These nacho chickpeas are chili-spiced and get their cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. Get this easy snack into the oven in minutes using ingredients you likely already have at home. If you are looking for some healthy afterschool snack options, try these protein-packed, fiber-filled crunchy chickpeas. Kids like them, and you’ll love that they are a good choice in terms of nutrition.
I’m in an interesting place at the time of this writing. My whole family is spending lots of time in the house as a result of closures related to the coronavirus. I’m hoping that by the time this recipe goes live, things will be mostly back to normal.
If things are not back to normal, this recipe is very pantry-friendly. You may be able to make this one right now without having to make a trip to the store.
On the other hand, if things have returned to how they once were, you’ll still enjoy this recipe. It’s a great option if your kids tend to come home ravenous after school. The protein and fiber here will help hold them over until dinner.
Having my son home during the school closures meant that I needed to keep lots of nourishing snacks on hand. In case you did not know, teen boys tend to eat a lot!
This nacho chickpeas snack was actually my son’s idea. Since he loves my chickpea snack recipe made with Parmesan, he asked if I would create a nacho cheese chickpea snack.
There was just one problem, however.
Nacho cheese is not a real kind of cheese.
Unlike gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, and other many cheeses, the FDA does not have a standard for what nacho cheese is. You can find the list of cheeses the FDA *does* have specific definitions for at this link. Food science nerds rejoice!
But back to nacho cheese. According to an article in Food & Wine, what we call “nacho cheese” is based on consumer perceptions more than anything else. Basically, we call it nacho cheese if it tastes like what we think nacho cheese should taste like.
So, I am calling these nacho chickpeas because I believe they are. You cannot prove that I am wrong about this. Haha
I went with nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor for two reasons:
- This recipe was created during the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, and this ingredient happened to be in my pantry.
- I’ve had failures creating crispy chickpeas with cheeses other than Parmesan in the past. I figured it was worth experimenting with nutritional yeast.
The process of making the chickpeas is very similar to the Parmesan chickpea recipe. I’ve just changed up the seasonings and swapped the Parmesan for nutritional yeast (plus a little more oil to help the coating stick).
Using canned beans simplifies things and takes the work out of this recipe. All you need to do is stir the ingredients together and plop everything onto a baking tray. It’s easy, peasy, nacho cheesy!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Nacho Chickpeas (Easy Plant-Based Recipe!)
- 2½ cans chickpeas, drained (15½ ounces per can)
- ⅓ c nutritional yeast
- 3 T avocado oil (or oil of choice)
- 2 t chili powder
- ½ t garlic powder
- ½ t cumin
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir the nutritional yeast and spices together. Add the oil and stir until you get an evenly crumbly mixture.
- Put the drained chickpeas in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast mixture and combine well. The mixture should coat the chickpeas fairly evenly.
- Spread the chickpeas out on your lined baking sheet in a single layer (touching is fine). Bake for a total of 45 minutes, giving them a stir about every 20 minutes. Try to move the ones on the edges of the baking sheet to the middle when you stir. This will help them cook more evenly.
- Let them cool to room temperature before eating. Enjoy this tasty and easy snack option!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). I created this recipe to help feed my kiddo, who is currently cooped up in the house all day. As such, it is a rather high-calorie snack and not so much a food that helps support weight loss goals. If you are having trouble eating enough with limited pantry options, this recipe may help. I used regular chili powder here, but feel free to substitute with an equal amount of chipotle chili powder. This move will really kick up the heat for those that are craving hot and spicy foods.
Do these nacho chickpeas taste nacho-flavored to you? Let me know what you think “nacho” should taste like in the comments below! Is it supposed to be cheesy, spicy, or a little of both?