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Dairy Free Queso and BBQ Chicken Nachos (gluten free)

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides


Dairy free, gluten free, and paleo-friendly BBQ or buffalo chicken nachos!



For the queso

  • 1 heaping cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour and drained*
  • 1 (4 oz) can of green chiles 
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/21 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 can diced tomatoes with chiles, drained 
  • Optional: cayenne for extra spice

For the nachos

  • ~16 oz bag of your favorite tortilla chips (or more, see note**)
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (can sub buffalo instead)
  • Cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

Optional add ins:

  • Thinly sliced shallot or red onion
  • Fresh spinach, roughly chopped for topping
  • Pickled jalapeños 
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro


  1. Soak your cashews in boiling water, covered, for 1 hour (or soak them uncovered in cool water over night). Drain and rinse, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix your chicken with your BBQ sauce. In your desired baking dish, spread a layer of tortilla chips. Sprinkle your chicken, black beans, and thinly sliced shallot or red onion (if using) on top, then repeat with another layer of chips and so forth. (Alternatively, you could do 1-2 layers on a large baking sheet). You can make as much or as little nachos as you’d like. 
  3. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until chicken is heated through. 
  4. While nachos are in the oven, add all queso ingredients BESIDES the drained tomatoes and chiles to your blender. Blend for about a minute, until super smooth. Pour queso into a bowl or jar, then stir in 1/3 of the can of drained tomatoes and chiles. If desired, you can add more of the tomatoes. Taste, and stir in cayenne if you want it spicier or more salt if needed. 
  5. Pour a generous amount of queso over the nachos, add your desired toppings, serve and enjoy!


*You can also soak the cashews overnight in cold water. If you don’t have a high speed blender, I recommend this method!

**You don’t have to use the whole bag, or you can use two bags. I made a smaller batch of nachos and had leftover queso to use later on!