lentil chili cheese nachos

lentil chili cheese nachos_hot for food

I’ve come up with the perfect game day snack…vegan nachos! For me, “game day” is just a thing you say to sound like you know what you’re talking about. I actually couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl, but food? Well, I’ll play along just to get down with some snacks. These lentil chili cheese nachos are a winner no matter what team you’re on! 

I drizzled ’em with my nacho cheese sauce, which you’ll probably become obsessed with if you’ve never tasted it before. The meatiness of ground beef you’ll find on traditional nachos is also subbed out for tasty, protein-packed lentils. The rest of the story is up to you! Top them with any veggies of your choosing, spicy jalapeños, fresh herbs, or even cashew sour cream! If game day means vegan nachos, let’s consider every day game day. Deal?

lentil chili cheese nachos_hot for food

lentil chili cheese nachos_hot for food
3.82 from 11 votes
Print Recipe

lentil chili cheese nachos

These ridiculous chili cheese nachos are great for game day, a party, or how about just dinner for one!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, lentils, nacho cheese sauce, nachos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lauren Toyota


lentil chili

  • 1 C cooked brown lentils
  • 1/4 C finely chopped white onion
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 C finely chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 C fire roasted diced tomatoes (about 1/2 a can) 
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 C low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • nacho cheese sauce
  • 1 bag organic corn chips
  • 1/2 C diced tomato
  • 1/4 C finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 C chopped pickled jalapeños


  1. In a large pan or wide pot, sauté onion, red pepper, and celery in oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until softened and fragrant. 

  2. Add minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and cumin and combine with the vegetables, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the cooked lentils, fire roasted tomatoes, coconut sugar, low-sodium vegetable stock, sea salt, and ground black pepper and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer for a couple of minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep the chili warm until you’re ready to serve your nacho platter.

  4. Assemble your nachos however you like ’em. Feel free to use other toppings to your liking. Arrange the corn chips on a large platter, top with lentil chili, and toppings, then drizzle with lots of nacho cheese. You can pile that chili as high you want, or even think about making single serving chili cheese nacho bowls for Super Bowl Sunday!

Recipe Notes

You could easily make the cheese sauce and chili ahead of time and just reheat when you’re ready to serve.

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21 thoughts on “lentil chili cheese nachos”

  1. My husband wouldn’t shut up about how much he loved these nachos. I used crushed tomatoes and a food processor instead of a blender and it turned out perfect. Figured out that if the cheese isn’t the right consistency, you just have to blend it longer. I now keep cooked lentils in my freezer to have on hand for these babies. The nacho meat didn’t survive long enough to make it to the freezer but I imagine it would freeze well. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

    1. haha we love the nacho cheese sauce… total game changer. AND we’ve convinced so many non-vegans it’s cheese!

  2. Delicious! This is my first attempt at cooking vegan. Very flavorful with a wonderful mixture of spices. Thank you for posting.

  3. Hi Lauren! You have shared an amazing recipe. I am vegan since a month and I have tried this week. It is really delicious, yummy in taste. I become big fan of your vegan recipes. Thanks for sharing delicious recipes.

  4. Didn’t have arrowroot flour, so I used glutinous rice flour instead… Well it turned out great! 😀 When I heated the sauce, the texture was quite gooey to perfection yassssss. Love your vegan recipes as always, coming from a non-vegan reader. 😉

  5. Made this recipe tonight and it was AMAZING!! Me and my whole family agreed it was the best nachos I’ve ever made. I’ve made many a potato/carrot cheese sauce too and this one is the best!! Lauren you sure have a way with sauces & flavours. Excellent recipe, I highly recommend it.

  6. I made this for a couple carnivore friends last night, and it was a hit! The platter was totally licked clean! I almost wish I didn’t share them 😉

    As I was going along, I tasted things and made some changes. My friends don’t like spicy food that much, so I cut back on the jalapenos (I only used 2, but I kept the pickling liquid). I added paprika for additional spice and color, and I also added some miso paste and regular pickle juice to add more cheesy/fermented taste to the sauce.

    For the chili, I doubled the recipe, skipped the peppers, and added extra onion and celery. I added a little soy sauce and vegan Worcestershire sauce to make it a bit more savory.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! This is the best cheese sauce I’ve made and it felt really good to see my friends enjoying something vegan so much. One of them said the cheese sauce was better than actual nacho cheese.

  7. Your youtube channel has helped so much, when I decided to go vegan it was so hard to decide what to eat. I feel so creative these days!

  8. I made this and loved it. I love telling people what I had for dinner and they look at me funny and then tell me I need to eat better.

  9. This is my to go meal for a game night! It’s so good. Thanks Lauren. Funny story, I used cayenne pepper instead of chili powder. 😛 it was so spicy, but tomatoes and avo helped.

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