Last fall when I visited my friend Lyz out in California, she made nachos for dinner. When I asked her to show me how to do it, she was surprised. “You’ve never made nachos before?” she said. I had not. I grew up eating chips and dip, and I’ve had my fair share of takeout nachos, but I’d never actually eaten them at home.
When I saw how easy it was, I decided to create my own version at home. I use thinly-sliced sweet potatoes instead of tortilla chips, and I get creative with toppings.
I had Jim slice the potatoes for me last night because I still have PTSD from when I cut off part of my thumb on a mandoline. Without going into too much detail or preventing you from making these nachos, four years ago when I was living in DC, I decided to cut a peach with a mandoline to make peach pancakes. Peaches are slippery little suckers, and it got away from me. If it weren’t for my good reflexes, I’d probably be down part of a thumb.
Anyway, now I’m completely healed and you can barely see the scar. But sometimes I still worry about cutting stuff on a mandoline, which is why I’m glad that Jim is here.
Feel free to sub toppings in this recipe. I’d recommend keeping the avocado and black beans because they pair so well with the sweet potato, but you could get creative with vegetables. You could also use a different kind of cheese than Monterey Jack, although I love how that melts down and browns in the oven.
My favorite part of this recipe is it comes together on one pan. Actually, two pans if you want to space out the sweet potatoes so they cook more evenly. I decorated two with toppings last night and told Jim that we should each eat one. We ended up each eating about half and saving the rest for lunch today.
Also, you could easily make this dish vegan. My sister is vegan now so I thought of her after I made it, and recommended that she gives it a try. Just sub the Monterey Jack out for vegan cheese.
Here’s a song to get you started on your loaded sweet potato nachos journey.
Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cooked black beans
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup salsa
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in Adobo sauce)
salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the sweet potatoes on your prepared baking sheets. Bake them for about 15 minutes. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling and the potatoes are soft and brown around the edges.
In the meantime, prepare your toppings. Toss the sliced radishes in your salsa.
To assemble, take the baking sheets with the sweet potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with all your toppings. Enjoy!