Chipotle Chili “Cheese” Nachos

A veg take on a classic.

Whether you’re vegan or not, these nachos are packed with flavour, protein, and healthy fats. They are also guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal!

I’ve made this recipe for family and friends many times and it’s always a crowd pleaser. This dish is sure to please both the herbivores and omnivores in the group. It’s the perfect dish to whip up for a friday night in, a potluck, or even just a quick and easy weeknight meal.

The beautiful thing about this recipe, is that it is SO versatile. You can double the batch and freeze half (or more) for later – I like to freeze single servings in mason jars.

You can also eat the leftovers in a variety of ways if you don’t want to have nachos all week long.

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve made the lentil mixture.

Keep reading to find out how to repurpose your nacho leftovers!

Serve over your favourite pasta

Serve as a nacho dip instead of loaded nachos

Serve with rice and vegetables

“Chili Mac” See Recipe Notes

Serve over oven-baked potato slices instead of nacho chips (crispy and SO delicious). I recommend Yukon gold potatoes baked at 400F for 40-45 minutes flipping half way through.

Chipotle Chili “Cheese” Nachos

Course Main Course


Chipotle Chili Lentil Topping

  • 1 cup dried lentils (or a can of lentils)
  • 1 onion small/medium
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (sub liquid aminos or soy if not soy sensitive)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 650ml jar of tomato sauce

Chipotle Cheese-y Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews soaked
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Optional Nacho Toppings & Add-Ons

  • Avocado/Guacamole 
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onion
  • Lime wedges 
  • Chopped fresh peppers
  • Shredded red cabbage


  • * Place the cashews a bowl and cover in warm water to soak while you make the chipotle chili lentil topping. Set aside.

Chipotle Chili Lentil Topping

  • Boil water and cook lentils per package instructions if using dried lentils.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion begins to look slightly translucent. Add red bell pepper and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften.
  • Add spices, salt & pepper, coconut aminos and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add tomato sauce and stir again.
  • When your lentils are done cooking add to the mixture and mix until well combined

Chipotle Cheese-y Sauce

  • Check on your cashews, if they separate when you gently pinch them together with your thumb and index finger they are good to go!
  • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined and there are no gritty chunks.


  • Nachos can be assembled in many ways, I recommend leaving a space in the center because people tend to eat around the edges first and the centre can get a bit soggy. I suggest placing a light layer of nacho chips in a circle around a large plate or serving platter (or just a regular plate if you’re just feeding two people!), add some of the lentil topping, cheese-y sauce, and optional veg toppings – then repeat! I usually do two layers and top it all off with a generous portion of guac, cilantro, green onion, etc. 


  • I say that the avocado/guac is optional but this truly is a key ingredient and I would highly suggest including it!
  • For the nacho version I love to serve this dish with Neal Brothers nacho chips.
How to repurpose your leftovers!
  • Cook up your favourite pasta noodles (I love to use GoGo Quinoa)! Add the Chipotle Chili Lentil Topping, Chipotle Cheese-y sauce, guac and any other add-ins and BAM, you have another nutrient dense meal! I also love to add steamed or roasted broccoli and greens to this version of the dish for some extra veg, but you can get creative here.
  • Cook some brown rice or quinoa, add your favourite veggies (I love roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts and steamed greens) add in your “nacho” toppings and there you have it – a satisfying bowl!
  • Use oven baked potato slices instead of nachos
  • Pour over this vegan Mac and cheese recipe & it’s like a “chili Mac”
Keyword appetizer, chili cheese, chipotle, nachos, simple meal, versitile
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