Lentil Nachos
Question: What do you get when you cross one of the world’s healthiest foods with one of the world’s junkiest?

Answer:  Layered Lentil Nachos.

They’re everything nachos should be: cheesy, crunchy, salty, satisfying.

Without any of the funny business that goes into a typical plate of nachos (hello, hydrogenated fats, Yellow Dye 5, MSG).


Not exactly



BUT, when shared with family and friends while watching a ball game? Head and shoulders (in nutrition and taste) above what you’d get at a ball park (or is it a bowl park?).

Serve it alongside a generous plate of vegetable crudités and call it a meal. 

You start with the ingredients: Two kinds of cheese, blue corn tortilla chips, cooked lentils, salsa, and a few other goodies. If you’re really watching your fat and calories, you could go a little lighter with this by using baked chips and/or reduced fat cheese. You can also take a short cut by buying pre-cooked lentils sold in the refrigerated section of some markets. Or cook your own (easy) following this “how to” from The Kitchn.  Make extra to use in your next meal….or in your next round of Layered Lentil Nachos. Hope you’ve brought along some friends.

Play Bowl.

Layered Lentil Nachos

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Layered Lentil Nachos


  • 6 generous handfuls salted corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 3 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
  • Black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked green or brown lentils
  • Fresh salsa
  • Extras: Sour cream, diced avocado, pickled jalapenos, or other favorite nacho accompaniments


  1. Spread out 3 generous handfuls tortilla chips on a platter. Warm the lentils in a little pot on the stove and keep them warm until ready to use.
  2. Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and use a whisk to quickly blend it into the butter until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium-high and slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking continuously until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Continue to cook, whisking regularly, until the milk thickens to a light sauce.
  4. Add the cheese, paprika, cayenne, and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir with a whisk until the cheese melts into a creamy, smooth, hot sauce. Add a little more milk -- no more than a tablespoon at a time -- if the sauce is too thick.
  5. Drizzle half the cheese sauce on top of the chips followed by half the lentils. Distribute the remaining 3 handfuls of chips on top. Repeat with the remaining cheese sauce and lentils. Spoon salsa over the nachos along with any of your favorite nacho sides.
  6. Serve immediately.
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  1. 01.27.2014 at 6:13 AM #

    Wow – these look amazing. I’ll definitely be making a version of these soon, although pretty sure I’ll struggle to find Monterey Jack cheese here in the UK, so it might have to be extra cheddar.

    • katiemorford
      01.27.2014 at 7:38 AM #

      All Cheddar would be great!

  2. 01.27.2014 at 10:15 AM #

    What a great idea! I love beans on my nachos, but never thought about lentils. Sounds great!

    • katiemorford
      01.27.2014 at 10:24 AM #

      The lentils are kind of nice because they stay on the chips better than beans (so tiny)!

  3. 01.27.2014 at 5:56 PM #

    What a fun twist on the classic nacho!

  4. Kathy D
    01.27.2014 at 6:21 PM #

    I am so making these next Sunday (if I can wait that long!). Looking forward to exploring your blog more.

    • katiemorford
      01.27.2014 at 8:37 PM #

      Thanks Kathy. Hope you like them as much as I did 🙂

  5. 01.28.2014 at 9:42 AM #

    I love that you put lentils in your nachos!! What an awesome source of protein- and they look delicious! GO HAWKS!!!

    • katiemorford
      01.28.2014 at 11:35 AM #

      Thanks Heather. Good luck to the Hawks on Sunday!

  6. 01.28.2014 at 2:12 PM #

    Fantastic re-think of poor old fat and cholesterol-laden nachos. Love this idea, even though in the UK we don’t really get into Superbowl fever (it is on too late for us!). Must, however, try for a rugby evening get-together.

    • katiemorford
      01.28.2014 at 6:54 PM #

      Works for rugby, too.

  7. fried
    02.01.2014 at 8:14 PM #

    “6 generous handfuls salted blue corn tortilla chips”

    How are these better than frech fries? same nutritional value..

    • 02.03.2014 at 7:48 AM #

      Hi there

      I don’t make a comparison to french fries here. I do say that these nachos are an improvement over traditional ones. And I also suggest that baked chips are an option as well. This isn’t something I’d make often, but for the occasional ball game shared with a crowd, perfectly delicious in my book.


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