These quick and easy nachos are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. They’re loaded with everything you could possibly want from a nachos recipe.
Crispy tortilla chips. Savory ground beef. Refried beans. Fiery jalapeno peppers. And, of course, lots of ooey-gooey melted cheese.
Top them with guacamole and sour cream and you’ve got yourself a dish to die for! They’re so good I could eat them all by myself.
Don’t worry. Once you try these easy nachos for yourself, you’ll understand my hesitation to share. They’re just so deliciously addictive!
The Best Nachos
You don’t need to be an expert in Mexican cuisine to make delicious nachos. Anybody can throw together some chips and toppings and call it nachos.
But I don’t want to eat just any old nachos. I want THE BEST nachos.
And that’s precisely what this recipe provides. It’s full of everything that makes nachos great, yet it is still customizable.
Spice averse and hate jalapenos? No problem! Leave them out. A sucker for guacamole and sour cream? No problem! Add them!
The best nachos are those tailored to suit your specific tastes. And you can easily manage that with this recipe.
Serve them as an appetizer or a snack while watching the game. Or make a larger batch for a flavorful family dinner. Either way, they’ll disappear within minutes.
As I mentioned (and will probably mention again), nachos are hugely customizable. You can make them as simple or as elaborate as you like.
With that in mind, your nachos’ ingredients list may look different from mine. But here are the things this specific recipe requires:
- Ground beef. I prefer lean ground beef, as it’s less greasy. You can also substitute ground turkey or a meatless substitute. Whatever you pick, you’ll need about a pound of it.
- Onion. You’ll saute the onion with the ground beef. It adds a ton of flavor. You can also add extra raw onions as a topping.
- Salt and pepper. Season the meat to suit your tastes.
- Taco seasoning. Select your favorite brand, or whip up my copycat Taco Bell seasoning at home.
- Cheddar cheese. Freshly shredded cheddar is best. It’ll melt more efficiently than bagged cheddar.
- Refried beans. Some people prefer to substitute canned black or chili beans. Either option is fine.
- Tortilla chips. Freshly baked tortilla chips make this recipe extra awesome. If you don’t have the time, just pick up a bag of your favorites.
- Jalapeno. Jalapenos add that extra kick of heat and spice. Leave them out or reduce the amount if you’re sensitive to spice.
How to Make Nachos
1. Cook the meat. Sauté the ground beef and onion over medium heat, breaking the beef into small pieces.
Add the taco seasoning and salt and pepper to suit your tastes. Once the meat is cooked, drain off the grease and set aside.
2. Bake the chips. Spread the tortilla chips onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
3. Assemble the nachos. Top the baked tortillas with refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese, sauteed beef, and sliced jalapenos.
(Note: You may want to heat the refried beans first to make them easy to spread.)
4. Bake. Place the pan back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and other toppings. Delicious!
How to Avoid Soggy Nachos
Here’s a quick tip to keep your nachos crispy. Pre-bake your chips for a few minutes at 350 degrees to toughen them a little.
Then top with a layer of shredded cheese. The cheese will serve as a protective barrier from the toppings, keeping the chips crunchy for longer.
Of course, the nachos will eventually soften. Nachos are always best right out of the oven.
But this little trick will give you plenty of time to enjoy your appetizer before it gets soggy.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Nachos
My first and best tip for nachos is don’t be afraid to customize! For the meat, you can use chicken, turkey, steak, pork, or even tofu!
For the veggies, try adding diced onions, lettuce, corn, Poblano peppers, scallions, tomatoes, black olives, and cilantro.
For the cheese, how about some Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, habanero, or cotija? Or my favorite topping… chopped avocado slices!
Now, here are a few more tips for the perfect nachos:
- Freshly grate the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent. While it’s not harmful at all, it makes the cheese harder to melt.
- Pick sturdy chips. When picking the chips, I find that a good home-fried corn tortillas are always the best for nachos. But you can use store-bought tortilla chips, as well. Just be sure to get the thick and sturdy kind, so they won’t break easily when drenched in toppings. I especially enjoy the round tortilla chips and the scoops.
- Mix and match the chips. Add some Frito Scoops to the tortilla chips. These corn chips make a great vessel for the toppings. They also taste great mixed with the tortilla!
- Assemble carefully. When assembling the nachos, make sure to spread the chips in just one layer. That way, all the chips will be smothered with toppings, and you won’t end up with a few sad, naked chips.
- Serving a crowd? Skip the assembly! If you’re serving nachos to picky eaters, you may want to skip the assembly stage and just serve the toppings in separate bowls. That way, they get to pick and choose their favorite toppings Nacho Bar-style!
- Make fresh salsa. Avoid the store-bought stuff and make your own. It’s super easy! Just place some chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, sugar, salt, and lime juice in a food processor and blend!
- Make fresh guacamole. It’s easy, as well, and so delicious. Just mash some avocados and flavor the paste with salt and lime juice. Then, add some sliced onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. For a bit spice, sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper. Refrigerate for an hour, and it’s ready for nacho time!
- Add cold ingredients last. Always add the cold ingredients, such as sour cream, guacamole, and salsa at the very last minute. If you add them too early, it will cause your chips to become soggy.
The Best Toppings for Nachos
When it comes to nacho toppings, you’re limited only by your imagination. Here are just a few of the many options:
- Various meats (ground beef, shredded chicken, etc.)
- Sour cream
- Extra onions, scallions, chives, etc.
- Cherry tomatoes/diced tomatoes
- Extra cheese/queso
- Pico de gallo
- Lime juice
- Sliced peppers
- Avocado slices
- Hot sauce
- Chili beans/black beans/refried beans
Some people even like to add pineapples to theirs! These are your nachos, so you do you, Boo!
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