A vegetarian appetizer that everyone will love, Sweet Potato Nachos feature savory roasted sweet potatoes, corn, chili peppers, cotija cheese, and a smoothly craveable guacamole salsa that ties it all together. Easy prep, too: sheet pan appetizers – everything’s roasted on one sheet pan in the oven.
Chips should be their own food group. There, I said it.
I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a chip tooth (not to be confused with a chipped tooth, lol). My deserted island dream food is an endless supply of potato chips.
I’m not saying that’s all I eat — I’m a more or less sensible adult, after all, and adulting means putting down the bag. But that’s all I could live on, if, say, the Bird Box creatures appeared and my only options were to drive a black-out car through the ‘burbs to Kroger for fresh food (“Just a speed bump!” Ew) or live on a pantry stuffed with various bags o’ chips. No contest.
So, not surprisingly, when it comes to appetizers, chips are tops on the list, too. There was a time in my young adulthood when Taco Bell’s steak Nachos Bellgrande was a major treat when I had extra change jingling in my pocket. Of course, that was also when my youthful metabolism could defeat the ingredients within. Nowadays, that sort of thing is qualifies as a “never.”
But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy nachos: They’re just more carefully crafted for maximum flavor using healthier ingredients.
I must give credit where credit is due: these Sweet Potato Nachos are inspired by the delish tacos served up by a taco truck in my neighborhood: Tin Man Grill.
This is not a sponsored post, I just love these people.
Cincinnati might be flyover territory, but we’re not farmland, as all of Ohio is often painted with the same brush. We’re suburbs. A big patchwork quilt of SUV-filled ‘burbs that circle wide around the downtown business district that’s home to the headquarters of national brands like Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and Macy’s.
But us ‘burbanites have one great thing going for us: a thriving food truck industry. BBQ, Korean BBQ, Jamaican jerk, chili, pizza, gyros, waffles, gelato, smoothies, cheesecake, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and, of course, tacos — you name it, we’ve got it.
I work from home, and I’m one lucky girl in that Tin Man Grill sets up their food truck once or twice a week — complete with Big Green Eggs mounted on a platform on the back — just 5 minutes from my house. Which means I can hop in my car and dig into freshly made tacos for lunch.
If you live in my neighborhood, you know exactly what Tin Man Taco Tuesday is. The folks who own the truck also live in my ‘hood, so it feels good to support not just a hometown small business, but a neighborhood one, too.
Tin Man serves all kinds of tacos, but I always head straight for the vegetarian options. Their sweet potato tacos are famous, and when I got a craving over the holidays, I recreated this Sweet Potato Nachos mash-up version: sheet pan roasted sweet potatoes, corn, and chili peppers, topped with a guacamole salsa and lots of salty cotija cheese, served on sturdy multigrain chips.
I think this is the perfect appetizer for a crowd. It’s vegetarian (vegan, even, if you forego the cheese and sour cream), gluten-free (if you use corn chips), and nut-free. But it doesn’t skimp one little bit on flavor or craveability. So, there’s something tasty for everyone.
You can make Sweet Potato Nachos a little ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.
Oh! Chip tip! If you’re making them for a crowd, as opposed to just splitting them with your partner during a binge-watch, you might want to buy two bags of chips. As with all nachos, it’s better if the chips are more or less flat. The bag I had for these photos had a good portion of curly chips, and I could’ve used another bag, even just for these photos. Don’t worry about chip waste: Make extra guacamole, and serve it with the curly chips!
Sweet Potato Nachos with Creamy Guacamole Salsa
- 1 large sweet potato peeled, scrubbed, sliced into 1/2" cubes
- olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 10 ounces corn frozen or fresh is fine*
- 1 green chile chopped**
for the guacamole salsa
- 1 medium avocado peeled and pit discarded
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- kosher salt
- 1 scallion minced
- 1 tablespoon minced green chile**
- 1 tablespoon sour cream use lite for less fat
- 1 bag sturdy tortilla chips such as multigrain***
- cotija or queso fresco crumbled
- cilantro chopped
- Toss the potatoes with a glug of oil, and sprinkle spices over the potatoes. If your spice jars have sprinkle lids, don't bother measuring - just sprinkle the spices with a light hand.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or silpat mat)
- Layer the the sweet potatoes and corn on the baking sheet (not the peppers).
- Bake for 30 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, give the potatoes and corn a gentle stir. Clear a space and add the chili peppers. Return to oven.
make the guacamole salsa
- While the vegetables roast, use a large fork to smash the avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and lime juice, and a big pinch of salt. You want a fairly smooth (but not perfectly smooth) texture. Use more lemon and lime juice a squeeze at a time to break down the avocado. Taste often, until the guacamole is to your liking.
- Mix in the scallion and green chiles. Taste, and adjust with salt. Stir in the sour cream and mix until smooth and creamy.
- You want the guacamole salsa to be slightly thinned, so you can spoon it easily over the chips. Add just a drizzle of water, and mix well. Repeat until it falls easily from a spoon.
- Spread a layer of flat tortilla chips over a large serving plate, pizza pan, or rimmed baking sheet. Spoon about three-quarters of the salsa over the chips. Layer the sweet potatoes, corn, and green chiles over the chips. Add the remaining guacamole salsa, crumble the cheese generously over the chips, and top with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
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