Amped-Up Vegetable Nachos



From the Pollan Family's newly launched book, Mostly Plants, we bring you these mouth-watering Amped-Up Vegetable Nachos! This dish comes out of the oven sizzling and bubbling and is devoured as soon as it hits the table. Everybody loves nachos, but it’s not typically a dish that offers much in the way of nutrition. We’ve taken these up a notch by loading them with kale, corn, beans, and avocado. And yes, cheese, too. The end result is addictive.

Click here to purchase the Pollan Family's book, Mostly Plants.

Amped-Up Vegetable Nachos is excerpted from Mostly Plants © 2019 by Michael Pollan. Photography © 2019 by Nicole Franzen. Reproduced by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY, 10007. All rights reserved.

Jump to Section
  • Recipe Card
Prep time 27mins
Cook time 8mins
Serves or Makes: 4-6

Recipe Card


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 cups roughly chopped stemmed lacinato (dinosaur or Tuscan) kale leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • One 15-ounce can refried beans
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Pico de Gallo (recipe available in Mostly Plants, or check out some of our favorite salsa recipes here)
  • 40 tortilla chips (available in Mostly Plants), or your favorite store bought tortilla chips
  • 2 cups freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 10 pickled jalapeño slices
  • 1 cup ripe avocado


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  • Step 2

    In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the kale, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, for 1½ minutes. Add the corn and cook for an additional 1½ minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  • Step 3

    Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the refried beans and stir. Pour in the broth and mix until incorporated. Add the pico de gallo and stir to combine. Set aside.

  • Step 4

    Divide the tortilla chips between two 9 by 13-inch baking dishes. Spoon the beans over the chips in each baking dish. Top each with half the vegetables and sprinkle the cheese evenly over each. Scatter the jalapeño slices on top. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Serve with additional pico de gallo and the avocado.