Craving nachos with a fresh twist? Try these loaded garden nachos featuring homemade salsa, vibrant cilantro, and the best seasonal veggies. Get the easy recipe and elevate your nacho game!

I’ve never met a plate of nachos loaded that I didn’t like! You can make nachos in so many different ways, but I love them covered with fresh cilantro and garden veggies.

It just tastes better when you pile a bunch of fresh stuff on the nachos.

While there are many different ways to make nachos loaded, this recipe is super fresh using ingredients from the vegetable garden. And if you don’t have a vegetable garden?

Stop by your local farmer’s market to pick up the freshest ingredients. Wait until you try this recipe for loaded nachos!

Growing My Own Produce: A Personal Passion

I absolutely love growing my own herbs and vegetables in my garden. There’s something incredibly satisfying about nurturing plants and then harvesting fresh produce right from my backyard.

I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ways to incorporate these homegrown goodies into my cooking. This loaded garden nachos recipe is one of my favorites because it perfectly showcases the vibrant flavors of fresh cilantro and spinach. Not to mention, it’s a great way to use garden tomatoes too if they are ripe and ready.

It’s a delicious and healthy way to make the most of what I’ve grown. So let’s dive into this garden-fresh recipe!

Growing tomatoes that are ripening on the plant in a bountiful vegetable garden

The Importance of Fresh Cilantro on Loaded Nachos

Fresh cilantro is an essential ingredient for loaded garden nachos. Its bright, citrusy flavor adds a refreshing contrast to the richness of the cheese and the earthiness of the vegetables. Whether you’re a cilantro lover or just looking to add a burst of fresh flavor, using garden-fresh cilantro can make a world of difference in your nachos.

And to me, nachos are incomplete without fresh cilantro. Even if you just add melted cheese to a plate of nachos, fresh cilantro brightens it up and adds additional flavor.

It is one of my favorite herbs to add to a plate of nachos. And while you can easily buy it from the market, it’s an easy herb to grow in the garden.

Once you understand how it grows that is.

Cilantro and I had a love-hate relationship for several years. You see, I love to eat it but, as a gardener, I struggled to grow it for most of my gardening lifre. It would last a few weeks and then peter out by early summer.

Does that happen to you too? After several years, I finally figured out the secret to growing cilantro successfully.

Fresh homemade salsa in a clear glass bowl on a granite countertop to make Loaded Garden Nachos with CIlantro and Spinach

The Secret to Growing Cilantro

It took a long time for me to realize that cilantro prefers cooler temps. A few years ago I bought a cilantro plant in fall and it lasted until the first frost.

From that experience, I realized cilantro’s aversion to heat isn’t a personal preference! It thrives in cooler temperatures, similar to lettuce. When growing cilantro, especially in spring, it needs full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

However, the summer heat can cause it to bolt (flower and go to seed) prematurely if planted in spring. So consider it like a cool-season vegetable that tolerates cooler spring and fall temperatures.

Since discovering this through several years of trial and error, I’m proud to say that cilantro and I are total besties now. And I’ve got a great recipe to share with you guys to use it…a lot!

holding a beefsteak tomato in the vegetable garden

Making Nachos Loaded With Fresh Cilantro and Garden Veggies

If you are looking for a way to use fresh ingredients from the garden, look no further than these healthy nachos with fresh cilantro and garden vegetables. The ingredients are not set in stone so you can swap in whatever you like or what’s in season when you harvest.

If you don’t have a veggie garden, all the ingredients can be easily picked up from your local farmer’s market. While you can make this recipe all year round, I recommend going with the freshest ingredients where possible because it just tastes better.

In this recipe, I used fresh spinach instead of plain lettuce. Why? Because I love using shredded or chopped lettuce as a layer in my loaded nachos.

I realize spinach doesn’t seem like the first choice in lettuce to use, but it’s what I had growing in my garden. It packs a lot of nutrients, particularly iron, that many of us need more of so I’m using it in this recipe today.

So I’m using it. Not only is it really delicious, but it is healthier for you too. So spinach nachos it is!

While I’m using spinach in this recipe, feel free to substitute for whatever type of lettuce you prefer. Be creative, use what you love, and enjoy your garden veggies!

chopping roma tomatoes on white cutting board on granite countertopLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

Ingredients Needed For Garden Nachos

  • Cilantro
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Large Red Onion
  • Limes
  • Spinach (any lettuce will do – I happened to have it growing in my garden)
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Black Beans (drained)
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Sour Cream for Garnish
  • Other Optional Ingredients: black olives, jalapenos, shredded chicken, ground beef or turkey, shrimp, etc.

If you have other ingredients you want to layer on your nachos, go for it!

Squeezing lime into fresh salsa to makeLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

How to Make Fresh Salsa for Nachos Loaded

Before we make the nachos, it’s a good idea to make fresh salsa. Sure you can just buy a jar but it is not the same. And fresh salsa is so easy to make!

If you’ve got fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, pick some, and let’s whip it up! And if you don’t? Grab some from your local farmer’s market if you don’t have homegrown veggies to harvest.

  • Seed and dice the Roma tomatoes.
  • Dice the onion
  • Chop cilantro.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of one lime.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Side Note – if I had a jalapeno on hand, I would chop and add that in to spice it up.
squeezing lime juice into black beans in saucepan to makeLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

Making Nachos Loaded: Step-by-Step Directions

So we’ve got the salsa whipped up, now let’s make the nachos! Here’s how to prepare it:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You could broil it if you prefer.
  • Grab a baking sheet. I prefer to line mine with aluminum foil so I don’t have to clean it after.
  • Spread a bag of tortilla chips on the baking sheet. It’s okay if they overlap.
  • Chop lettuce (I used cut spinach from the garden)
  • Heat two cans of black beans on the stove for 10 minutes over medium heat, then strain.
  • Squeeze the juice of one lime and stir to mix, add salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use much).
  • Top tortillas with black beans.
  • Then top with shredded cheddar.
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese melts. Keep an eye on it and remove it from the oven when the cheese melts.
  • Top with chopped lettuce.
  • Layer with fresh aalsa
  • And enjoy!

As you prepare this dish, think of it in layers so you get the best result. I prefer to start with the chips, then layer beans and cheese. Just make sure you strain out some of the juice before you load it on.

adding black beans and cheese toLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

Nachos Loaded: Tips and Variations

One of the reasons I love making nachos is the versatility of the dish! You can add a protein, spice it up or go completely vegan with the ingredients. Here are some other ideas to try.

  • Protein Boost: Add cooked chicken, beef, or tofu for extra protein.
  • Spicy Kick: Sprinkle with sliced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Make it Vegan: Use dairy-free cheese and vegan sour cream.

Benefits of Loaded Garden Nachos

Loaded with fresh vegetables, these garden nachos are not only tasty but also nutritious. Spinach and cilantro add a burst of vitamins and minerals, while black beans and corn provide fiber and protein. This dish makes it a guilt-free snack or meal option. My family loves it and I make it often all year round.

    Loaded Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

      Garden Nachos FAQ

      What Topping Do You Put on Nachos?

      There are so many topping options to put on nachos. I never made nachos loaded the same way twice because it depends on what I have on hand and what’s available in my garden or local market.

      Here are some topping ideas for making loaded nachos.

      • Black Beans
      • Shredded Cheese like Cheddar or Colby Jack
      • Shredded Lettuce
      • Fresh Salsa
      • Chopped Tomatoes
      • Chopped Jalapenos or Other Spicy Pepper
      • Chopped Onions
      • Fresh Cilantro
      • Guacamole
      • Pico de Gallo
      • Black Olives
      • Pickled Red Onions
      • Shredded Chicken
      • Cubed Steak
      • Grilled Corn
      topping Loaded Nachos with Cilantro with chopped spinach

      Do You Put Cheese or Toppings on Nachos First?

      It’s best to melt your cheese on nachos first by cooking it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts, and then add your meat, beans, and fresh toppings.

      How Do You Make Loaded Nachos Not Soggy?

      The best way to make nachos loaded not soggy is to melt the cheese on the tortillas chips first. That melted cheese will act like a barrier to the other toppings you add later to help maintain crispness.

      How Are Nachos Traditionally Served?

      Most restaurants serve loaded nachos as an appetizer but don’t you always feel full after eating them? Since we love to order it as an appetizer, I make it now as a full meal. Whether I use leftover chili or shredded chicken and beans, it’s the perfect dish for a casual meal with family or friends.

      Should Nachos Be Baked or Broiled?

      While I think it’s a matter of preference, nachos get the most crisp and crunch after broiling. That said, I always bake mine.

      Loaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

      What Do You Eat With Loaded Nachos?

      While I think it’s great as a standalone dinner, you can easily serve it as an appetizer or side dish too. Here are side dish ideas for serving with nachos.

      • Cilantro Lime Chicken
      • Tortilla Soup
      • Black Bean Soup
      • Quesadillas
      • Chili Con Carne
      • Mexican or Spanish Rice
      • Chili
      • Avocado Salad
      • Avocado Toast
      Ready to eat Loaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      Ready to eat Loaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach

      Nachos Loaded with Fresh Cilantro and Garden Veggies

      Stacy Ling
      Fresh, flavorful nachos loaded with garden veggies, homemade salsa, & vibrant cilantro. Get the easy recipe & upgrade your nacho night!
      5 from 1 vote
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Cook Time 10 minutes
      Total Time 25 minutes
      Course Main Course
      Cuisine Mexican
      Servings 4 Servings
      Calories 654 kcal

      Instructions
       

      • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
      • Seed and Dice the Roma Tomatoes.
        bruschetta tomatoes - chopping tomatoes with sharp knife
      • Dice the onion
        A chef's knife is placed on a white cutting board with a handle, lying next to chopped red onions, perfect for preparing a chicken spinach flatbread pizza recipe. The cutting board rests on a gray countertop with a speckled pattern.
      • Chop cilantro.
      • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
        Fresh homemade salsa in a clear glass bowl on a granite countertop to make Loaded Garden Nachos with CIlantro and Spinach
      • Squeeze the juice of one lime.
        Squeezing lime into fresh salsa to makeLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      • Salt and pepper to taste.
      • Grab a baking sheet. I prefer to line mine with aluminum foil so I don’t have to clean it after.
      • Spread a bag of tortilla chips on the baking sheet. It’s OK if they overlap.
      • Chop lettuce (I used cut spinach from the garden)
      • Heat two cans of black beans on the stove for 10 minutes over medium heat.
        squeezing lime juice into black beans in saucepan to makeLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      • Squeeze the juice of one lime and stir to mix, add salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use much).
      • Top tortilla chips with black beans.
        adding black beans and cheese toLoaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      • Top with Shredded Cheddar.
        adding shredded cheddar toLoaded Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      • Bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese melts. Keep an eye on it and remove it from the oven when the cheese melts.
      • Top with chopped lettuce.
        topping Loaded Nachos with Cilantro with chopped spinach
      • Top with Fresh Salsa
        adding fresh homemade salsa to Loaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
      • Enjoy!

      Notes

      Side Note – if I had a jalapeno on hand, I would chop and add that in to spice it up.
      To make fresh salsa year round, try freezing tomatoes from the garden.
       
       
       

      Nutrition

      Calories: 654kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 22gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 700mgPotassium: 930mgFiber: 9gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 9339IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 594mgIron: 4mg
      Keyword Nachos Loaded
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

      Final Thoughts on Making Loaded Nachos With Homegrown Vegetables and Herbs

      This dish is sooooo good! It tastes so fresh and my whole family devours it every time I make it.

      But the best part? You can change the ingredients to whatever you want. If you want to add chicken or ground beef, you totally can. Use what you love to eat!

      I love that I used both the spinach and cilantro growing in my garden. Initially, I was planning to make a salad with the spinach when I thought to myself…why not use in the nachos? If my tomatoes or jalapenos were ready for harvest, I would have used them too!

      These loaded garden nachos with cilantro and spinach are perfect for a quick and healthy meal or snack. Whether you’re hosting a party or enjoying a quiet night at home, this recipe is sure to impress. Try it out and tell me how you like it!

      If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a comment below and share it with your friends on social media. Don’t forget to check out my other delicious recipes for more inspiration!

      Want another take on this recipe? Try this recipe for nachos supreme!

      Enjoy your day! xo

      stacy ling signature
      Nachos Loaded with Fresh Cilantro and Garden Veggies

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      mixing fresh tomatoes and red onions to make Loaded Garden Nachos with Cilantro and Spinach
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      12 Comments

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      3. These look great! One tip I would give is you can totally microwave corn chips and they get very crisp- in fact if you have a bag of stale chips, microwave for a minute and cool, and they will be fresh and crispy again. So on everyones individual plate can go the chips, beans and cheese, then in the microwave for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted through, and the chips will be hot and crispy. Then add hot meat and the cold ingredients, and no hot kitchen. Yum!