Photography: Ashley McLaughlin
This recipe comes to us from Angela Liddon’s incredibly popular book of plant-based recipes, Oh She Glows Every Day. The perfect snack for entertaining, it’s smoky, satisfying and nutritious yet indulgent—oh and did we mention it’s vegan?
Chili Cheese Nachos
By Angela Liddon
Growing up, I was a huge fan of Wendy’s Chili and Cheese Nachos (remember the 99 cent menu?). While it’s been years since I’ve stepped foot inside, I still crave the idea of chili and cheese nachos on occasion. I’ve finally created a wholesome version that’s free of processed foods, but that captures all the bold flavor of the original. You won’t believe how decadent tasting—yet wholesome—the cheese sauce is, and how satisfying the smoky lentil and kidney bean chili is. This dish makes a great appetizer (just serve the dip with a big spoon so guests can portion it into their own bowls) or you can serve it for dinner like we often do—it’ll easily serve four. If you want to serve it to a crowd, try putting it in a warmed cast-iron pot or in a warmer to retain the heat. I like this dip spicy so I serve it with pickled sliced jalapeños on top—it adds a juicy kick of heat!
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
½ to ¾ tsp fine sea salt, to taste, plus a pinch
1 medium/large jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, diced (about 11/3 cups)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 (14-ounce) can lentils, drained and rinsed, or 1½ cups cooked lentils
1 (14-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sriracha or other hot sauce
2 batches All-Purpose Cheese Sauce (link below)
Corn tortilla chips, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, stir, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
2. Stir in the fresh jalapeño and 1 cup of the bell pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika and stir to combine.
3. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juices and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
4. Stir in the tomato paste, lentils, and kidney beans. With a potato masher, roughly mash one-third of the mixture—don’t try to mash it smooth, just until it’s slightly thickened.
5. Add the vinegar, salt, black pepper, and Sriracha. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if desired, until thickened to your liking.
6. Into individual bowls (or a 2½- to 3-quart/2.5 to 3 L cast-iron pot or glass dish), ladle a layer of chili. Top with a layer of the All Purpose Cheese Sauce. Keep layering until the chili is used up and you’ve added as much cheese sauce as you prefer (I usually reserve ½ cup of the sauce for another use). Top the dip with the remaining bell pepper, pickled jalapeño, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
7. Serve immediately with corn tortilla chips. Let any leftovers cool completely (otherwise, the steam will create more water in the dip) before transferring to a container and refrigerating for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop while stirring to combine with the cheese sauce. Cooled leftovers can be frozen in freezer-safe zip-top bags with the air pressed out or in freezer-safe containers filled to the top (to prevent freezer burn) for up to 1 month.
Excerpted from Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes by Angela Liddon. Copyright © 2016 Glo Bakery Corporation. Photography by Ashley McLaughlin. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Servings: Serves 4 or 5
approx. Per Serving