Love and Olive Oil

Black Bean Nachos with Pomegranate Salsa

Black Bean Nachos with Pomegranate Salsa

I had a dream.

And in that dream I was eating pomegranate nachos (or was I cooking them? Or just thinking about them? I can’t remember exactly, but the specifics of I what I was doing with the nachos in this dream aren’t as important as the nachos themselves.)

Indeed, whereas most people dream about falling or flying or fleeing or f… nevermind… where other people dream about whatever they dream about, I dream about food.

I woke up in a haze, not remembering anything else about the night’s mental cartwheels except this: pomegranate nachos.

It was probably because I had been working with pomegranates the day before, having bought 4 of the precious gems for a project we’ve been working on (I say precious literally – the suckers are out of season and cost me a pretty penny.) I went to bed with the ruby red fruits nestled just underneath my conscious thought, and that’s exactly where dreams come from, right? It’s like our brain offloading the memory card from the day’s experiences.

Now, where the nacho part came from… that I have no idea.

My unconscious was clearly on to something here.

Black Bean Nachos with Pomegranate Salsa

So I put the leftover pomegranates to work, and in no time my dream had become reality.

With a simple base of refried black beans and melted colby cheese to give the nachos a solid foundation, the topping is where it gets interesting: a bright salsa with pomegranates (of course), fresh corn, avocado, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice, and a flurry of crumbled cotija cheese. It’s everything the perfect nacho should be: crunchy and cheesy, spicy and salty, with a burst of fruity sweetness from the arils.


This is proof.

Dreams really do come true.

Black Bean Nachos with Pomegranate Salsa

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  • 1/2 (14oz) can refried black beans
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle-flavored hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 large handfuls tortilla chips (the thinner and crispier the better)
  • 4 ounces shredded colby cheese (about 1 cup shredded)

For Salsa:

  • kernels from 1 ear fresh corn, blanched*
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils (from 1/2 large pomegranate)
  • 1 small tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup diced)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 ounces cotjia or feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

*Blanche corn kernels in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine black  beans with 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add hot sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and stir until smooth and heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. Arrange half of the tortilla chips on a large, oven-safe platter or baking dish. Spoon half of black beans over top of chips, then sprinkle with half of shredded cheese. Top with remaining tortilla chips, black beans, and shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  5. Meanwhile, to prepare salsa, combine blanched corn kernels, pomegranate, tomato, avocado, and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and lime juice and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Generously heap salsa onto nachos, then top with cotija cheese. Serve immediately.
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  1. This sounds like such a fun flavor combination! I dream about food, too, but it’s not always THIS photogenic :)

  2. Oh yum, nachos are definitely a favorite of mine. This salsa sounds perfect!!

  3. Yum! This sounds really delicious, a nice, different take on nachos! I loveee pomegranate.. will give it a go!

  4. This has so many delicious things in it!… a flavor explosion

  5. I hope I dream about nachos tonight, that’d be awesome. Love this pomegranate version!!

  6. Pomegranate is amazing and it adds so much color too!

  7. This sounds great! Such a creative topping!

  8. Hello! My name’s Jessica, and every week on my food blog, Floptimism, I write a post called the Weekend Wrap-Up where I share some of my favorite web finds from the past week. I loved these nachos so much that I featured the recipe on this week’s round up! I’ve included the link below in case you’re interested. Thank you for such incredible work, and enjoy your weekend!

  9. Pom salsa?! You are a genius! This is so gorgeous!

  10. What a droolworthy dish. I love it and want to dip in!

  11. You just gave me some inspiration for tonight’s dinner. It has been a long time since we have had Mexican in our household! Have a great weekend!

  12. That salsa is lovely!

  13. I wished I dreamed about food! For how much I think about it, it’s surprising that I don’t. Instead I get nonsensical dreams or ones about labwork. Not fun. These nachos? FUN.

  14. YUM! I can imagine how tasty these nachos are with a sweet and salty balance!

  15. Growing up my dad used to make nachos in the microwave with disgusting processed cheeses and frozen meats. Ugh I can still smell it. I have been turned off from home made nachos ever since. Until now. These look amazing and I think my husband would love them as well!! Thank you!!

  16. I never thought about adding pomegranate to nachos but it seems so darn normal and obvious, slaps my forehead. Thank goodness for good dreams!

  17. Wow what a neat recipe!! Love that you literally dreamt it up :)

  18. Wow. This might be the most gorgeous plate of nachos I’ve ever seen! Yum!

  19. Those pomegranate arils really make your nachos pop! So pretty!

  20. Thank goodness for that dream! Pomegranate salsa on nachos with crumbly cotjia cheese sounds uh-maze-ing. Keep dreaming, girl!

  21. This salsa sounds incredible!!!

  22. Yum that sounds amazing!! The combo of black bean and pomegranate sounds incredible! My question, however, is do you eat the seeds just like that? What about the seedy bits inside of them? I was always told to spit those out!

    xo Becky

    • Really? I’ve always eaten them! Granted they can taste a bit… ‘pithy’ at times but I don’t think there’s any harm in eating them. :)

  23. Haha Lindsay! I dream about food too. It’s scary and weird, but I can’t help the way my sleepy mind works. Anyway, I love these flavors together! Such a creative way to enjoy nachos. Delish!

    • If only I remembered more of my dream recipes like I remembered this one! I’d never have to brainstorm recipe ideas again. haha. :)

  24. Mmm! These sound and look incredible! I totally dig it and need them this weekend! YUM!

  25. I like the way your unconscious works!

  26. What a gorgeous dish! Love the colours :)

  27. I love the storytelling, the dream, the ‘precious’ poms (yes they can be $$) and I love the flavor combos here. Awesomeness. I would love to have a huge plate of these! Black beans, poms, corn, cilantro, lime…mmmmm!

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