Feed a crowd and your hunger for loaded nachos all in one fell swoop. This One-Pan Chicken Nachos recipe will have you set for success.
Nachos have been a favorite dinner or snack of mine since high school. Trust me, that’s a long time. Back in the day, my best friend Stephanie and I would make a goopy cheese sauce from a dry packet mix. We loaded on the toppings and had a feast.
Since then I’ve simplified my nacho making process to include real shredded cheese and to make it in a big pan. I’ve shared my DIY Nacho Bar before. Nachos make a quick and easy dinner or appetizer with very little work.
But, if you really want to wow your guests, bring out this One-Pan Chicken Nachos dish all dolled up and ready to go.
Chicken nacho recipe ingredients
- Tortilla chips – This might seem like an obvious ingredient but of course nachos wouldn’t be complete without a bag of tortilla chips. You can use your favorite brand here.
- Pinto Beans – You can make your own homemade pinto beans, or a can of beans works well if you are pressed on time.
- Chicken – You can go ahead and cook your own, or a rotisserie chicken makes fast work of these nachos.
- Cheese – Of course your nachos have to have cheese! We used pepperjack cheese for a little heat, but cheddar would also work.
- Toppings- For us, we topped ours with black olives, jalapenos, tomatoes and sour cream.
Granted, you may have some picky eaters who prefer not to have all the toppings, but I mean, seriously, which side would you choose?
The colorful toppings really do make a difference when it comes to presentation. And be sure that the fresh veggies and aromatics add a great pop of flavor. You can leave a smaller, plain pan back in the kitchen for the picky people. 😉
How do you assemble nachos?
So we make our chicken nachos in the oven on a sheet pan. It feeds a crowd and is super easy to throw together. Making these sheet pan nachos is all about layering. Layer, layer, layer.
- Preheat. You want to start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
- Chips first. Spread the chips on a large sheet pan.
- Baked toppings first. Layer on the beans, chicken, and cheese. Bake the nachos until the cheese is melted and the toppings are warm, about 15 minutes.
- Toppings last. Layer on the olives, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro. Place the sour cream in a small ziptop bag. Trim off a corner and drizzle the sour cream over the nachos. Serve immediately.
How do you make nachos without getting soggy?
Nachos that aren’t soggy is all about that layering. You want to bake the nachos without the topping first. So bake the nachos with the chicken, beans, and cheese first. Then before serving top with the toppings – olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, and sour cream.
What cheese is best for nachos?
We used pepper jack because of the extra little kick. But any melting cheese works well here. You could also use colby, cheddar, or monterey jack.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the prices of chips, cheese, chicken, and beans can help keep the price down.
- Cooking beans from scratch. Cooking dry pinto beans can save you a significant amount of money in comparison to buying canned. Recently, I discovered that beans cook really quickly in a pressure cooker, making that a game changer for me since the soaking and slow cooking process have been deterrents for me in the past.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- sheet pans – I LOVE my set of steel sheet pans. They make such a difference in baking.
One-Pan Chicken Nachos
- 1 13-ounce bag tortilla chips
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained (2 cups homemade)
- 1 cup chicken (cooked and cubed)
- 8 to 12 oz pepper jack cheese (shredded ) (2-3 cups)
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1 to 2 roma tomato chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the chips on a large sheet pan. Layer on the beans, chicken, and cheese. Bake the nachos until the cheese is melted and the toppings are warm, about 15 minutes.
- Layer on the olives, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro. Place the sour cream in a small ziptop bag. Trim off a corner and drizzle the sour cream over the nachos. Serve immediately.