Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce

22 reviews / 4.8 average

Hello thare Monday!

Today's nacho platter brought to you by homemade enchilada sauce simmered up with a lentil and grain mixture + easy, real food, homemade three cheese sauce that will give our long-standing frenemy Velveeta a run for its money.

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 <- how much I like these nachos.

My life was one big nacho party last week - no complaints whatsoever. Maybe it's too obvious, but I SO love all kinds of nachos. It's ingrained in my roots, really - sometime during my freshman or sophomore year of high school, we got an Applebees in my small town, and ooooh baby. Lots of late-night half-price activity went down there, making my adult self prone to falling in love FAST with any and all things even close to resembling nachos.

Before we go forward here, I have to ask you a favor which is please do not imagine how many plates of these nachos Bjork and I ate during the game yesterday (game meaning the time when we had the TV on and men were running around in colored suits and helmets and stuff, and one of us watched it while the other one just ate). Just don't. It's better for everyone if you don't.

Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian. | skillfulcook.us

There are a few types of nachos in the world, so let's break it down.


These are the ones that you get at sporting events that are essentially tortilla chips with one pump of that bright yellow nacho cheese sauce. Not above it. Not gonna lie.


“Dry” nachos are the ones that you probably get at a nicer restaurant, and they're probably loaded with everything delicious, like pulled pork and fresh pico and radish slices and cotija cheese... which is so awesome in theory, but you are a tiny bit sad when you eat them because they're, like, actually dry. They are missing the critical elements of saucy meat and drippy cheese and sauces of all varieties, making them just chips with delicious food on them, but still - D-R-Y. Nachos should not be dry. I feel pretty strongly about this.


Most often found at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant bar-type establishment, and almost always eaten after 11pm. You know the ones. These are the nachos that nail it with the saucy meat and drippy sauce and when you eat them you are in heaven. But OMG re-grrrehhht. Should you really have eaten that whole plate just before midnight? (Answer: yes. always worth it.) Please tell me you know.


Which brings us to these humble “perfect” nachos. When your nachos are loaded with a lentil filling that is reminiscent of the classic saucy meat of all the best nachos, and then swimming in a homemade real food cheese sauce and topped with all the fresh things like avocados and cilantro and red onions, and equal parts good wholesome ingredients and saucy, drippy wonderfulness, THEN YOU KNOW that these are your perfect nachos.

There are two sauces you'll need for this recipe (the enchilada sauce and the cheese sauce), which sounds like a lot, but pinkie promise it's not even hard.

Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian. | skillfulcook.us
Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian. | skillfulcook.us
Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian. | skillfulcook.us

As soon as I was done, Bjork stood over this cheese sauce at the stove with a bag of chips and just went for it. It's that dangerous.

SPICY LENTIL NACHOS for lyfe! They are meatless and made with real, whole foods, and perfect for game day which, apparently, is every day lately. Tis nacho season!

Would it be a crime to drown the whole thing in the chzzzzzzz? I dunno.

Some decisions are best made in the heat of the moment.

Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian. | skillfulcook.us
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A picture of Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce

Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce


Spicy Lentil Nachos with Three Cheese Sauce - you will not believe how good these are! Saucy filling with a velvety homemade cheese sauce. Vegetarian.


Units Scale

For the Nachos

  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup uncooked freekeh or other grain like farro, bulgur, or brown rice
  • 4 cups enchilada sauce
  • 3-4 cups broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • chips
  • cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, and lime for topping

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I liked Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella, and Pepperjack)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Rinse the lentils and the grains. Bring the enchilada sauce and 2 cups broth to a low simmer. Add the lentils and grains and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until everything is soft and most of the moisture has been absorbed. If things are getting too dry, add some of the extra broth to the pot while it's simmering. The sauce should eventually take on a thick gravy-like consistency (see pictures).
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour.
  3. Add the milk slowly, whisking to smooth out any lumps of flour. Simmer until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
  4. Top the chips with a scoop of the lentil mixture, the cheese sauce, avocado, and cilantro.


The lentils and grains will absorb more liquid as they rest. Cooking time and amount of moisture needed for the lentils may vary depending on how long they've been in storage.

The nutrition facts listed are for 1/8th of the cheese AND lentils, but they do not include the chips since that will vary depending on your type of chips and how many you actually eat.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired

Keywords: lentil nachos, three cheese sauce, spicy nachos

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I saw lentils at a glance and thought you had taken red curry to a new level. I’m not gonna lie…I was a bit scared. But now I’m curious and it could work…sooo next up Red curry nachos pleassssse?!
    These, on the other hand, I KNOW are super

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Every Halloween we eat on the floor in front of the TV while watching a movie with our boys. Dinner is either Fondue or Nachos and then Caramel Corn for dessert. We had already decided on Nachos for this year before I saw this post. I’m thinking that I need to make both kinds now. “Healthier” nachos is a good thing.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Enjoyed reading your post and reminiscing about good bad-for-you nachos. Enjoyed your very healthy nachos even more! Delicious! I played with the enchilada sauce spices a bit based on family members. Cooking the lentils and brown rice in enchilada sauce was fantastic. The cheese sauce put the whole dish over the top. Served with a salad and everyone was happy. Makes a lot, looking forward to the leftovers. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    My sister and I were just talking about nachos and lentils- but not together. Can’t wait to try this delicious combination!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Awesome. Haha our game nights are also like this, a certain someone watches and stresses and there is anothes certain someone just chilling there, being cosy with whatever food is on hand. These nachos sound out of the world.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes Please! These nachos look fantastic! I love the lentils. We really enjoy your lentil quesadillas, so I know I’ll scarf these down! I know what you mean about all of those types of nachos. Especially the dry ones.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just made the lentil and rice mixture for your yummy lentil quesadillas. Now I now EXACTLY what to do with the beautiful leftovers tucked away in my freezer. I will be dreaming about these nachos all week.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Every time I read your blog I think A) I need to get to the kitchen stat! and B) why haven’t I thought of this. I love lentils! I love taco lentils, but I couldn’t go from tacos to nachos. These are going to be made pronto! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’ve done it again! Completely crazy for your photos and those lentils look perfect! Cheese sauce AND enchilada sauce..what’s not to love? Nachos are my favorite food group. 😉

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    The first time I experienced nacho’s outside the realm of ‘a bag of doritos and a jar of salsa’ was when I went to see a film. Instead of opting for the more appropriate cinema snack food, popcorn. i decided to go full on nacho crazy. So there I was, sitting in an airplane seat, with a huge tray of luminous corn based snacks, smothered in an orange sauce and my girlfriend thinking…’what on earth have you done’.

    I remember being quite dissapointed. I expected salty cheesy goodness, instead it was a sea of bland, boring, overly salty pap! So I never bothered again.

    These do look really good though. We have the Rugby world cup going on over here at the minute, you know, the game that’s like American football but without all the armour…Jokes. My beloved England are playing Australia on Saturday so I plan on giving these a whirl.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looove your blog, I make at least one recipe of yours a week! So many delicious veggie friendly meals 🙂
    Think these fillings would be good in enchiladas? Anything I should change?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        This is awesome. I made the enchilada sauce in the link. I’m not a vegetarian….close but not quite….had a lot of lentils and an old box of taboule and thought i’d try it. I just bought 3 pounds of bulgur to make it over and over. On tortillas with cheese.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    These lentils look a lot like what I made for dinner last night ( your lentil quesadillas with green sauce) but in a new form.
    Can’t wait to make this. Tired of having an upset stomach after eating the type 3 nachos in town.