My go-to easy nachos recipe, made with my favorite queso blanco dip and a handful of delicious toppings.
It’s my birthday today! So I’m serving up a big sheet pan of one of my all-time faves to celebrate…
…homemade nachos. ♡
My friends would be the first to tell you that I’ve had a lifelong obsession with excellent nachos. (I even wrote an entire cookbook devoted to them once upon a time!) But while I will always appreciate all sorts of fun and elaborate nacho toppings, in my book there’s nothing better than a simple sheet pan loaded up with the perfect mix of good-quality basics. Namely, the most delicious and melty queso blanco I know (that’s right, no boring shredded cheese allowed here), creamy sliced avocado, a sprinkling of fresh pico de gallo, and paper-thin slices of fresh jalapeños for a bit of a kick. This simple, classic combination is absolutely unbeatable in my opinion. And after having served up dozens upon dozens of sheet pans full of these nachos to friends over the years, I can vouch that they are a crowd favorite as well every single time.
That said, of course, the fun of making homemade nachos is getting to customize them exactly as you’d like. So give this base recipe a try, and then feel free to load them up with any additional meat, beans, salsas, olives, cremas, or any other toppings that sound good. I’ve also included some of my tried and true tips below for assembling the perfect pan of nachos, as well as recommendations for some of my favorite salsa to serve alongside them.
Alright, let’s make some nachos!
Before we get to the full nachos recipe below, here are a few notes about the basic nacho ingredients you will need:
Corn tortilla chips: Whatever variety of tortilla chips you love best!
Queso blanco: I’m firmly on Team Melted Cheese Dip (versus shredded cheese) when it comes to nacho cheese, and this Tex-Mex-inspired queso blanco recipe is my go-to when making a big pan of nachos. It’s perfectly seasoned, melty, scoop-able, and irresistibly delicious.
Tomatoes: I typically core and dice a few Roma tomatoes (or whatever variety of tomatoes happens to be most ripe) to sprinkle over the nachos.
Avocado: Also an essential topping in my opiniion, which you’re welcome to slice, dice, or mash. Or if you feel like going the extra mile, whip up a batch of guacamole to dollop over the top of your nachos.
Jalapeño and red onion: I also recommend ultra-thinly-slicing or finely chopping an avocado to sprinkle over the nachos to add a touch of heat.
Red onion: I love the bite of raw red onions on nachos, either thinly sliced or finely chopped. Or feel free to also whip up a batch of quick pickled red onions to add instead.
Cilantro: Finally, I love adding a generous sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro to these nachos. But if you are averse to its flavor, feel free to just leave it out entirely.
More Fun Toppings To Try
Here are some additional nacho toppings that you’re welcome to add too:
Sour cream or crema: Add scoops of sour cream or drizzle on some Mexican crema.
Pickled onions or jalapeños: Use quick pickled red onions in place of fresh red onions or pickled jalapeños in place of fresh jalapeños.
Tips for Making The Best Nachos
Here are a few extra tips to always keep in mind when making homemade nachos:
Prep all ingredients before assembly. In order to prevent soggy nachos, prep all of your ingredients completely first and then quickly layer them on the chips.
Choose appropriate chips. I adore serving those paper-thin tortilla chips with salsa, but they don’t tend to withstand the weight of nacho toppings quite as well. So it’s usually best to use thicker, sturdier chips that won’t break as easily when making nachos.
Spread chips in a single layer. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to how to layer nachos. But I personally prefer to layer chips in a single layer without much overlap so that each chip can have an even (and generous!) sprinkle of toppings.
Use parchment paper: Melted cheese dip can be famously difficult to clean on pans. So I always begin with a sheet of parchment paper and layer the nachos on top.
Layer the nachos.Arrange the chips in an even layer on a large sheet pan. Drizzle evenly with 1 ½ cups of the queso blanco. Sprinkle evenly with the tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro. Drizzle the remaining ½ cup (or more) of the queso blanco.