Mexican food is always a hit with the little ones (and the big ones too, we have to admit), but it can be tough to find the healthy options hidden behind that never-ending chips and salsa. Heat Oven to 350‘s amazingly simple nachos recipe leaves the dangerous tortilla chips out of the mix and uses bell peppers instead, creating a healthy and festive dish that the kiddos will adore. Packed with healthy veggies, like olives, tomatoes, and onion, and chicken and cheese for protein, these nachos are sure to be a family favorite.

bell-pepper-nachos

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, sliced, white parts and green parts separated
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup salsa
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound mini bell peppers (usually sold by the bag in the produce section near the full-sized bell peppers)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar/Monterey jack cheese blend (can be low-fat)
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro

Method:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat the oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and the white parts of the green onions and cook and stir 1 minute. Mix in shredded chicken and chili powder. Toss until all ingredients are well coated with chili powder and chicken is warm, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I make the chicken mixture slightly salty because the mini peppers are unsalted).

3. Slice the ends off each mini bell pepper and slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs and press each half open so the peppers are as flat as possible. Arrange close together in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

4. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over pepper halves. Top with black olives and cheese mixture.

5. Bake nachos for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven, top with tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining green onions. Serve.

recipe and photo courtesy of Heat Oven to 350.