The Perfect Camping Meal: Mexican Nacho Pasta

Written by Francesca Annenberg

AfrikaBurn has come and gone; and with it the dust storms, dusty faces and fancy dress.

I loved and didn’t love my experience in the Karoo desert. Spending time with some of my closest people, living like a little tribe in the middle of nowhere, washing each other’s hair, making music, dancing to music, and riding bicycles in weird and wacky attire across the desolate land is something never to be forgotten. However, I found myself question what on earth I was  doing. I felt like I wasting my time, sitting in the middle of the dust, with thousands of people getting lost and skyrocketing out of our stratospheric reality.

On the one hand there is the art, the creativity and radical self-expression. People are beautiful, open and loving. And then on the other hand, there is a lot of peacocking and showing off, carelessness, wastefulness and over-indulgence.

It’s a confusing place. Messy. It is unexpected, captivating and surprising yet totally predicable too.

AfrikaBurn is everything and is nothing.

Inspired by recent AfrikaBurn trip in the desert, here is an everything-and-nothing recipe that is perfect for when you’re camping or not. It’s pasta but not. It’s nachos but not. It’s Mexican but it’s not.

Getting ready for the big chow with plant-based, whole-food, nutritious ingredients. 

This was my second year at AfrikaBurn as a vegan and I didn’t struggle once. In fact, I was the designated chef for our little camp of nine people, and everyone ate vegan – and loved it! I’m proud to say that I made poke bowls with marinated tofu, pineapple, sushi rice and more. It was a meal worth remembering!

In the meantime, onto this recipe: Mexican-inspired nacho pasta!

I love this pasta dish because it takes about 15 minutes, packed with simple but delicious flavours, it’s high in protein and fibre, and super comforting too! It’s gluten-free, if that’s your vibe. It keeps well for a few days and is a super yummy vegan lunch or dinner option. It comes with black beans salsa and guac. Let’s get cooking!

Mexican Nacho Pasta

Serves: 2 hungry pasta nommers

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 8 mins


For the pico de gallo

  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 spring onions
  • A small handful of fresh coriander

For the beans

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 peppadews
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes

For the guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a pot filled with boiling water, cook the pasta for about 8 minutes, or according to packaging instructions.

2. For the pico de gallo: Dice the tomatoes. Chop the spring onion. Destem the coriander and chop finely. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together. Set aside.

2. For the beans: Drain and rinse the black beans. Slice the peppadews. Add beans, peppadews, herbs, lemon juice and tomato paste to a bowl and mix together.

3. For guacamole: Mash the avocado. Add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you go, adding more salt, pepper or chili. Add a few drops of water if you want to thin it out.

4. Once the pasta is ready, drain the pasta.

5. Pour the pasta in a bowl, top with the beans, pico de gallo  and guac!

6. Go the extra mile and add crushed nachos on top 🙂


About the author:

Francesca is a vegan food blogger from Cape Town, now working and living in sunny Durban. Having battled with eating disorders and dealing with hormonal issues, PCOS symptoms and acne after coming off the contraceptive pill inspired her to start sharing healthy and yummy plant based recipes that are good for the mind, body and soul, as well as natural healing tips and tricks that worked for her along the journey to better health.


Follow her blog Francesca Eats Roses & Instagram for more delicious plant-based recipes just like these!