Tortilla chips get the boot with these nutritious Mini Bell Pepper Nachos with Black Beans and Corn. I never thought I'd say this but...you won't even miss the chips!
I don't have anything against nacho chips but sometimes we just want to reduce the fried foods and still enjoy the flavours we crave. These mini bell peppers are popping up all over the place these days and make a great vehicle for your favourite nacho toppings.
Everyone loves taco seasoning right? I have a homemade version that is much less salty and more flavourful than most store-bought versions. I first published it with this Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. I thought it would be perfect to ramp up these mini pepper nachos!
There are so many variations of toppings you can use to make your own version so feel free to get creative! See recipe card for quantities.
These mini pepper nachos are super simple to put together. I've gone the extra mile by spicing up the beans and corn to give it more flavour but you can skip that step and they will still be delicious!
Step 1 - Prepare all your ingredients. Measure and mix the taco spice mix, drain and rinse the beans, drain and chop pickled jalapeno peppers, grate cheese, slice green onions, and measure or prepare any additional toppings you chose.
Step 2 - Heat avocado oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the black beans, corn, and taco spice mix. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. The purpose of heating everything up is to release the flavours of the spices, giving them more intensity.
Step 3 - Slice the tops off the peppers and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and core. Place cut side up on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking tray.
Step 4 - Top with black bean and corn mixture. Then add salsa followed by the rest of your toppings and end with the grated cheese.
Step 5 - Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes and then finish under the broiler to bubble and brown the cheese.
Step 6 - Sprinkle with sliced green onions and fresh cilantro, if using, and serve with sour cream and guacamole.
All the toppings are optional with this recipe. The list of ingredients is a combination of my favourites.
- Taco Spice - Use a store-bought version if you prefer or skip the spice altogether and just top the peppers with unseasoned black beans and corn.
- Black Beans - Other beans or lentils work. Just make sure they aren't too big to fit into the peppers.
- Corn - If you can't eat corn you can simply leave it out. Chopped fresh tomato is a great substitution.
- Pickled jalapenos - Fresh sliced jalapenos make a good substitution for pickled.
- Pepper Jack Cheese - This cheese is spicy so if you don't like the heat I recommend using regular Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- Fresh cilantro - If you aren't into cilantro you can totally skip it.
- Green onions - This is an optional garnish. shredded lettuce would be a good replacement to add some freshness and crunch.
The only equipment you need to make this recipe is a baking tray. My absolute favourite baking trays are these no-fuss Aluminum Quarter Sheet Pans (affiliate link).
Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
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Mini Bell Pepper Nachos with Black Beans & Corn
Taco Spice Mix
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon avocado or olive oil
- I can black beans 398 ml/14oz, drained and rinsed well
- 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
- 680 g Baby bell peppers (1 ½ lbs - about 24 mini peppers)
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 cups Pepper Jack cheese grated
- ¼ cup black olives
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped or sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil.
- In a small bowl mix together garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, pepper, and salt.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the beans, corn, and taco spice mix and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. This will bring out the flavours in the spices.
- Cut the tops off of the mini peppers and remove any core and seeds. Place cut side up on the lined baking tray.
- Top with black bean and corn mixture. Then salsa and the remaining ingredients ending with the cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and place oven rack in top position. Turn broiler on high. Return tray to oven and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Remove from oven and top with sliced green onions and cilantro leaves if using.
- Serve immediately with sour cream and guacamole.