In partnership withCalifornia Walnuts

These Greek-Style Nachos Are Packed with Flavor, Protein, and Nutrition

published Jun 14, 2023
Sponsored by California Walnuts
Greek-Style Nachos with Walnut Meat Recipe

Crisp pita chips are topped with flavorful sautéed walnuts and chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, lemon-y tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese.

Serves4 to 6

Prep25 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang

The easiest way to turn nachos into dinner is to pack them full of protein. Pulled pork and shredded chicken are classics, but there’s no reason plant-based eaters should miss out on the fun. Here, a spiced walnut-based crumble stands in for ground lamb in a pan of Greek-style nachos that are impossible to resist.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang

To make it, you’ll pulse California walnuts with chickpeas, lemon zest, olive oil, and dried spices until finely chopped, then cook until crispy and warmed through. The nutritious combination of chickpeas and walnuts means that every bite of the rich, satisfying filling is packed with protein, fiber, and omega-3s.

This walnut meat would be right at home in any Mediterranean meal, so don’t feel limited to nachos. Add it to a fattoush salad, tuck it into pitas with hummus, or crumble it atop shakshuka. You can also make it up to four days in advance, helping you stick to your meal plan on even the busiest weeknights.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang

2 Smart Tips for Easier Nachos

The easiest nachos start with a few store-bought staples — you just need to give them some love. First, you’ll warm up the pita chips in the oven before piling on the toppings. Not only does this give them a freshly-baked quality, but it also helps revive any stale chips.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang

Secondly, you’ll add a squeeze of lemon juice to premade tzatziki sauce, which thins it out and makes it easier to drizzle. The juice also plays off the lemon zest in the walnut meat, making for a cohesive dish packed with a bright citrus flavor. It might just transport you to Greece.

Greek-Style Nachos with Walnut Meat Recipe

Crisp pita chips are topped with flavorful sautéed walnuts and chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, lemon-y tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese.

Prep time 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the walnut meat:

  • 1 1/4 cups

    California walnuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can

    chickpeas

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 tablespoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

For the nachos:

  • 1 cup

    grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup

    pitted kalamata olives

  • 1/2

    small English cucumber (about 4 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 (7 to 9-ounce) bag

    pita chips (5 to 6 cups)

  • 1 cup

    homemade or store-bought tzatziki sauce

  • 1/2 cup

    crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Make the walnut meat:

  1. Place 1 1/4 cups California walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Drain and rinse 1 (about 15-ounce) can chickpeas and add about half (3/4 cup) to the food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about 6 (1-second) pulses.

  2. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon until you have 1 teaspoon. Juice the lemon until you have 3 tablespoons. Add the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the food processor. Pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped, about 10 (1-second) pulses.

Make the nachos:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Halve 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes. Halve 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives. Small dice 1/2 small English cucumber (about 1 cup). Add the remaining chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine.

  2. Arrange 1 (7 to 9-ounce) bag pita chips on the baking sheet and bake until warm, 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the walnut meat and cook until browned and crisped in spots and warmed through, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Mix 1 cup tzatziki sauce with the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and spoon over the chips. Top with the walnut meat. Use a slotted spoon to top the nachos with the chickpea and veggie mixture, leaving any liquid in the bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese over the top and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Pita chips: Thicker store-bought pita chips will hold up much better than pita thins. You can also make them yourself.

Dairy-free and vegan: To make these nachos vegan, use dairy-free tzatziki and feta cheese.

Make ahead: The walnut meat can be made up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. The chickpea-veggie mixture can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.