potato rounds on a platter and drizzle with queso and desired toppings. Arrange another layer of sweet potatoes, queso and toppings.

Serve immediately.

* 1 (14.5 ounce) can or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans warmed in a small skillet with the juice from ½ a lime and ½ teaspoon of ground cumin and ½ teaspoon salt

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