Living in San Diego, I'm dangerously close to Café Gratitude, one of my favorite vegan restaurants. Every time I go, I make sure to order the "Sharing" appetizer, nachos topped with delicious ingredients such as cashew nacho cheese, black beans, pepitas, and green salsa. While Café Gratitude's vegan nachos do not contain any animal products, all of the non-vegans that I've shared them with have loved the delectable appetizer dish.

Unfortunately, with locations solely throughout southern California, I realized that trying the food at Café Gratitude is not an option for most people. In order to eat these amazing nachos more often and to let anyone try them, I set out to recreate them at home. All you need is a bag of tortilla chips, a delicious vegan "cheese" sauce, the correct toppings, and a high-powered blender or food processor. You'll be feeling the gratitude from all of your friends and family once they start digging into a plate of these. Plus, this recreated recipe is also non-vegan approved, so don't forget to share with anyone and everyone! 

Recreated Café Gratitude Vegan Nachos

Miranda Knight

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 4


For Cashew Nacho Cheese

1 cup raw cashews

4 tbsp nutritional yeast

juice from 1/2 a lemon

dash of salt

dash of pepper

4-6 tbsp of water (to desired consistency)

1 tsp turmeric (for color)

For Nachos

1 bag of tortilla chips

pepitas/pumpkin seeds (preferably salted or seasoned)

salsa verde

tomato (chopped)

avocado (cubed)

1 can black beans

cilantro (chopped)


Miranda Knight

Begin by prepping the "cheese" sauce, which requires soaking the raw cashews in hot water. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then remove from heat and pour in the 1 cup of cashews. Let them soak in the hot water for about 1 hour, then they should be soft and ready for blending.


Miranda Knight

Now that the cashews have soaked for an hour, add them, along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and water (to preferred consistency) into a blender or food processor, and blend until you get a smooth consistency. The color will be off-white, which you can either use as is, or add in turmeric to in order to get a more "cheesy" color. I used both in my photos for visual aid, but either way it will taste great!

However, don't shy away from using turmeric, as it will not taint the taste, plus will give you added health benefits!

#Spoon Tip:  if the cashews are still warm from soaking, your "cheese" sauce may already be warm. If not, you can simply microwave for a few seconds or even heat in a pot on the stove for ooey-gooey nacho "cheese" sauce.


Miranda Knight

Now it's time to put together your nachos. Pour out the tortilla chips into a bowl or pan (a flat surface will allow you to more evenly top the chips). Drizzle on your nacho cheese and salsa verde, then sprinkle on the pepitas, tomato chunks, avocado cubes, black beans, and chopped cilantro.

That's it! Time to get snacking on these recreated Café Gratitude vegan nachos, and to get a taste of what the amazing vegan restaurant has to offer!