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Cheesy Nachos with Pinto Bean Salsa and Pickled Jalapeños

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 40 mins
Yield

Serves 6 (serving size: 1/2 cup bean mixture, 1/4 cup cheese sauce, and 1 cup chips)

Be sure to shred the cheese yourself; preshredded strands are often coated in an anticaking agent that could make the sauce grainy. You'll want to build the nachos on a sturdy base--nothing too thin and fragile, as the chips need to stand up to those tasty toppings. We love Lundberg's hearty Original Sea Salt Rice Chips, made with whole-grain brown rice.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 ounces 2% reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cracker Barrel), shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 6 ounces brown rice tortilla chips (such as Lundberg Sea Salt Rice Chips)
  • 2/3 cup diced peeled avocado

Nutrition Information

  • calories 340
  • fat 15.5 g
  • satfat 4.1 g
  • monofat 4.4 g
  • polyfat 5.9 g
  • protein 15 g
  • carbohydrate 36 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 17 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 554 mg
  • calcium 367 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in jalapeño peppers. Let stand 25 minutes.

  2. Combine 2 tablespoons cilantro, lime juice, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add tomato and next 4 ingredients (through beans); toss gently to coat.

  3. Place cheese in a medium saucepan; sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to combine. Add milk. Cook over low heat until cheese melts and mixture thickens, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add hot sauce, stirring with a whisk.

  4. Drain jalapeño mixture; discard liquid. Arrange chips in a single layer on a large platter. Reserve 1/2 cup bean salsa; arrange remaining salsa evenly over chips. Drizzle with cheese sauce; top evenly with avocado. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup bean salsa, remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, and jalapeños. Serve immediately.