Chicken Nachos – Spicy and unique, these chicken nachos will bring the whole family together for a feast to remember. The pleasant crunch of tortilla chips topped with tender chicken, melty cheese, spicy jalapenos, and sour cream is a sure hit. You just might institute a weekly nacho night after you try this super easy recipe! 😉
Let me tell you, not only are these nachos mouthwateringly delicious, but they’re super easy, ready in minutes, and cleanup is a breeze. It’s one of those stress-free meals that save the day when you’re rushed. And who isn’t rushed?
Plus, they’re just plain fun to eat. Gather your family around a giant tray of these yummy nachos, and watch their faces light up. My kid loves sharing and eating with his hands, and honestly, so do I! 😆
Why They Are Amazing
Why Chicken Nachos Are So Amazing
You may love beef nachos (and so do I), but there’s just something about these chicken nachos that is purely soul-satisfying. Warm Mexican spices add just enough heat to the tender chicken, then top it with cheese and other incredible nacho toppings and serve it over tortilla chips. Plus, this recipe doesn’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment. A skillet, baking pan, and some basic ingredients are all you need to create your family’s new favorite meal! 😋
- Tortilla Chips – Make sure you get tortilla chips that are fairly thick so they won’t get soggy under the weight of the chicken and cheese. Or you can make your own tortilla chips.😉
- Chicken Breast – Chicken breast is ideal for this recipe, but you could use thighs or tenderloins too. Either works just fine.
- Seasonings – Taco seasoning and tomato paste is all you need to crank up the chicken’s flavor. And, of course, homemade taco seasoning is da bomb.
- Cheeses – I go with mild cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, but any melty cheese you love will work just fine. 🧀
- Nacho Toppings – My go-to toppings are scallions, tomatoes, jalapeno, sour cream, and cilantro, but toppings are always customizable.
How to Make Chicken Nachos
Cook the Chicken
- Prep the Chicken – Cut the chicken into bite sides pieces.
- Brown the Chicken – Heat your olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then place the chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, cooking the chicken in batches if necessary.
- Add Taco Seasoning – Once the chicken is browned, pour the water into the skillet. Then add the taco seasoning and tomato paste. Stir to combine, then simmer over low heat until your sauce thickens and the chicken is done.
Assemble the Nachos
- Arrange the Chips – Place the chips on a baking large baking sheet.
- Final Stretch – Then arrange the cooked chicken on top of the chips. Top with the shredded cheese, and bake for five minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Garnish and Serve – Remove from the oven and top with scallions, tomatoes, jalapeño, sour cream, and cilantro before serving. Serve immediately.
- Meat Swap – Now, I told you you’re probably going to love this recipe more than you love regular old beef nachos, but if you want to go the ground beef route, be my guest. They’ll still be delicious. Even better, try making steak nachos when you feel like splurging!
- Customize your toppings! Omit anything you don’t like, and add anything else you love. Black olives, sauteed peppers, onions, black beans, guacamole, a squeeze of lime juice…because anything goes! 😁
Tips and Tricks
- You can use pre-shredded cheese in a pinch, but definitely use block cheese and shred it yourself if you have time. It adds a touch of flavor and extra meltiness that is totally worth it. 🤤
- Don’t bake the cold toppings. You want the scallions, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and sour cream uncooked. Their fresh taste compliments the chicken and chips amazingly.
- These nachos taste best served right out of the oven. If you let them sit around too long, the chicken goes cold, the cheese isn’t as melty, and the chips get soggy, so dig in right away!
You can make the chicken and store it for a day or two in the refrigerator before assembling and baking your nachos. That’s the best way to make this quick recipe even quicker.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Nachos don’t reheat well, so if you have a lot of leftovers, try to salvage the chicken and store it separately in the fridge. Then, use fresh ingredients to make more nachos with the pre-cooked chicken later. They’ll last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Cheddar has a nice tang, and Monterey jack has the perfect level of meltiness if you ask me. Other melty cheeses will work, too, some better than others. Mozzarella, for example, is mild but tends to crisp on top, making the nachos stick together. Harder cheeses, like parmesan, might not be melty enough. Go for soft and melty with a good dose of flavor.
It all comes down to the bake. The chicken and cheese will get all nice and melty in the oven and create a barrier preventing wetter ingredients, like sour cream and tomato, from making the chips soggy. That’s the key to success…well, that and eating these bad boys straight out of the oven. 😜
Not very long! I find 5 minutes is perfect, but it could be a couple of minutes, more or less, depending on your oven. All the ingredients are pre-cooked, so we’re only warming the chips and melting the cheese.
What Goes with Chicken Nachos
If you want to turn this delicious spread into a fancy feast, compliment it with homemade guac and pico de gallo, plus refried beans and maybe some grilled pineapple black bean salsa. Trust me, you will eat until you feel like you’re going to explode!
And don’t forget some refreshing drinks to go with this meal. Sorrel drinks or horchata go great with nachos. For something with more of a kick, try a passion fruit margarita or a mango margarita because the sweet and acidic notes are delicious with nachos. 🍹
More Amazing Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try
Nacho night, here I come! This recipe is so much fun to eat and super easy to prepare. Have you made it yet? If so, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.❤️
Watch How to Make It
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- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 11-ounce bag tortilla chips
- 1½ cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1½ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 4 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- Sour cream, for serving
- Cilantro, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350℉/177℃. Cut the chicken into bite sides pieces.
- Heat your olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then place the chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, cooking the chicken in batches if necessary.
- Once the chicken is browned, pour the water into the skillet. Then add the taco seasoning and tomato paste. Stir to combine, then simmer over low heat until your sauce thickens and the chicken is done.
- Spread the chips out on a large baking sheet (line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup).
- Then arrange the cooked chicken on top of the chips. Top with the shredded cheese, and bake for five minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Remove from the oven and top with scallions, tomatoes, jalapeño, sour cream, and cilantro before serving. Serve immediately.