1SpoonfulChipotle pasteor adobo sauce or chipotle peppers in adobo
8-12ozShredded Cheeselike cheddar, pepper jack, or Mexican blend
8-12ozSalsahomemade or store bought, any spice level
Taco Seasoningor any combination of chili powders, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano,
1-2Onionslike sweet vidalia, yellow, red, green, or even shallots; diced
1Squashlike butternut or zucchini, diced
1-2EarsCornor canned or thawed frozen corn
1Bell Pepperany color, diced
2-3Tomatoeslike plum or any globe variety, seeds removed and diced
1-2Medium-Hot Pepperslike jalapeno or serrano, small diced
2Limesor lemons or even an orange
1Mangoor other fruit like pineapple or peach
1BunchCilantroor parsley, finely chopped
2-4ClovesGarlicfinely chopped or minced
Pre-Cook Warm Toppings
Roast and diced winter squash until soft or sautee diced summer squash and fresh corn until lightly browned.
For the beans, heat up some oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add 1 clove of garlic, minced or chopped, a handful of diced onion, and some hot pepper if you'd like for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Add any whole beans, and a few splashes of water. Continue to cook as the beans soften, and use a wooden spoon to smash the beans. Add chipotle paste, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper, and taste as you go.
Add in any refried beans, and continue to cook until soft and combined. Then remove from the heat, season to taste, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F
In a large baking dish (like a 16x9 casserole, or sheet pan with edges) add a layer of chips. Top with half the beans and/or squash, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, caramelized onions or shallots, corn, and cheese.
Repeat with another layer of chips and toppings. Bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. In the meantime, work on the cold toppings.
Prepare Cold Toppings
To make guacamole: Smash the avocados with the juice of a quarter lime per avocado in a medium bowl (I use a pastry blender to do this) and add more lime, salt, pepper, garlic, hot peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and spices as desired.
To make pico de gallo: Mix tomatoes and onions with a 2:1 ratio in a small bowl, and squeeze the juice of a lime wedge and season with salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, stirring ever few minutes. Add hot peppers, fruit, garlic, cilantro, spices, and salt and pepper as desired.
To make crema: Mix sour cream with the juice of a lime, and stir until it's the desired consistency (usually thin enough to drizzle, but not watery) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the nachos from the oven, and top with the cold ingredients: guacamole, pico de gallo, any extra tomatoes, onions, pepper, or fruits, salsa, crema, and garnish with cilantro.
Literally everything is optional, except the basics: chips and cheese. I wouldn't suggest leaving out the beans, because they give the whole thing substance, but you can easily use just whole or just refried for something lighter. You could also use lentils or vegetarian chili. Only add things you like or think you'll like. I don't include olives in the list because I hate them, but if you love them, go ahead and throw on some olive rings.
To quick pickle something like shallot or jalapeno rings: combine 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then stir in the peppers/onions and remove from heat. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. You can discard the liquid, or add a little bit to the beans or pico.
When picking fruit, I usually stick to one, and add it into the pico. A good one to start with is pineapple or mango. You can also small dice and just add the pieces on top when you're adding other cold toppings. If you're adventurous, you can add some hot peppers in with them, like habaneros.
Evenly distribute all the toppings, but if you're serving a guest who hates guacamole, you can also leave it off a portion, and just seat them on the right side of the pan.
Serve with a couple big forks and small appetizer plates, so everyone can take a bunch and not crowd. If it's a smaller group, crowding works fine, but these can be pretty messy, so I'd still suggest the plates!
Vegetarian Nacho Formula Recipe from Slumber & Scones https://www.slumberandscones.com/game-day-vegetarian-nachos-never-fail-formula/