Our ultimate nachos recipe makes the most delicious nachos you’ll ever eat while making use of leftover chili con carne. This is so much better than the melted cheese over tortilla chips that some pass off as nachos. This is our super nachos with the works which is how we like to eat our nachos.
Lara’s ultimate nachos recipe will make you an addictively delicious nachos that makes use of my leftover chili con carne or Lara’s vegetarian bean chilli, which also makes this one of our best canned beans recipes if you’re looking for wallet-friendly meals during these fiscally challenging times.
We much prefer making our own nachos with the works at home rather than eating a nachos out. So many times we’ve been disappointed that we just don’t do it anymore because we know we can make a far superior nachos at home
On New Year’s Eve in Siem Reap, Lara found herself at a Mexican restaurant with a client, simply because it had the best views of the revelry on the streets. Hungry, she reluctantly ordered the most disappointing nachos she’d ever had: near-burnt tortilla chips topped with over-grilled cheese and a handful of baked beans. No condiments. No sour cream. Nada.
By contrast, our ultimate nachos recipe is the best nachos you’ll ever eat, topped with lashings of spicy, hearty, smoky chili con carne, a rustic red tomato salsa, plenty of freshly-made authentic Mexican guacamole, homemade sour cream, and slices of jalapeños, spring onions and black olives.
If you want to make a full Mexican food feast, also see our recipes for a tortilla soup, tacos al pastor, char-grilled corn on the cob street food snack elotes, grilled corn salad, quesadillas, and classic margaritas.
Here’s our ultimate nachos recipe. Enjoy!
Published 5 February 2018; Updated 19 January 2023
Ultimate Nachos Recipe – How to Make the Tastiest Nachos You’ll Ever Eat
First, a note on the most important ingredient of all for our ultimate nachos recipe and that’s the corn chips: you want good, firm, crisp, corn tortilla chips with no extraneous flavours, so no Doritos Dinamita Chile Limón Rolled Flavored Tortilla Chips.
If you can find them, and don’t have time to make your own corn chips, catering or restaurant-style corn tortilla chips that are made for dipping into salsa are perfect for our ultimate nachos recipe. The oval-shaped chips actually sit better on a plate, too.
Tips to Making our Ultimate Nachos Recipe
We like to use a medium-sized heat-proof plate with rounded high sides for individual nachos as the lip of the plate creates a border that the corn chips can’t pass. On a flat plate the corn chips tend to spread, particularly after you add the heavy chilli con carne.
You want to make sure that every tortilla corn chip is covered with cheese because if it isn’t it will burn before the nachos is ready. Sounds obvious, I know, but you realise that it’s not when the edges are burnt and the cheese hasn’t melted.
Be generous with the cheese, too, and always grate the cheese with an old-fashioned cheese grater. No microplane here for this dish; we’re not shaving nutmeg. You want chunky, gooey grilled cheese dripping down your corn chip mound.
Once your cheese has melted and you’re ready to add your chilli con carne, you want to build the plate high in the centre with the chilli and condiments to create a mountain of deliciousness. The idea being that you take chips from the outside – hopefully topped with melted cheese – and dip it into the mound of chili, salsa and sour cream in the centre.
And a final note: we love to make some fresh authentic Mexican guacamole to add on top, too. If we’re entertaining, as our American friends will be for Super Bowl Sunday, then we serve the rest of the guacamole, along with some tomato salsa, sour cream, black olives, jalapenos, etc, in additional bowls on the side so everyone can keep dipping and customise their nachos.
If you’re serving a group you can serve individual plates if it’s the main meal or double, triple or quadruple the amounts, below, and grill it all in a large oven pan or tray or oven-proof ceramic platter. Just make sure to make some micheladas to wash it all down with. Enjoy!
Ultimate Nachos Recipe
- 1 cup of chili con carne warmed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 jalapeño peppers pickled, diced finely
- 160 g corn chips ‘restaurant-style’
- 1 cup red tomato salsa
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp black olives pitted & sliced
- 2 stalks of spring onions green parts only, sliced finely
- Preheat the oven broiler as high as it will go.
- Make a layer of overlapping corn chips at the edge of the plate then continue with concentric circles until the plate is covered. Add a few more to the centre of the plate.
- Cover the corn chips with the grated cheese.
- Place the plate in the oven and leave until cheese is just melted and gooey.
- Remove the plate from the oven and top with a mound of the warm chili. Sprinkle with more cheese and return to the oven only until all the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and while still hot, pour some salsa on top, plop a blob of sour cream on top of that. Then generously sprinkle with slices of olives, jalapeños and spring onions to finish.
Do let us know if you make our ultimate nachos recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.