What are tater tot-chos? Only the best appetizer that you're not eating. This awesome snack is the lovechild of nachos and tater tots — crispy tater tots are served with spicy, melty vegan cheese sauce, meat-free chili, and smoky vegetable protein bacon bits. Then, they're topped with everything that belongs on loaded nachos: guac, pico de gallo, vegan sour cream, and of course, jalapeños. Dig in!

Tater Tot-Chos With Beer Cheese [Vegan]

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Serves

8-10

Cooking Time

30

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Ingredients

For the TVP Chili:

  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 vegan beef-flavored bouillon cube
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the TVP Bacon:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 vegan chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon veganWorcestershire sauce

For the Beer Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup favorite lager or golden ale
  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds
  • 1 cup vegan pepperjack shreds

For the Tater Tot Nachos:

  • Beer cheese sauce (recipe above)
  • TVP bacon (recipe above)
  • 1 extra large or family-size bag of tater tots (or 3 small bags)
  • Guacamole (homemade or store bought)
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Pico de gallo (homemade or store bought)
  • Jalapeños
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Black olives
  • Any other garnishes you like on your nachos
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Preparation

To Prep:

  1. Preheat oven and cook tater tots according to package directions.

To Make the TVP Chili:

  1. In a bowl, add dry TVP. Heat 3/4 cup water and vegan beef bouillon until boiling, then add boiling water to TVP, mixing to combine. Set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes.
  2. Add rehydrated TVP, crushed tomatoes, remaining 1/4 water, and seasoning to a small pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

To Make the TVP Bacon:

  1. While your chili is simmering, make your TVP bacon In a bowl, add dry TVP.
  2. Heat water and vegan chicken bouillon until boiling, then add boiling water to TVP, mixing to combine. Set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Add seasonings and mix again to combine.
  3. In a small pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add TVP and stir constantly until the TVP becomes darker in color and crispy, much resembling real bacon bits, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer TVP bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside until ready to be used.

To Make the Beer Cheese Sauce:

  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, add both cheeses. Stir constantly until the cheese starts to melt a little.
  2. Add beer slowly (1/4 cup at a time) and continue to stir the cheese sauce until it is free of clumps.
  3. Bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly so you let some of the beer cook out.
  4. Turn heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Once cheese sauce is done, you can start to assemble your tater tot nachos.

To Assemble:

  1. In a deep skillet or baking dish, lay half the chili on the bottom.
  2. Add half of the tater tots, then cheese sauce, then the rest of the chili. Add the remaining tater tots, chili, and nacho cheese.
  3. Garnish with TVP bacon, guacamole, cilantro, jalapeños, green onion, pico de gallo, and any other topping you love on your nachos.
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