15 Easy Ways to Make Healthier (and Totally Delicious) Nachos
Skillet Nacho Dip
We took our favorite elements of cheesy queso dip and loaded beef nachos and combined the two into one epic skillet nacho dip, a one-pan main that couldn’t be more fun to eat. It starts with a base of onion and jalapeño, followed by crumbled cooked beef patties, pinto beans, and two kinds of cheeses for a maximum melty factor. Top with red onion, tomato, and avocado or other fresh toppers like sliced jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro (just be sure your chips are sturdy enough for dipping).
Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos
Load up the nachos on a baking sheet, then bring straight the to the table for easy serving and a great presentation. You can use pinto beans instead of black beans and shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef. While we love melty shredded cheese, we found that it makes the nachos a bit unwieldy. Instead, a creamy cheese sauce coats each chip and makes them easier to separate from the pack. The topping potential is endless: Try adding diced avocado, sliced jalapeño for the hotheads in your family, or chopped bell pepper.
Our version of cheesy, crave-worthy nachos has half the sat fat, 450mg less sodium, and double the fiber compared to the classic. Mexican chorizo packs a big flavor punch, helping a little meat go a long way here. Look for it in the butcher’s case next to the other fresh sausage. And because no tray of nachos is complete without cheese, a bit of shredded sharp cheddar adds just enough cheesy, salty kick
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Mole Nachos
Everyone's favorite snack dinner just got a smoky upgrade with the addition of warm, chocolaty mole sauce. The chicken gets a rich braise in the Instant Pot, making for an extra-tender topping for chips. Serve with all the fixins—fresh avocado, salty Cotija cheese, and spicy-sweet candied jalapeños—to finish this feast-worthy favorite out. You can make the chicken mole ahead of time and add to the nachos just before serving.
Shredded Chicken and Avocado Nacho Salad
Dinner doesn't get any easier than this five-ingredient salad. It's bursting with Super Bowl Sunday potential, but you could easily whip this up any time of the year for a crisp, refreshing meal. Substitute iceberg lettuce for romaine if you prefer—and you can also substitute store-bought multi-grain chips for homemade baked tortilla chips if you have the time.
Loaded Chorizo Nachos
When we say loaded, we mean it. These nachos require a fork for scooping up all the tasty fillings. Building on a foil-lined pan means instant cleanup: Bring the pan right to the table after broiling, and discard the foil after dinner.
Cheesy Nachos with Pinto Bean Salsa and Pickled Jalapeños
We transform reduced-fat cheddar into a creamy, silky, lighter sauce by melting it into evaporated fat-free milk. This technique allows less cheese to cover more chips than using shredded cheddar alone.
Two-Cheese Veggie Nachos
We love the double-cheese contrast here: Shredded cheese melts into a bubbly blanket over the tortillas, while cumbly queso fresco covers the veggies with a salty kick. It's an impressive dish for coffee table dining—it's fun to keep it all on the baking pan and serve as a shared platter.
Corn and Crab Pita Nachos
This dish is inspired by the crab melts that New England che Ana Sortun’s mother made her when she was growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
Sheet Pan Beefy Nachos
If you have young kids serving themselves, lift the nachos off the pan with the parchment paper (and remove the hot pan from the table). For the creamiest nacho sauce, start with a block of cheese and shred it yourself.
These are not your abuela’s nachos. OK—it’s likely no nachos are from your Mexican grandmother because this popular dish has its roots in Tex-Mex cuisine. The first nachos were reportedly created by a maître d’ in Texas named Ignacio whose nickname was “Nacho.” But don’t focus on who lays claim to having invented them; instead revel in our iteration laden with lobster; avocado; a rich yet amazingly low-fat cheese sauce; and a heap of crunchy, piquant tomato-radish salad on top that takes this dish to a completely new level. You can substitute cooked crabmeat for the lobster, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly choice.
Sheet Pan Kimchi Nachos
Our Asian-inspired nachos are wildly flavorful with a tangy kick from kimchi. Kimchi is a spicy Korean condiment that is often fermented and aged, delivering gut-healthy probiotics. Assemble the nachos on a baking sheet, and then deliver them straight to the table for easy serving and fun presentation. You can use shredded rotisserie chicken or shrimp instead of ground pork. In place of melted cheese, we use a chili-spiked yogurt sauce that helps bind all of the toppings to the chips.
Greek Chicken Nachos
Dinner doesn’t get much easier, or more fun, than sheet pan nachos. The pan does double duty: Toast the chips first, then pile high with toppings and return to the oven to melt the cheese and heat everything through. Here the Mexican classic takes a detour to Greece with pita chips, a shredded Greek salad, and crumbled feta. Rotisserie chicken breast makes this meal even easier, though this dish is a great use for any leftover cooked chicken. Bring the whole pan to the table and cut into servings, like you would a square pizza.
Vegan Loaded BBQ Nachos
Whether you're whipping up this recipe for a tailgate or just a movie night in with friends, everyone will enjoy these plant-based nachos. Jackfruit's meaty texture gets coated in a honey-cayenne barbecue sauce that makes every bite a sweet and spicy experience. Drizzle on creamy vegan nacho cheese, go to town with fresh toppings, and you've got an appetizer or snack recipe that will satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike.
Sweet, crunchy apples make for a delicious plate of party "nachos." Just slice some apples, arrange on a plate, and get creative. You could easily drizzle these with honey or melted chocolate, or sprinkle cinnamon, nuts of your choice, or anything—the options really are endless.