Nachos buffet newbie
April 14, 2018 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores! What are your favourite toppings at a nachos buffet? What does a good /great nachos buffet include?

I'll be serving 10-20 people in the afternoon with the previous day set aside for prep and cooking. Recipes or links would be great, descriptions are good too. Gracias.
posted by Thella to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite thing at a local vegan restaurant is jackfruit tacos. The flavored jackfruit tastes remarkably like pulled pork. I don’t have a recipe, but it should be easy to find one online.
posted by FencingGal at 8:47 PM on April 14, 2018

It is very exciting for this particular vegetarian when there is fake beef involved. You can buy premade crumbles and cooking a few beans into them as well makes it even better.

Also I enjoy queso/nacho cheese sauce, extremely chunky salsa, chunky guacamole, refried (non-larded) beans, black beans, corn salsa, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded spring greens of some sort, olives, and real cheddar cheese as well.

Can I also recommend that sangria or tinto de verano and a side of paella go very well?
posted by vegartanipla at 8:50 PM on April 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Beans- black beans, refried beans, even chili beans
Meat/“meat” - ground beef, diced chicken, ground tofu (akin to Chipotle’s sofritas), seitan bits, quorn
Veggies- pico de Gallo, corn, diced red onions, sliced green onions, sautéed onions and peppers
Cheese - of course. There may be some vegan cheeses that melt well— daiya is one brand I’m familiar with
Sour cream - plain Greek yogurt if you want to sub for something with more protein
Salsas - green, red, chunky, mild, regular ol hot sauce like Cholula or Valentina
posted by buttonedup at 8:51 PM on April 14, 2018

I think the only thing not mentioned above that I I would add would be chopped black olives.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:01 PM on April 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

A tomatillo based salsa is going to get me really excited. If you can find them fresh, minced up in a chunky salsa with sweet onion and cilantro is great, but you can more often find them canned. When canned is what I've got, I stick fat slabs of red onion, deseeded poblanos, whole cloves of garlic and drained canned tomatillos on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast at 400F until things have browned a bit all over. Then I basically scoop the whole situation into a blender and puree. If I have time I'll add some veggie broth and extra seasoning like cumin and whatnot and simmer everything so it reduces by about half and coats a spoon nicely. If I don't have time, I add a good bunch of cilantro and puree again so everything tastes really bright and tangy and call it done. There are a thousand variations on salsa verde with tomatillos as a main component, they're mostly all good.

I also really love olives on my nachos but I acknowledge that this is not normal and really more because I'll eat olives anywhere anyhow rather than a particular nacho thing.
posted by Mizu at 9:03 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Cheese, jalapeños, fake beef with black olives are a treat. Bit of sour cream 🤗
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 9:05 PM on April 14, 2018

A word for the humble chips.
Really, don't care what kind of chips, but nice crispy salty layers of goodness that don't disintegrate at the first contact with melted cheese (oooh, cheese) are key to a good nacho.
posted by TrishaU at 9:14 PM on April 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also love olives. This is normal.
posted by TrishaU at 9:16 PM on April 14, 2018

Non-spicy alternatives: pico de gallo (sans onions for best effect) that's mainly seasoned with salt & lime juice; black beans with cumin; etc.
posted by amtho at 9:21 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've been making nachos lately with hatch green chile + mozzarella/cheddar cheese + Penzey's Chill 9000 spice and it is a winner combo.
posted by belau at 9:25 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I see jalapeños mentioned, but not pickled jalapeños. So. Pickled jalapeños!
posted by JuliaIglesias at 9:57 PM on April 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Chopped scallions!
posted by quince at 10:00 PM on April 14, 2018

Carrots pickled with jalapeños and red onions!
posted by astapasta24 at 10:07 PM on April 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

I really like when there are seasonings as toppings--shakers or whatever of Tajín, lime juice, oregano, adobo, cumin, etc.

Unsauced pulled pork is my default nacho meat, especially when it's got crispy bits. Sauced meats are less good, both because that's what the salsa is for and because sometimes the sauces taste bad.

Roasted corn is always nice on nachos, too, in my opinion, and a lot of kids go nuts for it. Also, plain chopped tomatoes--not salsa, not pico de gallo, but just tomatoes, cut up. I'm a salsa verde person, but I still love tomatoes on my nachos.
posted by mishafletch at 10:13 PM on April 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

A friend who married into a Mexican family says her MIL's Crisis Beans are canned refried sauteed with any chorizo including soyrizo, and if you have a little more time and a pressure cooker you can apply the same principle to pinto beans.

I also make a vegan cream dressing with vegan mayo, lots of lime juice, and a dash of cumin and salt. Chop in some parsley and/or cilantro.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:32 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’m nasty, by which I mean I make my nachos with melted Velveeta and Ro-Tel.

Melt Velveeta and a can of Ro-Tel in a sauce pan - I also add some cumin and lime juice. Then, layer cheese, chips, pico and tomatillo salsa and beans or fake/real meat on a baking sheet that’s lined with foil. Stick it under the broiler until crispy. Trashy perfection.
posted by faineg at 10:57 PM on April 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

My Dream Nachos include plain chopped avocado.

I'm one of those blessed people for whom cilantro tastes like soap tinged with oxidized copper, so guacamole containing it is icky. But some plain avocado with salsa, meat, beans, and corn make my nachos divine.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:20 PM on April 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

for vegans, it's better than sour cream
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:02 AM on April 15, 2018

Vegan here. Was just about to chime in about vegan sour cream, but I see 5_13_23_42_69_666 got there first.

But I will put in a word for guacamole.
posted by kyrademon at 4:07 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm not a vegan. I've eaten nachos before that only consisted of meat, cheese, and sour cream. And yet, I'd be disappointed if a nacho bar did not offer black beans. They're delicious, and work well with just about everything you can imagine on a nacho bar.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:52 AM on April 15, 2018

Pickled red onions for after they come out of the oven.

There's a vegan queso recipe floating around on the internet that's predominantly potato and carrot but is somehow delicious, so you might keep an eye out for that. (Sorry I don't have the recipe, I've only had other people make it for me!)
posted by snaw at 11:12 AM on April 15, 2018

This is a great vegan nacho cheese recipe. I recommend adding a bit more acidity (lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and I also use WAY more nutritional yeast than suggested (nooch is life).
posted by missmary6 at 11:20 AM on April 15, 2018

Queso! This is my favorite queso recipe.

Seconding scallions, yum, and good guacamole. Several kinds of salsa, varying levels of spiciness and chunkiness. I loooove soy chorizo (Trader Joe's is the best) and it is a winner for nachos.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2018

I'm lazy af and my vegan girlfriend loves nachos, so we eat them a lot. I was lucky enough to accidentally find some Daiya cheese sauce that blew up our nacho game. In fact, our vegan nachos are legendary in our omnivore circles and are requested All The Damn Time.

I'm on mobile so I can't add a link, but seriously - google it and prepare to be amazed.
posted by AnneBoleyn at 3:20 PM on April 15, 2018

Oh man, nachos is my favorite food. I don't eat all of these together, but if I had the options, I 100% would:

-Black beans
-Pinto beans
-Refried beans
-Sour cream
-Pico de gallo
-Hot pepper sauce/salsa
-Raw onion
-Grilled onion
-Pickled onion
-Fresh jalapeno
-Pickled jalapeno
-Grilled peppers
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:34 PM on April 15, 2018

I just saw a 'hot ones' episode where Guy Fieri was asked for a simple sauce for a party. He gave a queso recipe that I've really been enjoying.

a jalapeno
an onion
a garlic clove
another hot pepper of your choosing (or another jalapeno)
1 or two teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
for about 5 or so minutes...

Start with a Roux
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
... Stir on medium low heat for three minutes
Turn into bechemel
... Add 1 cup milk (1/3rd at a time, whisking in until fully mixed)
Turn into a cheese sauce
... Add 1 cup (or more?) sharp cheddar and/or monterey jack
... Add Saute ingredients
Stir occassional on reduced heat

Add fresh salsa.

Okay, now a big paste of a few mexican staples I've been using for awhile. The refried beans recipe is super popular, a vegan recipe, and can be made into a cheese/bean dip by adding some shredded cheese...

These are all variants of recipes I've used/adopted. Before I used a slow cooker, cooking a batch of refrried beans used to be a 12 hour process that was long and arduous, now it's less than 1/2 hour of work (on the front and end)
Refried Beans:
* 1 bag (900g) dried black beans
* 2 onions, diced
* (optional, not included in this one) diced garlic cloves
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 tablespoon salt
* Water
* 1 cup veg oil
* (optional, hot sauce to taste to add a bit of a kick - add to taste)
* epazote - a tablespoon (optional, this adds a nice subtle flavor)

Put all ingredients except Oil into large slow cooker (5-6 quarts), filling to near the top with water. put on low for 10 hours. Drain beans, keeping the water. Heat large pan with 1 cup oil on medium. Add beans and 1/2 cup of bean 'water'. Mash with hand masher (or perhaps immsersian blender?).

Hot sauce:
1 habernaro pepper (or scotch bonnet)
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 diced onion
some diced garlic cloves
1 28 oz can of diced tomato
2 cups water

Boil habernaro in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and run under cold water. Remove stem and seeds (wash hands afterwards! habernaro can be dangerous!). Blend habernaro in water it was boiled with (a 'bullet' can be a good blender for this).

Saute onions and garlic. Add cumin after a couple of minutes. Add salt.

Put can of tomato sauce in pan and heat up until simmering. Add onion saute. Add blended habernaro. Simmer for 20+ minutes. Put entire mixture into blender. Add blended mixture back onto the stove and let simmer for an hour or so.

Bean Dip:
Refried beans
A lot of shredded cheddar cheese
Quite a bit of Hot sauce (to add flavour).
Heat on low. (can heat in a bowl in a microwave to melt cheese).


Pico de gallo
2 tomatos diced
1 onion - diced
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 seeded jalapeno - diced
1 lime - squeezed in
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
(optional) - 1/2 diced green pepper
A couple of teaspoons of salt

Vary these ingredients per your own taste, it'll take a couple of batched to get happy with how you want to eat it.

Let marinate for a couple of hours before eating.

2 avacados, well mashed
Pico de gallo - to taste (keep adding it and mixing it in until you have a consistency you are happy with)
If you want some more heat, add some hot sauce
posted by el io at 11:48 AM on April 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh my goodness! You are all awesome! Thank you from the bottom of my plate of beans.
posted by Thella at 2:45 AM on April 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

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