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3 Ways to make nachos healthier without sacrificing flavor

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Make nachos guilt-free and delicious with these 3 healthier recipe ideas

Nachos don't have to be unhealthy calorie bombs. Here are three super-easy and tasty ways to keep those nachos cravings at bay without wrecking your healthy eating habits.

Nothing is more delicious than a huge plate of nachos with gobs of melted cheese, sour cream and meat, but they aren't the most healthy thing on the dinner menu. So why not make delicious nachos but with a healthy twist? Here are three simple ideas for nachos using fresh ingredients, such as bell pepper and lean ground chicken, sweet potato and black bean for a filling vegetarian version and a no-bake, Mediterranean-inspired nacho plate for the "I don’t feel like cooking tonight" version.

Make nachos guilt-free and delicious with these 3 healthier recipe ideas

Sweet pepper-chicken nachos recipe

Sweet bell peppers are filled with seasoned ground chicken topped with plain Greek yogurt and fresh toppings for a filling, gluten-free nacho idea.

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet bell peppers (1 pepper per person) or 16 small mini peppers (4 per person)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. If using large sweet peppers, then cut each pepper in half and then in half again for a total of 4 pieces from each pepper. Place the peppers on the baking sheet, and set aside.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Add the ground chicken, and cook until the juices run clear, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the chicken, and mix well.
  6. Spoon the ground chicken into each pepper slice, and top with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the peppers soften slightly and the cheese has melted.
  8. Top with Greek yogurt, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Best served warm.

Make nachos guilt-free and delicious with these 3 healthier recipe ideas

Meatless chipotle, sweet potato and black bean nachos recipe

This hearty version of nachos is vegetarian-friendly. Roasted sweet potato slices are topped with black beans, plain Greek yogurt and lots of fresh toppings for this meat-free version.

Serves 4

Prep time: 25 minutes | Bake time: 50 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the sweet potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup black beans

For the toppings

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced red and green onions
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, olive oil, syrup and spices. Mix well with your hands, and spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the sweet potatoes for about 45 minutes or until they are soft and begin to brown on the edges.
  4. Remove from the oven, and top with the grated cheddar cheese and black beans.
  5. Return the sweet potatoes to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  6. Top with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), diced tomatoes, diced red and green onions and fresh cilantro.
  7. Best served warm.

Make nachos guilt-free and delicious with these 3 healthier recipe ideas

No-bake Mediterranean-style nachos recipe

This no-bake version of nachos is easy and refreshing. Fresh pita bread wedges are topped with hummus and loads of tomatoes, onions, black olives, feta cheese and parsley.

Serves 4

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices fresh pita bread, sliced into pieces
  • 1/2 cup prepared hummus (any flavor)
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon wedges
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Arrange the sliced pita bread on a serving platter.
  2. Spoon the hummus into the centers of the pita slices, and top with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, green onions and feta cheese.
  3. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  4. Drizzle the nachos with the olive oil, and then squeeze the lemon wedges over the top.
  5. Serve immediately.

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More nacho recipes

Pad thai chicken nachos
Tater tot nachos
Greek-style nachos

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