I really hope you’ll love these Vegan Stretchy Melty Cheese Nachos as much as I do. They’re easy to make, loaded with healthy veggies, and drenched in a genuinely stretchy and melty, but dairy-free cheese. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Ever since I posted this grilled cheese recipe, I’ve been thinking hard about different ways I can put my new-found vegan cheese to use…and then someone commented on my grilled cheese recipe saying the cheese could be good for nachos, and I immediately knew I had to try it out. Thanks for the inspiration!
Let’s start with the cheese. This recipe came about as I wanted to create a properly stretchy, melty vegan cheese made from natural ingredients. I happily managed to do this thanks to the magical ingredient that is mochi.
Mochi are Japanese sticky rice cakes, which are made from pounding rice until it becomes sticky and glutinous (don’t worry, despite the name it is still gluten-free).
It is sold in many different forms, one of them being in small, hard blocks. When these blocks of mochi are melted, they become incredibly sticky, stretchy and gooey…like real cheese!
You can buy mochi in Asian supermarkets, some local health stores, or online – just make sure you get the hard, firm type that’s sold in blocks.
One word of caution: melted mochi is extremely sticky, so once you have removed the sauce from the pan, please soak your pan in boiling water immediately – otherwise you’ll have a very tricky washing-up situation on your hands!
Whereas my grilled cheese was made using a mixture of boiled potatoes with the mochi to make the cheese, I was concerned that it was a little carb-heavy. And because I had such a good time making a white bean mac and cheese, I decided to substitute the boiled potatoes with white beans.
And I’m happy that I tried it, because it worked beautifully! White beans have a similarly neutral flavour, but add more protein and fibre, which is always a good thing.
I then added all the same extras – miso for an umami-rich, fermented flavour, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and vinegar for a little tang. Incidentally, all of the ingredients I used happen to be oil-free and nut-free too!
What’s good about this vegan nacho recipe is that although the cheese part is a little more labour-intensive than if you’re using shop-bought cheese, you don’t need to turn on the oven to melt the cheese over the nachos, as the melting part will happen on the stove.
You can use regular shop-bought tortilla chips as the base for the nachos, but if you want to be healthier, you could use the trick of cutting up tortillas and baking them in the oven until crisp. I’ve never done this before, but definitely want to try it out soon!
Then you just load up the nachos with ALL the toppings – I went for:
- Mango salsa: crisp cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, juicy mangoes and tangy red onion
- Guacamole: rich and creamy avocado with hint of zingy lime
- Thinly sliced sweet red peppers for extra crunchy sweetness
- Thinly sliced jalapeños or green chilli for a kick of heat
- More coriander for extra flavour
- Sour cream – there are loads of vegan sour cream recipes out there, but one of my favourite ways to make it is blending up soaked cashews. This spicy miso mayonnaise is a very similar recipe, you can just leave out the miso and chilli and add some lemon juice or extra vinegar. Or you can use your favourite store-bought type
…or whatever else you want, the list is endless! If you think of any fun toppings, please let me know in the comments below 🙂
These nachos are such a great crowd-pleaser so would be perfect if you’re hosting guests. However, they also make a delicious lunch or indulgent snack.
Looking for more dairy-free cheese recipes? You might like my:
- Vegan White Bean Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Stretchy Melty Grilled Cheese
- Vegan Stretchy Melty Quesadillas
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
If you’d like to see how to make the cheese, check out this 40-second video here:
- 250 g (9oz) tinned white beans, drained and rinsed (haricot beans, cannellini beans or butter beans)
- 120 g (4oz) mochi (the hard firm mochi sold in blocks)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 heaped teaspoon miso* (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cucumber, cut into cubes
- 3 tomatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 small red onion, very finely diced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 200 g (7oz) tortilla chips (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
Place the mochi in a pan with 100ml (just under 1/2 cup) water and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or so until mochi has melted and become sticky - until soft enough to stick gently pierce with a fork
Add the white beans and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until heated through
Turn off heat and add nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar, salt + pepper
Use either a blender, food processor or hand-held stick blender (this is the easiest option as you can just do it in the same saucepan) and whizz until completely smooth
Place all ingredients together in a bowl and mix well
Place avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork
Add olive oil, lime juice and salt + pepper
Lay out tortilla chips on a large serving plate
Reheat cheese just before serving, and pour over tortilla chips
Scatter over the mango salsa, add dollops of guacamole, and other toppings of choice
Best enjoyed immediately**
One word of caution: melted mochi is extremely sticky, so once you have removed the sauce from the pan, please soak your pan in boiling water immediately - otherwise you'll have a very tricky washing-up situation on your hands!
*If you have trouble getting hold of miso, you can substitute with soy sauce (or tamari), and add extra nutritional yeast and salt if necessary
**You can prepare the mango salsa and guacamole in advance and keep covered in the fridge. The cheese can also be prepared in advance and kept covered in the fridge - just reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove before eating
Other suggested toppings:
- thinly sliced sweet red peppers
- thinly sliced jalapeños or green chilli
- roughly chopped coriander
- vegan sour cream
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