Simple, quick and so easy to customize, these homemade nachos are cheesy, crunchy, and packed with color and deliciousness.
These nachos are super satisfying because of their protein-rich base of minced beef and cheese. They are very easy to put together and customize to your liking and can be served as a meal or as an appetizer.
To make the best nachos in the oven, you want fresh ingredients.
- Tortilla Chips: You can buy these at the grocery store or make your own in the Air Fryer. I prefer just using salted ones, but you can use flavored ones if you prefer.
- Ground Beef: I like 90% lean for its lower fat and because it releases less moisture preventing soggy nachos.
- Beans: Pinto, black, or red kidney beans.
- Sweet Corn: I used canned but you can also use frozen (make sure to defrost in advance).
- Cheese: I use a mix of cheddar and American cheese for color and flavor – but you can adapt to your taste. For the best nachos, a top tip is to grate the cheese from blocks. It has better flavor, melts faster, and avoids extra preservatives found in pre-packaged cheese. Try Monterey Jack, Colby, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella, Queso, Provolone, or even blue cheese as they all make excellent choices for perfect nachos.
- Refried Beans: A Mexican dish of cooked and mashed beans that you’ll find in lots of Tex-Mex dishes.
- Onions: White onions work best because they caramelize as they cook – they’ll give your nachos a delicious little hint of sweetness after they’re baked. Red onions also work well.
- Taco Seasoning: You can usually find this pre-mixed, but you can make a homemade taco seasoning.
- Olive Oil.
- To Serve: Tomatoes, diced avocado, green onions, pickled jalapenos, lettuce (you can add or take away ingredients as your tastes desire).
How to make the best nachos
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
Brown the meat: Heat a pan with a little oil to medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add the ground meat and sprinkle over the taco seasoning. Brown completely in the pan and stir so the onion and seasoning are fully incorporated into the meat and it doesn’t stick.
Layer the Ingredients: Layer the tortilla chips so they cover the entire tray. Then, sprinkle over half of the cheese to form a protective layer over the nachos. Add the ground beef, corn, whole beans and refried beans. Then, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top until the chips are almost entirely covered.
Bake: Nachos don’t need too long in the oven – they just need enough time to melt the cheese. Cook at 350°F /175°C until the cheese has melted and is starting to bubble, usually 3-5 minutes.
Toppings: For ease – and speed – I recommend you prepare your toppings in advance so you can assemble your nachos quickly and easily. Dice up your avocado, tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, lettuce and any other extra ingredients you like adding to your nachos. Sprinkle these toppings over the freshly baked nachos.
Serve immediately to enjoy them while they’re piping hot and crispy.
Nachos are delicious as a meal all on their own, but you can incorporate them with other dishes:
- Enhance Your Nachos: Pair with Tex-Mex dips and sauces like guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, or salsa verde for added flavor. They’re perfect for dipping or drizzling over the dish.
- Mezze Option: For a mezze-style spread, complement your nachos with dishes like spicy jalapeno cornbread, burritos, quesadillas, or homemade elote (Mexican street corn).
- As a Side Dish: Enjoy nachos alongside spicy chili con carne, a comforting bowl of soup, or a crisp green salad.
- Refreshing Pairing: Pair your nachos with a refreshing drink option like an authentic horchata, chamoyada, or a refreshing pineapple tepache.
More quick recipes
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Nachos Recipe
- 1 Baking Sheet
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- Heat a pan with a little oil to a medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they start to become translucent.
- Add the ground meat and sprinkle over the taco seasoning. Brown completely in the pan, stirring so the onion and seasoning are fully incorporated into the meat and it doesn’t stick.
- Line a baking sheet – you can use aluminum foil or a silicone mat, both of which will stop the nachos from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the tortilla chips so they cover the entire tray. Sprinkle over some of the cheese to form a protective layer over the nachos, keeping some behind.
- Add the ground beef, corn, whole beans and refried beans. Then, add the rest of the cheese on top.
- Bake at 350°F /175°C until the cheese has melted and is starting to bubble, usually 3-5 minutes.
Prepare your favorite toppings
- For ease – and speed– I recommend you prepare your toppings in advance so you can assemble your nachos quickly and easily. Dice up your avocado, tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, lettuce and any other extra ingredients you like adding to your nachos. Sprinkle the toppings over the fresh ingredients
- Serve immediately to enjoy the nachos while they're piping hot and wonderfully crispy.