11 Crowd-Pleasing Nacho Recipes That Are So Much More Than Chips and Cheese

skillet chili nachos
Justin Walker

If there's one appetizer that says "game day," it's nachos. This crowd-pleasing, indulgent snack is as versatile as it is easy to make. From a vegetarian version with toppings like canned black beans and shredded cheese to loaded creations topped with an array of star-studded additions (just like the Skillet Chili Nachos pictured here), we have a recipe for nachos that we know your whole crowd will be anxious to devour.

The most basic version of nachos consists of warm, crispy tortilla chips covered in sharp shredded cheese (think cheddar, Monterey Jack, and even melty gouda). A dollop of sour cream, sliced jalapeño peppers, and salsa are the customary finishing touches. But the beauty of nachos is that almost anything goes. We've layered our classic Easy Beef Chili over yellow corn tortilla chips along with black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced radishes, avocado, jalapeño peppers, and sour cream in a cast-iron skillet. The result is a two-for-one game day special that will score big with your crowd.

It's also worth noting that you don't have to use tortilla chips when making nachos. One of our favorite recipes swaps in kettle-cooked potato chips in place of the usual corn chips for an extra-crunchy bite. We even changed up the toppings, using a combination of crumbled blue cheese and shredded gouda to make a creamy cheese sauce that is drizzled over the chips (there's also hot sauce for Buffalo-inspired flavor).

Of course, you don't have to follow a specific recipe—just mix and match your favorite flavors and toppings (start with ground pork, chicken, or beef; add jalapeño or habanero peppers; then finish any ooey-gooey cheese that you please) for a dish that is sure to garner cheers.

01 of 10

Cheesy Lentil-and-Black-Bean Nachos

cheesy lentil-and-black-bean nachos
Lennart Weibull

Despite its traditional game-day look, this glorious spread is nacho average Super Bowl snack. It's a winner for vegetarian sports fans everywhere as we called an audible, sidelining ground beef and subbing in portobello-mushroom caps stewed with black beans, lentils, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Layer the mixture with tortilla chips and cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and slide in the oven until it gets nice and melty. Top with chopped tomatoes and red onion, sliced serrano chiles, and cilantro. A squeeze of lime adds a final kick.

02 of 10

Chicken Chili Nachos

Johnny Miller

Layering the ingredients is the secret behind this knockout nacho recipe. Top tortilla chips with spoonfuls of leftover chicken-and-bean chili, pickled jalapeños, and a combination of Jack and cheddar cheese, then repeat.

03 of 10

Kettle-Chip Nachos


Who says you have to use tortilla chips for nachos? Swap in kettle chips and smother everything with Gouda and blue cheese sauce, jalapeño, sour cream, and chives for a delectable twist on the classic.

04 of 10

Individual Nachos

Kate Mathis

Take it from us, people can be a little possessive about their nachos, especially when they're this good. Try making separate stacks so that your guests don't have to share.

05 of 10

Spicy Sausage, Bean, and Cheese Nachos


Chicken broth, chili powder, and cumin add incredible depth of flavor to the beans in these hearty, meaty nachos.

06 of 10

Inside-Out Nachos

Mike Krautter

Tortilla chips usually serve as the base for nachos, but that's not the case in this topsy-turvy recipe! Here, they form a spectacular crust for a savory beef filling. Serve alongside bowls of toppings such as radishes, jalapeños, black olives, sour cream, and cilantro, and let your guests help themselves.

07 of 10

Picadillo Nachos


Our take on the classic Latin-American dish picadillo is smoky, sweet, and tangy, thanks to the pairing of ground pork with chipotles in adobo, ancho chile powder, cinnamon, cloves, cider vinegar, and raisins. It makes a phenomenal topping for nachos.

08 of 10

Pita Nachos


Whole-wheat pita stands in for tortilla chips in these better-for-you nachos. Salsa, cheese, and a quick turn in the broiler transforms them into a satisfying kid-friendly snack.

09 of 10

Nacho Potatoes


A cross between nachos and loaded baked potatoes, this recipe teams roasted potato wedges with a both Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, turkey bacon, and scallions. Don't forget the salsa and sour cream!

10 of 10

Chicken and Black Bean Nachos


Nachos are a great way to use up leftover chicken. Here, it's shredded and combined with spiced black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, salsa, avocado, jalapeño, and sour cream.

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