Healthier Nachos with Grass-fed Beef

I love nachos. But they’re not exactly ageless, are they? Oozing with cheese, greasy meat, not a lot of fresh vegetables, nachos can taste great and make you feel awful. I wanted to create a nacho recipe that’s healthier but still totally delicious. If you’re vegan, skip the grass-fed beef and the feta. And try my cheezy cheddar sauce recipe (it’s simple, tasty, and vegan). 

Nachos with Grass-fed Beef
Serves 6
A healthier version of a Tex-Mex classic that takes less than 30 minutes to make.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2. One 15 oz. can of black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  3. 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef
  4. 1-2 tablespoons seasoning for beef (1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder or smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper)
  5. 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
  6. 2 red and green jalapeños or Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 6 cups restaurant-style tortilla chips
  9. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  10. 1 cup of crumbled goat or sheep's milk feta (optional)
  11. 1 head of red or green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and shredded
  12. 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, quick-pickled in apple cider vinegar and sea salt
  13. 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  14. Sliced avocado, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, diced tomato, cilantro leaves with tender stems, salsas of your choice, hot sauce, and lime wedges (for serving)
Vegan Cheddar Cheez Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  2. 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  6. Pinch chili powder
  7. 1 chipotle in adobo with a little sauce (or sub salsa or your favorite hot sauce)
  8. 1 tablespoon olive or grape seed oil (optional, for blending)
  9. 3/4-1 cup hot filtered water
  10. Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and one green jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef, break it up as it cooks, add the spices (1 to 2 tablespoons), and stir until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. While the beef cooks, quick-pickle the red onion in apple cider vinegar and sea salt, allow to marinate in this liquid until the dish is assembled.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange chips on a 9½-by-13” foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Top with half the feta cheese. Bake about 3 minutes until cheese is melted. Add the beef mixture on top and the beans. Top the beef and beans with the rest of the cheese and bake until cheese is melted about 5 minutes. Or drizzle with vegan cheddar cheez sauce. Serve nachos topped with greens dressed with apple cider vinegar, and top greens with diced tomato, sliced olives, pickled red onion, avocado, red and green salsas of your choice, sliced jalapeño or Fresno chile, and radishes.
To make the sauce
  1. Blend the spices, salt, cashews, adobe chile, yeast, and oil. Drizzle the filtered water until you get the desired consistency. (I usually use a full cup.) Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed.
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