Wondering how to make nachos on a grill? These Grillable Loaded Nachos take summer grilling to a new level with the best vegetarian nacho toppings!
These Loaded Grilled Nachos were created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.
This past month we’ve been working on a secret project that’s being revealed…now! Guess what? We made a 6-episode cooking video series for you! It’s called the Summer Barbecue Series and it stars Alex and me with our friend, blogger and author Tessa from Handle the Heat. Alex, Tessa and I have been working hard to create six brand new summer recipes. Three of the recipes are our everyday healthy vegetarian recipes and three are Tessa’s baked perfection, each starring ingredients we found at our local Kroger. These Grilled Loaded Nachos are the first up in our series and man, are they good. When Alex made them for me the first time, I was completely surprised with how flavorful they were.
Watch: how to make nachos on a grill
The Summer Barbecue Series is a 6-episode video series that we dreamed up with our friend Tessa. Tessa runs Handle the Heat baking blog and she adds a sprinkling of science to her approach. She’s got a fabulous YouTube channel and book. We met in Detroit, hit it off, and dreamed up a collaboration to get us in front of the camera. We were so excited to bring on Kroger as our partner and create 6 new summer barbecue recipes with ingredients you can find at their stores.
Why grilled nachos?
Grilled nachos are a perfect grilled dinner idea to wow a crowd for summer entertaining! Making nachos on the grill brings a smoky, charred flavor to the nachos and they look stunning in a cast iron skillet. They’re a fun summer recipe to share with guests on the patio. You can eat them as a main dish with a side salad, or as an appetizer for a summer happy hour. Our grilled loaded nachos feature our best nacho toppings to make them out-of-this-world good. In this recipe, we featured two star ingredients from Kroger (and got everything else there too!): Mission tortilla chips and Private Selection salsa.
How to make nachos on a grill?
The basic concept of how to make nachos on a grill is to place the nachos in a cast iron skillet, cover it with foil, and grill it for a few minutes to melt the cheese. But Alex and I wanted to amp up the grilled flavor in these loaded nachos. Instead of just a few minutes on the grill, Alex had the idea of grilling the nacho toppings! So in this recipe, we’ve used the grill not once but twice: once to grill the veggie toppings, and then again to melt the cheese. Grilling the vegetables for the nacho toppings amps up the smoky, grilled flavor so it’s there in every bite!
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, it’s not necessary for this recipe. You can use any grill proof pan for the recipe, including an aluminum sheet pan.
What are the best vegetarian nachos toppings?
If you follow Alex and my story, you’ll know we’re not fully vegetarian. But we eat vegetarian about 90% of the time, so most of the recipes on this website are vegetarian and vegan recipes. And our cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook (named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious!). So we’ve become experts in making vegetarian recipes taste meaty and delicious, satisfying for everyone around the table. So what are the best nachos toppings, from a vegetarian perspective? For this recipe, we used these vegetarian nachos toppings:
- Quick “refried” beans: We smashed pinto beans with salsa and stirred in some garlic powder and salt for a quick topping that tastes like refried beans. You also could use canned refried beans or Homemade Refried Beans.
- Grilled vegetables: We used the grill twice in this recipe, first to grill up vegetable toppings for the grilled nachos to infuse that smoky flavor. This recipe has red bell pepper, jalapeño peppers, and red onion, but you could use any vegetables you like.
- Cheese: Cheese is a must for nacho toppings! We found it’s best to place the cheese on top of the beans layer so that it stays gooey, instead of right onto the chips which makes it harden. For vegan or plant based, you can omit.
- Guac: Another favorite vegetarian nacho topping of ours is guacamole: it adds a super savory, creamy deliciousness to each bite!
- Cilantro: Cilantro makes for stunning confetti and adds a fresh undertone as vegetarian nacho toppings!
- Other: To add a zing. try our Pickled Jalapeños or Pickled Onions.
To us, these are the best nacho toppings: but what are we missing? What are your favorite nacho toppings? Tell us in the comments below.
Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?
Outside of these loaded grilled nachos, here are other summer barbecue recipes:
- Cheesy Skillet Cornbread
- Ultimate Grilled Veggie Burger
- Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad
- Vanilla Sheet Cake with Grilled Strawberries
- Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa
- Grilled Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich
- Summer Dinner Recipes to Eat Al Fresco
This recipe is…
This grillable loaded nachos recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant based, and dairy free, use Vegan Sour Cream and omit the cheese.Print
Wondering how to make nachos on a grill? These Loaded Grilled Nachos take summer grilling to a new level with the best vegetarian nacho toppings!
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 jalapeño peppers
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
- 1/2 cup Private Selection Salsa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 ounces Mission Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1 large green onion, thinly sliced
- Sour cream (or Vegan Sour Cream), for garnish
- Guacamole, for garnish
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Heat a grill to medium heat.
- Prep the veggies: Cut the bell pepper in half, top-to-bottom, and remove seeds and pith. Cut the stem off the jalapeños and use a paring knife to carefully remove seeds, leaving peppers whole. Cut the onion into quarters top-to-bottom, leaving the bottom root attached the pieces stay together on the grill. Place the peppers and onion into a bowl, then drizzle them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Grill the veggies: Place the peppers and onion directly onto the grate and grill for 6 to 10 minutes until charred and slightly tender, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and use for topping the nachos (below).
- Make the beans: Drain the pinto beans and add them to a small bowl with the salsa, olive oil, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Mash with a fork until all beans are mashed and the texture is similar to chunky refried beans.
- Assemble and grill the nachos: Place the tortilla chips into a medium cast-iron skillet or grillable pan. Top the chips with the beans, then cheese, and then the grilled veggies. Place the skillet on the grill until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
- Load the nachos: Chop the cilantro. Top the finished nachos with sliced green onions, sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro.
If you don’t have a grill, you can make these loaded nachos under the broiler as well. The timing and preparation will be the exact same.
- Category: Main Dish, Appetizer, Side Dish
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Mexican, Nachos, Grilled Nachos, Grilling Recipe, Vegetarian Grill
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.