Friday, September 12, 2014

Health(ier) Loaded Nachos!

Happy Friday, friends!  With the weekend upon us, I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for comfort food.  After all, the weather is turning, fall is close (or already here), and if you have a football fan in your household, watching a football game at home is always more fun if you have a few snacks on hand.  What better snack to have than a big 'ol plate of nachos?

Now this pregnant mama has been craving nachos for most of my second trimester (read = last three months) and I have been perfecting my loaded nacho recipe.  And not just nachos with cheese, but nachos with the works: beef & beans, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, you name it!!

Now I know that when people think of nachos, they think unhealthy.  My version with beef and beans and pico de gallo is certainly healthier than just eating a plate of chips with cheese.  But if you do want to indulge a little, add a little sour cream and a little cheese (instead of mounds of it), and suddenly, we've got an exercise in moderation.  It's all about quantity, people!

Now let's get to how easy it is to make these nachos!!

Loaded Nachos

Serves: 4
Prep/cook time: 30 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes

Special equipment: none

Don't be daunted by having to prepare two different things -- it's worth it.  Making pico de gallo is easy and tastier than buying store bought pico de gallo.

Pico De Gallo:
4 hot house / vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (use only half if you don't want too much heat in your salsa)
1 small white onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Juice from 1/2 a lime

Beef and Bean topping:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef sirloin (90-92% lean)*
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust for more spice, if you like heat!)
15 oz can black beans, no salt added, drained
*Choose ground sirloin for a healthier snack.  I personally like ground chuck (80-85% lean) for more flavor.

Remaining ingredients & additional toppings (optional)
Bag of your favorite tortilla chips
1/2-1 cup grated cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, whatever floats your boat)
Sour cream
Chopped scallions
Sliced avocado
Hot pepper sauce

Making the Nachos

Prepare pico de gallo: combine pico de gallo ingredients and set aside so that flavors can develop while you prepare the beef & bean topping.

Cook the beef & beans: heat a 12" skillet over medium high heat.  Once hot, add oil and chopped onion.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add minced garlic for one minute, don't let it burn.  Add ground beef, breaking it up with spoon.  Before meat browns, add seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.  Once meat is browned, add black beans.  Reduce heat to low, and cook until beans are warmed through.

Assemble the nachos: spread the nachos on a plate, top chips with beef & bean topping.  Sprinkle cheese on top, then microwave to melt cheese (45-60 seconds on high).  Serve with toppings on top (or on the side): pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, scallions, etc.


Do you have a football fan in your household?  Or do you get a hankering for comfort food and snacks when the weather turns cooler?  What do you like to eat when it's cold(er) outside?


  1. This looks amazing. I could totally go for some nachos right now. (no pregnancy excuse needed)

    1. I agree, no pregnancy excuse needed to enjoy nachos!

  2. Sounds delicious! I have some leftover tortilla chips from our birthday party bash... I think my hubby would be so thrilled if I made this, especially given that I usually have him eating paleo alongside me :) Pinning!!

  3. I love non - meat nachos :) and I love to pile guacamole on! Not much football happening at my house, but we do watch Nascar races :)


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