Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Nachos make me weak at the knees. The thought of melty cheese, zesty salsa, and creamy guacamole… frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that. My love affair with nachos probably hit its peak in my college days. At the time, nachos were part of my regular weekly routine and I didn’t regret it one bit. Nowadays, I couldn’t make weekly nachos work, no matter how hard I tried. But that’s not saying they don’t still pull at my heartstrings.

This fun recipe is a great way to indulge in your nacho cravings, without heaps of unnecessary salt and fat. Cauliflower, a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, is one of those magical vegetables redefining how we think about “junk food.” For me, it started with buffalo cauliflower, then came cauliflower rice and cauliflower bread, and now I’ve moved onto cauliflower nachos. Is there anything this cruciferous vegetable can’t do?

This recipe starts by roasting cauliflower in the oven, to get them golden brown. I recommend spreading out the cauliflower florets as much as possible, so they can toast up nicely. The cumin, sea salt, chili powder, and garlic powder give an extra boost to an already delicious dish. And don’t forget the oil. It is the key to getting your vegetables to roast evenly in the oven — and it really helps to bring out their flavor.

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

When it comes to adding healthy toppings, you can feel free to get as creative as you want. The recipe here is a tried and true combination that I love: melted Monterey jack cheese, crisp and colorful veggies, and plenty of creamy avocado. You could also add shredded chicken, pinto beans, sliced black olives, or fresh salsa. Miss the flavor and crunch of tortilla chips? Crumble a few of these baked tortilla chips on top just before serving.

These cheesy cauliflower nachos are a fun one to pull out when you’re entertaining. My friends absolutely devoured it — and everyone loved that they didn’t give themselves a regrettable “food coma” afterwards. If serving this when entertaining, I recommend roasting the cauliflower in advance. Then, all you need to do is sprinkle on the cheese and vegetable toppings. A quick trip to the oven will melt the cheese, then you’re ready to spread out the avocado and serve. Be prepared for this dish to disappear within minutes!

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

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Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower , cut into florets
  • 2 tsp . olive oil
  • ½ tsp . ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • ¼ tsp . chili powder
  • ¼ tsp . garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack (or pepperjack) cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1 to 2 medium jalapeños , seeds and veins removed (optional), sliced
  • ½ cup mashed avocado
  • 2 Tbsp . finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. Place cauliflower on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder; toss gently to blend. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender crisp and golden.
  4. Top evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. Top evenly with tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, avocado, and cilantro; serve immediately.
Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos Recipe

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Photographs by Anguel Dimov and Brianne B of Natural Girl Modern World