Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

It’s Monday and I’m throwing caution to the wind. Sometimes you have to start the week out with a bang to make the weight of the long week ahead a little more bearable, you know? 😅  I had a couple leftover jalapeños in my fridge as well as a small batch of pickled red onions, so I thought that was a great excuse to make some nachos (naturally). Anyway, ever since discovering how a few minutes in a hot oven can elevate crunchy tacos to a heavenly level, I’ve wanted to try the same with nachos. These Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos proved my suspicions correct and today I’m in nacho heaven. Watch out Tuesday, I’m comin’ for ya!

Layered and Baked Black Bean Nachos

Overhead view of a baking sheet full of baked black bean nachos topped with pickled red onions, jalapeño, and sour cream

Nacho Topping Options

Obviously you can put whatever toppings on your nachos that you like, but if you haven’t tried pickled red onions yet, you’re missing out. Their sweet-tart-salty flavor really adds zing to the nachos.

A light drizzle or dollop of creamy sour cream balances the pickled red onions and the heat of the black bean mixture. If you’re feeling extra extravagant, I highly suggest turning your sour cream into lime crema for even more flavor (lime crema recipe here).

Oh, and if you do fresh jalapeños like I did below, the trick is to slice them super-SUPER thinly. That way you get flavor and heat without burning your mouth off.

Tips for Success with Baked Black Bean Nachos

When it comes to baking nachos, there are three main tips to success:

  • Use really thick, hearty chips. No “thin and crispy” for this dish. They need to stand up to layers of toppings and oven baking without burning.
  • Line your baking sheet or suffer the consequences (difficult clean-up). I like parchment because it doesn’t reflect heat and reduces the chance of burning, but foil will also work.
  • It’s all about the layers. Layer your chips, bean mixture, and cheese for the best chip-to-topping ratio. No one likes getting a chip with no toppings or so many toppings that you can’t lift your chip.

Close up of a Spicy Baked Black Bean Nacho with pickled onions and a slice of jalapeno

Let’s go start this week off right, shall we?

For the perfect Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos, layer your chips and toppings for the perfect chip-to-topping ratio. BudgetBytes.com
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4.93 from 27 votes

Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

For the perfect Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos, layer your chips and toppings for the perfect chip-to-topping ratio. The ultimate comfort food! 
Total Cost: $6.36 recipe / $1.59 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 1 small onion ($0.32)
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles ($0.99)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($1.00)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)


  • 8 oz. sturdy corn tortilla chips ($1.50)
  • 4 oz. cheddar, shredded* ($1.00)
  • 1 Roma tomato ($0.32)
  • 1 jalapeño ($0.12)
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onions ($0.24)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro ($0.25)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.37)


  • Finely dice the onion. Add the olive oil and onion to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Drain, but do not rinse the black beans, allowing some of the starchy liquid to remain coating the beans. Add the beans and diced tomatoes with chiles (not drained) to the skillet, along with the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir and simmer the mixture until it thickens and liquid no longer pools on the bottom of the skillet (about 10 minutes).
  • Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Shred the cheddar cheese, finely dice the Roma tomato, thinly slice the jalapeño, and chop the cilantro.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spread a layer of tortilla chips over the baking sheet in a single layer, trying not to overlap the chips. Spoon about half of the black bean mixture over the chips, then sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over top. Repeat with one more layer of chips, black beans, and cheese.
  • Bake the chips, beans, and cheese for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and the chips are just beginning to turn golden brown on the edges. Remove the nachos from the oven and add a drizzles or dollops of sour cream over top. Sprinkle the diced tomato, sliced jalapeño, pickled red onions, and chopped cilantro over top.


*I highly suggest shredding your own cheddar instead of buying pre-shredded for this recipe. Freshly shredded melts a bit better than the starch coated pre-shredded cheeses.
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 575.5 kcalCarbohydrates: 66.25 gProtein: 18.13 gFat: 27.7 gSodium: 964.8 mgFiber: 11 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Side view of the sheet pan full of Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

How to Make Baked Nachos – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed Onions in the skillet

Start by preparing the spicy black bean mixture. Finely dice one small onion and sauté it in a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).

Beans, tomatoes, and seasonings added to skillet with onions

Add one 15 oz. can black beans (mostly drained, not rinsed), one 10 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chiles

Rotel is probably the most popular brand of diced tomatoes with chiles, but I found these Red Gold tomatoes that were less expensive. If you can’t find diced tomatoes with chiles, you can either do plain petite diced tomatoes, or get a can of petite diced tomatoes and a small 4 oz. can of diced green chiles separately. Just make sure they’re PETITE diced so that you don’t have large chunks of tomatoes.

Simmered Bean Mixture in the skillet

Simmer the mixture until the liquid thickens and no longer pools on the bottom of the skillet. You want it to be thick and goopy and not too wet because that can soften your chips.

Cold Toppings for baked nachos - jalapenos, pickled onions, diced fresh tomato, and cilantro

Begin preheating your oven to 350ºF and prepare your cold toppings so that they’re ready to go on top immediately when the nachos come out of the oven. Thinly slice one jalapeño, finely dice one Roma tomato, and chop a handful of cilantro. Also shred 4 oz. of cheddar cheese. (The pickled red onions and sour cream don’t need any prep).

First Layer of Chips on the lined baking sheet

Begin to layer the nachos. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil (preferably parchment) and then spread out one layer of chips over the sheet so that they are touching but not overlapping too much.

Two Layers of Chips Beans and Cheese on the baking sheet

Spoon half of the bean mixture over the first layer of chips, then sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over top. Follow that up with one more single layer of chips, the second half of the bean mixture, and the second half of the cheese. Perfect chip-to-topping ratio! :)

Baked Nachos with no cold toppings

Bake the nachos in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and the tips of the chips are just barely starting to turn golden.

Finished Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos still on the baking sheet

Immediately top the baked chips with a little sour cream, the sliced jalapeños, diced tomatoes, chipped cilantro, and pickled red onions. Perfect!

Close up of the sheet pan full of Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

And that’s it!! Super fast and easy, and guaranteed to make your Monday a little better. ;)