What Defines Salad as Salad?
This recipe for Salad Nachos is not, as you might have assumed, a layered salad with nacho ingredients. Nor is it a salad in a crunchy taco bowl. Check out our Salad Nachos below. Hungry yet?
For the Love of Pizza
These are, in fact, a big pan of crunchy corn chips, melted cheese, all sorts of nacho fixings topped with salad! The concept came out of my love for salad pizza, which our favorite local haunt makes so well. Unfortunately, theirs isn’t FODMAPed, so I gave it up a while ago. (Note to self. Develop a Salad Pizza recipe).
Great Ideas Come from Anywhere!
As I was pondering that awesome combination of tomato and melted cheese along with the cold, green, fresh salad topping the idea of making this from a nacho base came to mind. After all, I needed something other than the typical pizza crust, which isn’t low-FODMAP. And then I came across this recipe for Salad Nachos from Food 52. Who knew this was a thing? You can see the salad nachos mid-preparation above; these are the ingredients that go in the oven and get warm and melty.
FODMAPPING Our Way to Nacho Joy
Of course I needed to give it a FODMAP treatment, which was very easy to do; our version features shredded chicken or turkey for protein, in lieu of beans (omit if you want this vegetarian) and I have added some sliced red bell pepper for juicy crunch. We recommend using leftover chicken or turkey (if using), which makes this dish come together in a flash. See Tips for Vegetarian Options in the recipe below.
And remember when eating avocado on the low FODMAP diet you should limit yourself to approx 1/8 of a Hass avocado – 20 grams. We like to add avocado in very thin slices so you can have that creamy goodness with more of your bites.
By the way, we are so enamored of this concept that we will be adding more salad-y nachos and dinner nachos very soon. In the pipeline: slow cooked pork queso nachos and buffalo chicken nachos. Stay tuned!
Salad Nachos Certified Low FODMAP by Monash University
“One serve of a meal made in accordance with this recipe is low in FODMAPs and can assist with following the Monash University Low FODMAP diet™."
Fresh salad ingredients add a light, crunchy quality to these cheesy nachos.
Makes 8 servings
- 1/4 cup lactose-free whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed or bottled
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) lactose-free sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- 4 cups (960 ml) shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 cups (1.25 ounces) lightly packed baby arugula
- 1/2 dry pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup (48 g) chopped scallions, green parts only
- 1/4 cup (4 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium firm ripe Hass avocado, peeled, cut into very thin slices
- 8 ounces (225 g) sharp or extra sharp cheddar (we like orange colored here), shredded
- 8 ounces (225 g) Havarti, shredded
- 1, 16-ounce (455 g) bag sturdy white or yellow corn tortilla chips
- 3 cups (12 ounces/340 g) shredded or cubed cooked chicken or turkey
- 1/3 cup (63 g) pitted, sliced black olives
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
- Position rack about 4-inches (10 cm) from broiler. Preheat broiler to high. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet pan with nonstick spray or line with aluminum foil.
- For the Dressing: Measure out milk in measuring cup, add lime juice and allow to sit and thicken for 5 minutes. Whisk together lactose-free sour cream, thickened milk and cumin in a small mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt; set aside.
- For the Salad: Toss all of the salad ingredients together, except for the avocado, in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing, tossing well, just enough to barely coat; you will be adding more dressing later. Set salad aside. You will use the avocado at the end, right before serving.
- For the Nachos: Toss the cheese together in a small bowl; set aside. Spread tortilla chips out on pan. Sprinkle chicken or turkey evenly over all, then cover evenly with about half of the cheese. Use hands to toss the ingredients in the pan, distributing the cheese evenly throughout; you are trying to create layers of cheese. Scatter the olives and sliced red pepper evenly over all, then finish with sprinkling the remaining cheeses on top.
- Broil for about 3 to 5 minutes or until all of the cheese in melted and beginning to bubble. Gather everyone around the table; this dish waits for no one! Arrange dressed salad over the hot nachos. Quickly scatter the avocado over the top and drizzle with additional dressing (you might not use all of it). Serve immediately. Eat with your fingers and have a lot of paper napkins on hand.
- For this recipe you do need sturdy chips. We like Garden of Eatin’ Corn Tortilla Chips (we used the yellow version here, but they also have blue and white).
- We love the thin, delicate Xochitl (pronounced so-cheel) brand for plain eating, but for this dish a bit of thickness is needed to stand up to all of the add-ons.
- For a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken or turkey.
- They aren’t Monash tested but we like adding a scattering of pickled jalapenos on top. Try 1/2 cup (68 g) pickled jalapenos (check ingredients for FODMAPs such as high fructose syrup)
- We always have tortilla chips around because they are naturally low-FODMAP and make a great snack. Read more about Buying Corn Based Products (coming soon).
- If you do not have a broiler, simply place oven rack in the hottest rack position and preheat oven to 500° Bake until cheese is melted as described above.