I Tried Lizzo’s Vegan Brussels Sprout Nachos and They’re Good as Hell
A couple of years ago, I went to a concert in Brooklyn where Lizzo was performing. In between songs, she shared a mantra with the audience: “I love you, you are beautiful, and you can do anything.” Fast forward to today, and not only am I following her mantra (or trying to, at least), but I am also following her recipe for Brussels sprout nachos from TikTok. Wild how life can be full circle like that, huh? Lizzo, who has followed a vegan diet since 2020, shared that she “fantasized” these Brussels sprout nachos, and since I’m a fan of all the music that she’s also fantasized, I figured I might be into her recipes, too. Here’s how it went.
How to Make Lizzo’s Vegan Nachos
The recipe Lizzo shared on TikTok is pretty loose, and so I took a couple of liberties and educated guesses when I tried it out. Her “chips” are crispy air-fried Brussels sprouts, but because I don’t have an air fryer I roasted mine in the oven with oil, salt, and pepper.
The next component is what Lizzo describes as “walnut meat.” This “meat” mixture is walnuts, green bell pepper, onions, and a ton of spices (I used cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder) blitzed together in the food processor. I didn’t have liquid smoke, so I just threw in some smoked paprika and called it a day. I also had some mushrooms kicking around the fridge that were just begging to be used, so I added them, too. Once everything is pulsed together, it gets a quick sauté to bring out some of the flavor in the onions and peppers.
Lizzo also makes a tomato purée of sorts. She doesn’t exactly say what’s in it, so I threw some cherry tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice in my food processor and seasoned it with salt and pepper. The last component of these nachos is a vegan queso, which Lizzo makes by warming up store bought vegan queso with plant-based milk and plant-based cream cheese. Finally, all of these components are layered up for a hearty vegan dish.
My Honest Review of Brussels Sprouts Nachos
If you think I’m prepared to say literally anything negative about Lizzo, well, you’ve come to the wrong article. Frankly, these Brussels sprouts were really good. You might even say that they were good as hell. (Sorry, I had to.)
The walnut mixture was flavorful, the tomato salsa was simple and easy, and who can say no to some crispy Brussels sprouts? Admittedly, the vegan queso was not my favorite — I probably wouldn’t buy another jar of it, but a small drizzle was fine over the rest of the components.
My only qualm with this dish is that “nachos” is a misleading name. There’s no way around the fact that you can’t use half a Brussels sprout to scoop up queso and salsa. You have to eat this with a fork because there are no tortilla chips to serve as your toppings vessel, which inherently means that these aren’t nachos. Truth hurts, I know.
Despite my minor semantics issues, this dish was easy to make and packed with flavor. Is the mantra that Lizzo preached to me years ago still the most important piece of knowledge she’s ever given me? Yes, but these Brussels are certainly up there too.
3 Tips for Making Lizzo’s Vegan Nachos
- Add mushrooms to the walnut mixture. I love using mushrooms in meatless dishes to impart an earthy flavor and meat-like texture. While the walnut mixture certainly works fine without the mushrooms, I enjoyed the flavor and texture that the mushrooms added.
- Use tortilla chips. If you’re really in the mood for nachos, I would just lay down tortilla chips before adding the remaining components. If you skip the chips, it’s still delicious; I would just mentally prepare for more of a “loaded Brussels sprout dish” as opposed to “nachos.” Words matter, people.
- Vegan queso — take it or leave it. If there’s a plant-based queso that you really love, by all mean use it. But if I were to make these again (while keeping them vegan, in the spirit of Lizzo), I would melt some vegan cheese shreds like Field Roast Chao Shreds on top instead because I prefer melted cheese to queso on my nachos.