Vegetarian Sheet Tray Nachos

Thomas and I had an impromptu game night at our house a few months back and needed a quick and easy appetizer that was not only easy to eat while playing games, but easy to make! I had the idea to make a vegetarian option and a meat option because Thomas and I try to limit our meat intake, and while nachos with ground beef or shredded chicken are great, nachos with black beans and veggies are amazing!

So let’s set the scene: we have Thomas’ sister who is vegetarian, a few of his buddies from the gym, their wives/girlfriends/friends who all eat meat and then Thomas and I, who like I said earlier are trying to eat less meat. When I say the shredded chicken nachos were BARELY TOUCHED, I mean it! The vegetarian nachos were the winner of the nacho off and trust me, no one missed the meat.

One of the best things about nachos, isn’t the actual chip and cheese part, it is the toppings! So before I tell you what I put on the actual chips I will let you in on my secret to perfect nachos. In small festive dishes, this pack comes in a set of 6 in green, red and yellow to get you in the Nachos mood, I put sour cream, guacamole, (spicy and mild) – Thomas is weak when it comes to spice, and me on the other hand loves it so we must have both, salsa (again spicy and mild), diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and black olives. The key to having one appetizer feed a large group of people is giving each person the ability to make it their own.

Now for what you have been waiting for, the nachos topping. I am sorry y’all, but it is actually crazy easy! First off, set your oven to 350 F. Now get out a large pan, and gather your ingredients. Depending on how many people you are having over, you can add to the amounts given, so don’t fret on the exact measurements and just trust your judgement. I used two cans of black beans, rinsed and drained, two cans of corn, defrosted, a packet of low-sodium taco seasoning, 1 a small can of rotel chopped green chiles, salt and pepper, a tsp cumin, a tsp of paprika, and a tsp of garlic powder. Throw everything into your pan and squeeze 2-3 limes into the mixture, depending on the juiciness and size of your limes (you can also add the zest of one of those limes to add even more citrus flavor). Add a 1/4 of a cup of water and cook on medium-high till the ingredients are combined and the taco seasoning is cooked into the black beans and corn. Meanwhile, slice up a drained can of black olives and set them aside.

Now take two large baking sheets and start lining up your chips. I use these baking sheets because they are HUGE, 15 in. x 21 in. to be exact, so make sure they fit your oven before ordering. I use these large sheet pans for everything from roasting a half of a salmon, to multi veggie roasting, to these nachos! Make sure you lay out the chips in a way that they aren’t overlapping each other a lot; it is best to get each chip covered in topping and cheese**. Now evenly distribute the black bean/corn mixture over the chips and sprinkle a heavy hand of shredded cheddar cheese over the that then sprinkle on some of the black olives. Now repeat! I say two layers is good for the most flavorful nachos, but you can do one, three, five… whatever your heart’s desire.

Put the trays in your preheated oven (about 350 degrees F) and set your timer for 15 minutes, but don’t necessarily set it and forget it. Depending on your cheese, it may melt faster OR like mine, get a little crispy on the edges, and you have to put foil on it to make sure it melts and doesn’t harden. But, normally with shredded cheddar, 350 degrees F for 15 minutes should be perfect. When cheese is melted all the way through the layers, and the flavors develop, take out your pans and serve them immediately with your prepared toppings. Now sit back and watch while your guests devour them, well after you get your plate of course!

VEGETARIAN NACHOS RECIPE



Ingredients:

2 bags Tortillas Chips

1.5 cans black beans, rinsed

1.5 cans corn

1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning

1-2 limes
1 can green chiles

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of garlic powder

salt & pepper

1/4 cup water

1 can, drained and sliced, black olives

2 11oz bags shredded cheese** (you can use cheddar, colby jack,
pepper jack, Mexican style, or any other cheese you like on
nachos.



Instructions:

Throw everything (except the chips, cheese, and black olives) into
your pan and squeeze 1-2 limes into the mixture, depending on the
juiciness and size of your limes (you can also add the zest of
one of those limes to add even more citrus flavor). Add a 1/4 of
a cup of water and cook on medium-high till the ingredients are
combined and the taco seasoning is cooked into the black beans and
corn. 
Meanwhile, slice up a drained can of black olives and set
them aside. 



Now take two large baking sheets and start lining up your chips.
Make sure you lay out the chips in a way that they aren't
overlapping each other a lot; it is best to get each chip
covered in topping and cheese**.
Now evenly distribute the black bean/corn mixture over the chips
and sprinkle a heavy hand of shredded cheddar cheese over the that
then sprinkle on some of the black olives.
Now repeat! I say two layers is good for the most flavorful
nachos, but you can do one, three, five... whatever your heart's
desire.

Put the trays in your preheated oven (about 350 degrees F) and set
your timer for 15 minutes, but don't necessarily set it and forget
it. Depending on your cheese, it may melt faster OR like mine, get
a little crispy on the edges, and you have to put foil on it to
make sure it melts and doesn't harden. But, normally with shredded
cheddar, 350 degrees F for 15 minutes should be perfect. When
cheese is melted all the way through the layers, and the flavors
develop, take out your pans and serve them immediately with your
prepared toppings.

**Now these can EASILY be made into vegan nachos! I used a Mexican style shredded cheese because we have multiple people eating these, but if it were just Thomas and I, I would use the melt-able vegan mozzarella cheese.

The Perfect Finger Foods for Game Night

When we can, we like to get our friends together to do a game night, and when you have a bunch of competitors, their girlfriends, wives, and friends together we need food! (bodybuilders stay hungry!) Here is my, not so healthy – but delicious, top five perfect finger foods. 

  1. Sheet Tray Nachos – we like to do them vegetarian with black beans, corn, green chiles  and all the fixings on the side. Check out the recipe HERE
  2. Veggie Platter – to save you time and effort, go to your local grocery store and grab an already made tray with carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and a ranch dip OR make your own. You may end up saving some money, but it will just be a little more effort. Choose 3-5 different veggies, you could add a sliced cheese, a cracker, and then a really delicious dip. If I am making it homemade I like to adda packet of powdered ranch dressing to a container of low-fat sour cream, just stir and serve. Easy Peesy and Delicious!
  3. Roasted Nuts – you can choose between a mixture like pecans, almonds and cashews, or a bowl of seasoned almonds, or honey roasted pecans. 
  4. Seasoned Popcorn – This is also an easy app to make and people love popcorn. You can grab a few bags of Vics ready to eat popcorn, or my favorite BoomChickaPop popcorn that is sweet and salty. But if you eat a lot of popcorn, like myself, the best thing is to get is an air popper! You put in popping corn, and let the hot air pop your corn! Then you can add different popcorn seasonings, or my favorite melted butter and hot sauce, and serve. It doesn’t use oil or butter to cook, so it can be a very healthy treat if you limit your portion.
  5. Something sweet! Let’s be honest, everyone loves to have something sweet to nibble on at any event. I like to make cookies, stay tuned for my upcoming recipe of my infamous and CRAZY EASY funfetti cake mix cookies. But you can also grab a few festive cookies at the grocery store, or cheesecake bars, or even make up a thing of puppy chow! I introduced this to Thomas this past year, and he loved it. 

Game night is fun, so don’t stress yourself with creating a huge buffet of food. Remember, you want things to be easy to eat while playing games, you can always loop people in to bring things so you don’t have to buy everything, and get a good mix of bought and prepped items so that you can enjoy the game night as much as your guests. 

Enjoy!