There are few dishes that can bring a crowd together better than a big plate of nachos. When that tray of piping hot chips comes out from the oven, it has this magnetic draw that pulls everyone in. It seems like nobody can resist chips and cheese. Nachos make for a great dish to bring to potlucks or gatherings. It takes very little prep work - heck, you can assemble nachos literally within minutes...and you don’t even need plates or utensils to serve them!
Since everyone has tried nachos at least once, we like to put our own special spin on them. When serving a crowd of meat-loving friends, this version becomes especially fun. Jackfruit makes for the perfect pulled pork stand-in. Its flavor is mild, meaning it can take on whatever flavors you’re using in your dish - and in this case, it’s a spicy, tangy, delicious BBQ sauce. After the jackfruit is sauced up, it’s shocking how much it reminds people of the "real" thing.
Assembling this dish is as easy as 1-2-3. The main step is cooking the “pulled pork”, which thankfully comes together in mere minutes, rather than the 2-4 hour long process of cooking actual pork. We like to use our Healthier Homemade BBQ Sauce as the seasoning, but if you’re partial to another barbecue sauce, then feel free to substitute that instead. If bringing this dish over to a friend’s, then it’s usually easiest to cook the “pulled pork” in advance.
The remainder of the toppings are what we like to serve, but feel free to adjust depending on what you have on hand. Cooking time might depend on your oven, so keep an eye on the tray. You’re looking for melted cheese and toasted chips - it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. To add a bit of avocado-goodness to this dish, the recipe calls for a super simple “guacamole” (i.e. mash up a ripe avocado with a couple seasonings). It’s important to add the guacamole just before serving, to keep it the freshest; although the lime juice will help to prevent the avocado from browning too soon.
Give this indulgent dish a try the next time you’re feasting with friends! It’s an awesome way to show them how much fun vegetarian/plant-based eating can be. Also remember that the recipe can be scaled down if needed. Anguel & I do this occasionally when we’re craving some ridiculously indulgent nachos, but couldn’t possibly finish the whole tray. It’s not a problem we usually have (heh), but you know, the option’s there for you.
Veggie "Pulled Pork" Nachos
Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 (20 oz/565 g) can jackfruit (in brine or water, see note 1)
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup Healthier Homemade Barbecue Sauce (or substitute your favorite BBQ sauce)
- 5 to 6 oz tortilla chips (about ½ of a standard bag)
- 1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (vegan if needed)
- ¾ cup black beans (see note 2)
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado (pitted and peeled)
- 1 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Thinly sliced scallion/green onion (for garnish)
- Chopped cilantro (for garnish, optional)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cook jackfruit: Rinse jackfruit thoroughly and drain well. Heat grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add jackfruit and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. As the jackfruit softens, use the back of the stirring spoon to break it up into stringy pieces resembling pulled pork. The pieces near the core may not break into stringy pieces - they are still edible, but you can pull them out if you don't like the look of them.
- Season jackfruit: Reduce heat to medium. Add onion powder, chipotle powder, and salt. Stir to coat. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add barbecue sauce and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Assemble and bake: Spread tortilla chips out on a baking sheet. Scatter jackfruit, cheese, beans, onion, and tomatoes over top. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Make guacamole: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash together avocado, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, cumin, and salt. Taste and mix in additional lime juice if needed.
- Garnish: Dollop the guacamole over the nachos. Top with scallion and cilantro (if using). Serve immediately.
- Canned jackfruit: Use only the canned jackfruit that is labelled "in brine" or "in water". Canned jackfruit is also sold "in syrup", which is not what you want for this recipe because it comes sweetened.
- Black beans: You can use canned beans (drained and rinsed) or homecooked. One (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml) can has about 1½ cups black beans, so for one batch of this recipe, you'd need half of a can.
Trader Joe's brand Jackfruit in brine is usually stocked and is under $2.