Big Bill’s Nachos

I have to give my father-in-law a lot of credit. To paint a picture for you-he was a college football player, first generation American-Swede, and a third generation carpenter. He is tough as nails and as his nickname suggests, he’s a big guy. He always jokes that since he has pure Viking blood, he has to be big and tough. He is exactly what you imagine a “meat and potatoes” guy to look like.

 He also loves to cook. Now that he is retired he cooks all week long. He watches cooking shows, studies the recipes, and puts his own creative spin on each dish. We are always blown away with each new creation.

When I decided to become vegan I became his ultimate “challenge.” Like many, he is accustomed to making meat the centerpiece of a meal. He has accepted the “challenge” of cooking vegan meals for me and has never created a dish less than spectacular.

My husband and I were going to stop by their house in the middle of a very busy day and he offered to make us some nachos. On the phone he made it seem like my nachos would be nothing more than some chipe, beans, and salsa. My expectations were really low. As soon as I saw the massive tray of vegan nachos he created, I was blown away. 

Homemade refried bean mixed with his own spicy tomato sauce, roasted sweet potato, tomato, and corn, and homemade salsa, shredded lettuce, homemade corn salsa, and fresh limes for garnishing. This is his version of “throwing something together last minute”. I mean. It was glorious. My husband ate a bit of my vegan nachos and the meat and cheese version-he admitted the vegan ones were WAY better. 

I was, of course, so excited to devour them I completely forgot to take a picture. Luckily he gave me a run down on how he made them so I could recreate them at home. It was easier than I thought and just as delicious! 

Below are the ingredients I used in my version, feel free to get creative and make adjustments based on what you have and your own preferences.


  • Tortilla chips
  • A bit of oil for roasting veggies
  • Sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, quartered with insides scooped out
  • Can of black beans or refried beans
  • 1/4 cup of crushed tomatoes if using black beans (you could also use a few scoops of tomato paste with some water to thin)
  • Seasoning for the beans (I used ~1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder)
  • Frozen corn (however much you like on nachos)
  • Garnish ideas-salsa, finely chopped parsley (or cilantro if it doesn’t taste like soap to you), sliced avocado, vegan sour cream, freshly squeezed lime juice, shredded lettuce, green onions, fresh tomatoes, really anything you like!

What to do

  • Coat the sweet potato in a bit of oil and roast at 400 until it is cooked to your liking (for me ~30 min)
  • Coat the tomato and corn in a bit of oil and roast on a separate sheet (may roast faster) (for me ~20 min)
  • Pour the black beans into a pot with the spices and the crushed tomatoes. (I only buy canned beans that are only soaked in water, so when making refried beans I don’t drain or rinse.) 
  • Heat the beans over medium heat and crush with a potato masher. Turn heat off when the beans are as thick as you like. 
  • Place the chips in a baking dish (I used a pie dish)
  • Layer with the topping in any order you’d like.
  • Place in the over for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with your choice of toppings, enjoy!


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