Pumpkin Nachos are the perfect appetizer for Halloween parties and autumn get-togethers! In this recipe, cubed pumpkin is toasted with spicy chili seasoning and then roasted to perfection. The roasted pumpkin, black beans, scallions, and an herbed cashew cheese sauce are served with tortilla chips for the ultimate fall snack! This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Chili Roasted Pumpkin Nachos
It’s officially pumpkin season!
Sweet pumpkin spice – cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger – is all the rage in the fall, but I often find myself craving savory pumpkin dishes, like chili and soup. Spices with heat like cayenne and chili actually pair really well with all winter squashes, and they’re really tasty in main dishes and appetizers.
I originally created this recipe a few years ago as part of a post sponsored by a company that makes tortilla chips. I used their blue corn chips, because I thought it would give the nachos a spooky feel for Halloween. And just as the recipe was about to go out, the chip company pulled out, because they were “restructuring.” Very, very uncool. I had already done all the work! I really enjoyed the nachos though, so why not go ahead and share the recipe?
These nachos were originally intended to be a Halloween party snack, but they can be served as a light meal, as well. I like to top the whole thing with a big pile of chopped romaine lettuce along with some tomatoes and have it for lunch. It’s almost like a fall taco salad!
A serving of tortilla chips is 1 ounce, but I could eat half of this platter of nachos all on my own.
How to Cut a Pumpkin
If your pumpkin is a little tough and difficult to cut through, you can place it in your preheated over for about 10 minutes to soften it a little. You can also microwave it for two or three minutes.
- Cut your pumpkin in half. I like to go through the center from the stem to the bottom, rather from side to side.
- Then scoop out the seeds and stringy bits in inside. I have a grapefruit spoon that I use to make it easy, but you can use any spoon to get it out.
- Then cut each half into cubes, about 1- to 1½-inch in size.
How to Make Pumpkin Nachos
This recipe is really easy to make!
- First you toss your pumpkin cubes together with oil and spices and roast them at 400°F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to flip them every 20 to 30 minutes to make sure they brown evenly.
- Next you make the herbed cheese sauce by mixing all of the cheese ingredients together in a blender. (I like to use my Blendtec‘s Twister Jar.) If the mixture is too thick, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
- Then you assemble the nachos by laying the chips out in a large dish or platter. Pile on the pumpkin, black beans, jalapeno, and scallions. Drizzle with the cashew cheese, and enjoy!
How to Customize Your Pumpkin Nachos
You can easily make this recipe your own.
- Winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, can be used in the place of pumpkin. (I used butternut squash in these photos, because pumpkin wasn’t in season yet!)
- You can buy precut squash in a lot of grocery stores, which will help you save time. Some stores also carried cubed, frozen squash.
- Store-bought cheese can be used instead of homemade cashew cheese.
- You can add more veggies to you nachos to make a meal out of them. I like to pile on a bunch of shredded romaine and have them for lunch.
- Picked jalapeno slices can be used instead of sliced fresh peppers.
- I used blue corn chips to give the nachos a spooky Halloween feel, but they’ll work just as well with white corn chips, too.
- If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your chips are gluten-free. Most are, but it doesn’t hurt to check the ingredients list.
Chili Roasted Pumpkin Nachos
For the Pumpkin
- 3 cups fresh pumpkin cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Herbed Cashew Cheese
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as dill, cilantro, or parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Nachos
- 8-ounce bag blue corn tortilla chips
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices
- 2 scallions sliced
Make the Pumpkin
- Preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the pumpkin in a large bowl and sprinkle on the oil and the seasonings. Toss to coat.
- Spread the pumpkin out on the baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and has browned. You should flip the pumpkin cubes every 10-15 minutes to make sure that all sides brown.
Make the Herbed Cashew Cheese
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a high-powered blender. If the mixture is too thick, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
Assemble the Nachos
- Lay the chips out in a large dish or platter. Pile on the pumpkin, black beans, jalapeno, and scallions. Drizzle with the Herbed Cashew Cheese. Enjoy!
Originally posted October 16, 2017. Republished October 13, 2021.
More Savory Pumpkin Recipes You Might Like Include:
More Spicy Recipes You Might enjoy include: