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Loaded Nachos
Sharing plate
Over 2 hours

Vegans rejoice — Club Mexicana's Meriel Armitage is here with her vegan loaded nachos recipe to see you through a lifetime of (socially distanced) birthdays, picnics, or any other gathering of plant-based partygoers in your future: "It’s easy to forget how good the classics can be when you’re cooking for a crowd. Skip the shop-bought toppings and learn how to make some knock-out chilli oil, pico de gallo and vegan red pepper queso. Then scale up this nacho recipe for larger groups, picnics and potlucks — easy!"

Recipe courtesy of

For the chilli oil — makes 200ml

  • 200ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 6g Pasilla chilli
  • 15g Guajillo chilli
  • 5g Morita chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of salt

NOTE: If you can’t find these Mexican dried chillies then just use regular dried chilli flakes, or mix it up with any different types you can find. Whether they are Mexican or not it’ll still taste great!

For the pico de gallo

  • 1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 10g coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch of salt

For the red pepper queso

  • 300ml soy milk
  • 200g vegan cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 red pepper, halved and de-seeded
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • Pinch of salt

To serve

  • Tortilla chips
  • Guacamole
  • Coriander
  • Chilli lime salt (if available)
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  1. Start with the chilli oil. In a large pan heat the oil until 100°C (if you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell when you can feel the heat coming up out of the pot).
  2. When it’s at temperature, take the pan off the stove and add all of the chillies, garlic and salt.
  3. Leave to cool for around 2 to 3 hours (or preferably overnight), until it reaches room temperature.
  4. When it’s cooled, use a hand blender or high speed blender to blend the mixture until all of the ingredients form a paste — leave it rough enough so that you can still see the chilli seeds.
  5. With a fine sieve, drain the oil and keep back the chilli paste (you can add fresh herbs and lemon juice to the paste and use it in other dishes, store in the fridge).
  6. Your chilli oil is finished! Set aside for the nachos.
  7. For the pico de gallo, place the chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander in a bowl.
  8. Squeeze over the lime juice and salt and stir to combine. Season to taste and set aside.
  9. Now for the red pepper queso. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  10. Coat the red pepper halves with a little oil and place on a baking tray. Roast until the skin is soft and starting to lightly burn.
  11. Remove the tray from the oven and place a bowl over the pepper halves so that steam is captured inside the bowl. This will make it easier to remove the skins once the pepper halves have cooled.
  12. When cool enough to handle, peel off the pepper skins and discard. Place the pepper flesh to one side.
  13. In a saucepan, bring the soy milk to the boil.
  14. Add the grated cheese, heat until the cheese softens, then remove from the heat.
  15. Add the nutritional yeast flakes, red pepper flesh and salt.
  16. Blend the queso with a hand blender, then check the seasoning and adjust to your own taste.
  17. When you’ve finished making the components, layer up with tortilla chips, guacamole, coriander and chilli lime salt. Make sure there are plenty of toppings in each layer (and mouthful), and serve as soon as possible.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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