These Loaded Vegan BBQ Nachos feature the easiest baked BBQ tempeh, fresh cole slaw, quick ranchero beans, and a healthy cashew-lime dressing! Add your favorite toppings like corn, green onion, tomatoes, and more for some EPIC vegan eats. Gluten-free and easily made WFPB & oil-free with just two swaps!
I'll take a a giant plate of these loaded vegan nachos any day of the week! Crispy tortilla chips, sweet corn, barbecue tempeh, fresh and tangy coleslaw, smoky pinto beans, AND a creamy oil-free dressing? Lord have mercy, y'all. Side note: I never knew how much I wanted to eat slaw on nachos.
And as far as nachos go, this is pretty much as healthy as it gets, which I think makes them even better!
Make these loaded nachos WFPB and Oil-Free
If you follow a whole-food, plant-based diet and want to enjoy some epic nacho fun, here's what you'll need:
- Use my Healthy BBQ Sauce recipe or another WFPB barbecue sauce. It comes together quickly and can be made in advance.
- Buy or make some oil-free baked tortilla chips. Here is a tortilla chip recipe from Sweet Simple Vegan that shows you how to make them at home.
- Use my Oil-Free Aquafaba Mayo listed in the recipe instead of store-bought. Or simply use ¼ to ⅓ cup of the Cashew-Lime Dressing on your slaw (recipe included below). It really is that easy!
Feel free to adjust the sodium in the BBQ sauce and the dressing to suit your needs.
How to Make Loaded Vegan BBQ Nachos
There are several components to these nachos, but they're all very easy. The BBQ tempeh takes about 30 minutes start to finish, so I like to make that first. Simply chop the tempeh into cubes, coat it in BBQ sauce, and bake in a 375 degree oven. While the tempeh bakes you'll blend the dressing and make the ranchero beans and coleslaw.
The quick ranchero beans are nothing more than canned pinto beans seasoned with a bit of BBQ sauce, chili powder, and cumin. Heat them on the stove, and you're all set.
To make the slaw, I used about ¼ of a small head of both green and red cabbage plus one carrot. If you want to simplify prep, you can always use a store-bought coleslaw blend. You'll want about 8 ounces or 4 cups of slaw mix.
Though I don't usually keep mayonnaise in the house (we're not mayo people, so it usually goes to waste), I wanted to buy some just for this recipe. I went with soy-free Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart. To ¼ cup of mayo I added a splash of lemon juice, about a teaspoon of agave syrup, a tiny pinch of celery seed, and a pinch of salt. You can also add black pepper if you like. And that's all you need for coleslaw! As I mentioned above, you can also use the Cashew-Lime Dressing on the slaw, if preferred.
UPDATE: try this Oil-Free Aquafaba Mayo instead of store-bought. It's so creamy and delicious.
Oil-Free Cashew-Lime Dressing
I originally shared the Cashew-Lime Dressing as part of this taco recipe and figured it would pair perfectly with these nachos. If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, the dressing comes together in about 3 minutes flat. So fast!
If using a standard blender to make the dressing, you'll want to give the cashews a one-hour soak in hot water to soften them. Then, drain the cashews, rinse in cold water, and blend all the ingredients until creamy.
This is a dressing that tastes great even on days 2 and 3, so don't worry if you have some leftover.
Assembling Vegan Nachos
We're only talking about nachos, I know. Maybe I'm taking things too seriously, but I actually have a preferred order for assembling this dish. Here's how it goes:
- Spread a layer of chips on the bottom.
- Then add half of the ranchero beans, corn, tempeh, and slaw.
- Add another layer of chips, followed by the rest of the beans, corn, tempeh, and slaw.
- Top with green onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and any other yummy topping you're using (avocado, anyone?).
- Drizzle with a small amount of Cashew-Lime Dressing just before serving. Definitely serve the extra dressing on the side so folks can add extra to their plates.
A pair of large serving spoons is a great way to serve these nachos to a crowd. Of course, if you're making a smaller portion of nachos to enjoy at home, feel free to dig in with your hands!
I hope you love these Loaded Vegan BBQ Nachos as much as we do! They're...
And SO satisfying!
If you try the recipe I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and star rating below, or tag me on instagram with @myquietkitchen.
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Loaded Vegan BBQ Nachos
For the BBQ Tempeh:
- 16 ounces tempeh, cubed
- 1 ¼ cups Vegan BBQ sauce
For the Cashew Lime Dressing:
- ⅔ cup raw cashews - If using a high-speed blender, no need to soak. Otherwise, soak in hot water for 1 hour before blending.
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp cilantro leaves
- ½ tsp chipotle flakes, optional (adds spiciness)
For the coleslaw:
- ¼ head green cabbage, shredded - If preferred, sub 8 oz store-bought slaw mix for the cabbages and carrot.
- ¼ head red cabbage, shredded
- 1 large carrot, grated
- ¼ cup Oil-Free Vegan Mayo - Or sub extra Cashew-Lime Dressing or store-bought vegan mayo.
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave syrup or sugar, optional
- tiny pinch of celery seed
For the Ranchero Beans:
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp Vegan BBQ Sauce
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- pinch of salt and pepper
Chips and Toppings:
- 10 ounces tortilla chips - For WFPB/Oil-Free option use your favorite baked chips. See Notes section for a recipe link.
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 large handful cherry tomatoes, halved - Sub pico de gallo for extra kick!
- 2 green onions, chopped
- handful cilantro leaves
- ½ small lime, cut into wedges
Make BBQ tempeh:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce in a baking dish. Place cubed tempeh on top of sauce, and cover with remaining sauce. Gently toss to coat. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and the sauce is beginning to caramelize.
Make the dressing:
- For standard blender: soak cashews in hot water for at least one hour. Drain and proceed with steps below.
- Combine cashews, garlic, lime juice, water, and salt in a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Add cilantro and chipotle flakes, if using, and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Transfer to a jar, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the coleslaw:
- In a large bowl whisk together the mayo, lemon, agave (if using), and celery seed (or use approx ¼ cup cashew dressing). Add cabbages and carrot, and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the Ranchero Beans:
- Place a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pinto beans, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until hot. Remove from heat.
Assemble the Nachos:
- Heat the corn in a small sauce pan on the stovetop or in a bowl in the microwave. Trasnfer to a strainer, a tea towel, or a paper towel, and gently squeeze to remove any excess moisture.
- Spread a layer of tortilla chips on a large platter. Top with half of each of these: corn, beans, tempeh, and slaw. Add another layer of chips and repeat. Add the tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side. Drizzle the nachos with dressing, or serve on the side.
- It's easy to make your own oil-free tortilla chips at home. Here's a recipe by Sweet Simple Vegan.
- Use my Healthy Vegan BBQ Sauce or another suitable BBQ sauce recipe.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.