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healthier build your own nachos bar

Healthier Build Your Own Nachos Bar {with Queso Dip + Refried Beans}

  • Author: Tiffany La Forge
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: appetizer


Creamy, cheesy queso dip and healthier, quicker refried beans make two great additions for a Build Your Own Nachos Bar.



For the Queso:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk (2%, whole, coconut, or unsweetened almond)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

For the Refried Beans:

  • 3 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Fresh cilantro


For the Queso:

  1. Melt the butter in a deep skillet. Add in the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, and red pepper. Cook to soften slightly. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring, until the flour is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Slowly add in the milk while constantly whisking. Add in a bit of milk and whisk very well before adding more milk, ensuring there are no lumps from the flour and everything is silky smooth.
  3. Once all the milk has been added, bring the mixture to a simmer to thicken. Add in the chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Turn the heat to very low and slowly add in the cheese a few handfuls at a time, whisking well. Melt the cheese and turn off the heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt.

For the Refried Beans:

  1. Dice the bacon and cook until crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set aside, keeping the bacon fat in the pan. Add in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened.
  2. Add in the beans, chicken stock, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to a simmer. Add the bacon back in. With a potato masher or fork, mash the beans to your desired consistency. Garnish with fresh cilantro.