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5 Crave-Worthy BBQ Nacho Recipes in the Running for #1

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I’ve had a long history with nachos since I was a kid. Every time my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant, we would always order nachos. And it’s always been a goal of mine to find the best nachos ever.

Well, seeing as I still haven’t achieved this objective yet, I figured the only solution left is to make my own BBQ nachos at home, and boy did I come prepared. 

Here, I have a couple of BBQ/grilled nacho recipes that range from typical and classic to quirky and out-of-the-box. 

Each of these recipes has its own charm and I find it so hard to pick the #1 out of all of them. Maybe you can help me out and be the judge. 

1. Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

This first recipe is something that I discovered after a cookout with friends and family. I served pulled pork as a main course and ended up with some leftovers. 

Instead of simply reheating them the next day, I decided to make a new dish out of my day-old meat, so here we are with my version of leftover BBQ pulled pork nachos.

Let’s start by grabbing one and a half cups of our leftover pulled pork, half a cup of our fave BBQ sauce (mine is 12 Boned Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce), and 12 oz. of tortilla chips.

We should also get a cup of shredded Mexican-style cheese blend, a quarter cup of chopped red onion, and a quarter cup each of green, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers.

Afterward, let’s turn on our grill, grab an aluminum foil pan, and pile on the ingredients — starting with an even layer of tortilla chips at the bottom, followed by some shredded cheese. 

Before adding our pulled pork, let’s mix it first with our BBQ sauce. Then, top it with our chopped onion and bell peppers. 

Once we’ve used up all of our ingredients, we have to put the aluminum pan on the grill and let it cook for up to 10 minutes or until we see that the cheese has melted completely.

To finish, let’s sprinkle some pickled jalapeños and cilantro!

And just before grabbing a chip, I think it’s best if we let fresh-out-of-the-grill nachos rest for a few minutes. That way, we don’t end up with burnt fingers or tongues. 

2. Jerk Pork Nachos

For this next recipe, we’re still using some pulled pork. But instead of seasoning it with the traditional BBQ sauce, we’re infusing it with a little bit of Jamaican flair.

We’re also not using the same toppings. Instead, we’re following a Jamaican theme and filling the pan with ingredients to create Tex-Mex and Caribbean fusion.

First, let’s grab a bag of tortilla chips, one and a half cups each of grated cheddar and Monterey Jack, a cup of refried black beans, and one and a half cups of shredded pulled pork.

For the other toppings, we’ll need thinly sliced jalapeños, a handful of chopped fresh cilantro, store-bought fruit salsa, a tub of sour cream, guacamole, and some lime slices. 

There’s no specific measurement for the toppings. We can do as little or as many of each ingredient as we want. So, go wild!

Once we have all that we need, the next step is to build our nachos. 

For this, we just follow what we did in the first recipe and add the ingredients in layers, starting with our tortilla chips, followed by the cheeses, then the meat, and lastly, the refried black beans. 

Since we’re working with unseasoned pulled pork, we need to marinate it in jerk sauce to achieve the Caribbean flavors. 

To make this, let’s grab a food processor (or blender) and toss in four habanero or scotch bonnet peppers (with the seeds and membrane intact), one chopped onion, and six green onions.

We’ll also need a 1” knob of ginger (sliced), three garlic cloves, two tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon of allspice, Chinese five-spice powder, pepper, and a teaspoon of nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. 

Now, let’s blend all the ingredients until they turn into one cohesive mixture. 

Then, as the machine keeps running, we have to pour in half a cup of soy sauce, a quarter cup of spiced rum, the juice of three limes, and about a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the mixture starts to smell intensely peppery, let’s turn the blender off and get about a cup of this marinade to flavor our shredded chicken for at least a few hours. 

Overnight would be the best-case scenario, but if not, two to three hours in the fridge should suffice. 

After we’ve made our nachos, we have to pop them on the grill to cook. 

Five to seven minutes later, we can take the pan out of the heat and add the rest of our toppings, like the fruit salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and lime slices. 

From the colorful presentation to the intense flavors, everything about this dish is a fiesta, and that’s what I love most about it. Maybe when you give this a try, you’ll feel the same way, too!

3. Chicken Fajita Nachos

Apart from pulled pork, I’ve also tried making nachos out of chicken, and it was something else. 

For one, the chicken didn’t have much fat, so I didn’t find it very filling. Also, the texture is totally different. Unlike the juiciness and tenderness of pulled pork, chicken is much leaner.

I’m not saying one is better than the other. I’m saying both are worth making at home because they add something new to the table.

So, let’s dive into this chicken fajita nachos recipe.

The ingredients we need to make this dish are a bag of tortilla chips (a staple), three-fourths a pound of grilled chicken breasts, and 12 oz. of shredded cheese of our choice.

We’ll also need one diced medium-sized onion, two sliced bell peppers, half a teaspoon of oil, a sprinkle of salt, and some toppings — like salsa, pico de gallo, jalapeños, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Now, all we have to do is (1) grab an aluminum foil pan, (2) brush some oil around the perimeter to create a non-stick barrier between our nachos and the container, and (3) fill it in. 

We follow the same order of chips, cheese, meat, and veggies, repeating this sequence until either we fill our pan or finish up all our ingredients — whichever comes first. 

Then, we put it on the grill and cook it for about seven minutes before taking it out and finishing it off with the rest of our toppings. 

I like this recipe a lot because it’s quite light and refreshing. And if I didn’t have anyone to eat this with, I believe I could do major damage to the tray — maybe even eat half of it if I’m feeling peckish. 

4. Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Now if you want your chicken nachos to be extra creamy and rich, you have to try this buffalo chicken nachos. 

I made this recipe one time because I wanted to be daring. You see, I’m not usually a fan of blue cheese, but I’m always up for a challenge. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

If you want to know why this dish is good enough to make the list, make this recipe with me!

Let’s start by getting our ingredients ready.

These include three-fourths cup of blue cheese salad dressing, half a cup of cayenne pepper sauce, two tablespoons of melted butter, and two cups of shredded grilled chicken. 

On top of those, we’ll need one package of white corn tortilla chips (like Tostitos®), one seeded and chopped tomato, half a cup of sliced black olives, and a third cup of diced red onion.

Since we want a lot of flavor, we’ll also need a quarter cup of pickled jalapeño slices, 4 oz. of crumbled precooked bacon, one and a half cups of Mexican cheese blend, and a cup of Monterey Jack.

Now, let’s make our buffalo chicken. To do this, we need to combine a quarter cup of blue cheese dressing with our cayenne pepper sauce and melted butter before tossing our meat to coat completely.

Then, from here on out, everything should be a piece of cake, because we’ve seen it all before. So, let’s grab a pan and fill it with our ingredients. 

We can mix up the order if we want, but for the best results, I recommend keeping the tortilla chips at the bottom. It’s just a good base to support all our other toppings. 

Once our ingredients are nice and snug in the aluminum container, we fire up the grill and heat it up. After about 10 minutes or so, we take out the pan and drizzle some of our leftover blue cheese dressing.

To me, this recipe is the perfect game-day nachos, but I find excuses and occasions to make this during the off-season.

5. Veggie Lover’s Nachos

I consider BBQ nachos to be the ultimate snack — whether it be a game day, backyard BBQ, or just a regular Friday night. And here’s why.

It has ingredients from all food groups: the tortillas are a source of carbs and the meats are a source of protein. Then we have cheese and veggies to complete the list.

The question now is: what about people who can’t eat meat? Can they eat BBQ nachos? 

Absolutely, they can, because I just found the best nacho recipe they can make at home! This is the veggie lover’s nachos.

And while this fits the criteria for those following a vegetarian diet, this dish is also something that meat lovers like myself can enjoy.

To get started, let’s grab 8 oz. of sturdy tortilla chips, a can of rinsed and drained pinto beans, a full cup each of shredded cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack, and a third cup of crumbled feta cheese. 

For the toppings, we need finely chopped red bell peppers, pickled jalapeños, guacamole, green onions, and radishes.

If you try this dish one day and feel like it could use a little bit more toppings, feel free to add more veggies until you’re satisfied!

But in the meantime, let’s build our nachos by layering our ingredients one after the other in an aluminum pan before grilling to perfection!

While you can totally just place your raw veggies in the mix and grill them along with the rest of the toppings, I prefer to grill them beforehand. 

Taking this extra step just adds more dimension to the taste and texture of this entire dish. 

Then, once our nachos are done, all that’s left is to top it off with our guacamole and garnish with some chopped cilantro.

And there we have it: an extremely green dish for every veggie lover!

Nacho Ordinary Nachos

Now, do you see why it’s so hard for me to pick a favorite BBQ nacho recipe? Everything on this list looks so delectable and mouthwatering that it’s almost impossible to boil it down to just one.

So, maybe you can chime in and lend me a hand: try these recipes yourself and see which one you like best.

Perhaps one will stand out as the top pick, perhaps you like them all equally. Whatever the case may be, I’m all ears. 

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