PREP TIME: 25 mins

COOK TIME: 5 mins

A Cheesy, Spicy Cracker that’s Good Enough to Give as Gifts

TOTAL TIME: 30 mins

It’s tough to beat the combo of warm tortilla chips, melted cheese, and spicy black beans. In other words, NACHOS!! Quantities listed are enough for three single layer sheetpans of nachos.

healthy grilled sweet potato nachos


  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 chipotles in adobo
  • 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup water (or stock)
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 4-5 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • oil
  • jalapeno slices (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

Avocado Salsa Verde

  • 4 tomatillos
  • ½ onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ jalapeno
  • 10-12 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • salt to taste

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 tomato
  • ¼ onion
  • ½ jalapeno
  • 10-12 sprigs cilantro
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Roughly chop ½ an onion and peel 2 garlic cloves
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in a dollop of oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes
  3. Drain and rinse one can of black beans
  4. Add the black beans to the onion mixture along with 2 chipotles in adobo, 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper, and ½ cup water (or stock).
  5. Simmer for a few minutes until heated though
  6. Combine the bean mixture in a blender or food processor
  7. Salt to taste (I added another pinch for this recipe)
  8. Shred 4-5 cups of Monterey Jack cheese. This is enough cheese for three single layer batches.
  9. Add a dense, single layer of chips to a sheet pan. (You can line the sheetpan with foil or parchment paper if you want to make cleanup easier).
  10. Drizzle some of the beans over the chips. Note: you have enough beans for three single-layer batches.
  11. Add a layer of cheese to the chips
  12. Bake in the oven at 400F for 5-7 minutes or until all the cheese is melted
  13. Top with your favorite fixings and serve immediately
  14. This batch was drizzled with Avocado Salsa Verde and topped with Pico de Gallo, chopped cilantro, and jalapeno slices.
  15. If you are making Avocado Salsa Verde, start by rinsing four fresh tomatillos.
  16. Roast the tomatillos in the oven at 400F until cooked through and they start to turn army green.
  17. Add the roasted tomatillos to a blender along with ½ onion, 1 garlic clove, 10-12 sprigs cilantro, and ½ of a jalapeno pepper.
  18. Pulse blend and taste for heat, adding the additional ½ of the jalapeno if you want more heat. Add the avocado to the blender and combine well.
  19. Salt to taste.
  20. If you are making Pico de Gallo, start by finely chopping the tomato, ¼ onion, and ½ jalapeno into ¼” sized chunks
  21. Finely dice the cilantro
  22. Combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a mixing bowl
  23. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and the juice of a ½ lime
  24. Mix together well and taste for seasoning
  25. Add additional salt and lime if necessary



Keep the beans close by so you have the option of dipping the chips in both the beans and the Avocado Salsa Verde.

Using two chipotles in adobo gives the beans real kick. If you want a milder version you can use a single chipotle or even ½ of a chipotle. Note that some of the heat will get diluted once you combine the beans with all the fixings, so my version tastes extra spicy right out of the blender.

Feel free to use cheddar cheese instead of Monterey Jack. Or both!

More info on chipotles in adobo here

You can use canned tomatillos for the Avocado Salsa Verde and still get a stellar result. Note that if you are using canned tomatillos you can skip roasting them as it won’t have the same effect.

You can substitute a serrano for the jalapeno in the Avocado Salsa Verde.

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