Black Bean Nachos with Monterey Jack, Cotija and Avocado

Inferior nachos shouldn't exist. Similar to salad, or ice-cream sandwiches, nachos are good or bad based on the sum of their parts. So for a recipe perfect for game-day Sunday, I put together all of my favorite flavors to make some amazing nachos. (See how I avoided a "touchdown" metaphor? That is some restraint right there.) You can add cooked ground beef to make these a meal, or keep them vegetarian as an appetizer. The trick is in mixing the spices with the cheese first, so there's amazing flavor in every bite. Enjoy!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup crumbled Cotija

1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

One 14-ounce bag tortilla chips

One 15 1/2-ounce can black beans, drained

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Hot sauce

Sour cream, optional

Directions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix the Monterey Jack, Cotija, chile powder, cumin and garlic together in a medium bowl. Spread about a third of the tortilla chips on an ovenproof platter in an even layer. Sprinkle with a third each of the beans, cheese mixture and onions. Repeat the layering two more times. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the nachos from the oven and garnish with the avocado and cilantro. Sprinkle with hot sauce to taste. Dollop with sour cream if using. Serve hot.