Cheesy nachos under 500 calories

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Cheesy Nachos Under 500 Calories

Welcome to another instalment of ELLE Food Hacks! At just 355 calories per serving, there's no reason not to indulge in these delicious twice-baked nachos. Cotija cheese and quick pickles add tangy freshness to our version, from a recipe by dietician Megan Wolf.


Serves 4–6

You'll need:

  • 1 red onion
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 14 mini corn tortillas, quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • Cilantro


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice red onion into strips. Mix water, red wine vinegar, sugar, and sliced onion together and let sit for 20 mins.

3. Toss tortilla wedges with olive oil, then sprinkle with seasoning and bake on a baking sheet wrapped in aluminum foil for about 8 to 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Set aside.

4. While the tortillas bake, turn on the gas range and char the skin on the poblano pepper. If you do not have a gas range, place the pepper under the broiler and broil, turning occasionally, until the pepper is charred. Place the charred pepper in a bowl and cover with a plate, dish towel, or aluminum foil and let steam about 10 minutes.

5. Mix the black beans and tomatoes with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

6. Remove the charred skin, stem, and seeds from the pepper and slice it into small strips.

7. Begin assembling the nachos by placing 1/3 of the chips back on the foil-wrapped baking sheet and topping with the black bean salad (draining each spoonful so as not to add additional moisture into the nachos), pepper strips, and Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat two more times until all of the cheese and black bean salad have been used.

8. Bake nachos about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

9. While the nachos are baking, dice the avocado and set aside.

10. Remove nachos from the oven, top with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, pickled onions, and cotija cheese. Serve immediately.

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