What is a tortilla chip but a mere vessel for delivering ample amounts of seasoned meat and melted cheese to our mouths? If you don’t care for tortilla chips — or can’t eat them, perhaps due to a corn allergy — that doesn’t mean nachos are out of bounds. We’ve expanded our definition of nachos by applying popular topping combinations, such as meat, cheese, avocado and salsa, to other foods — think baked sweet potatoes, crunchy sweet peppers and more. Purists will balk at the suggestion of nachos sans corn chips, but try these no-chip recipes and you’ll find that the best part is the toppings.
We invite anyone who believes you can’t have nachos without tortilla chips to try Food Network Kitchen’s cheesy Zucchini Fry Nachos. The crisp fried zucchini offers a juicy quality that you can’t get from corn chips. For toppings, we recommend diced shredded cheese, avocado, lime juice and pickled jalapenos for the right balance of fresh and comforting flavor.
The big game is upon us, and while not all of us may speak the language of touchdowns and fumbles and interceptions, we can all agree on one thing (besides the commercials): nachos. If you’re a true nacho lover, you don’t just devour this mountainous dish at the bar. You make nachos at home — and you do so like a total and complete expert. But what separates you, a true nacho connoisseur, from the rest? We’ve got eight unabashed ways that prove you know your nachos (and the cheesy, crunchy, meaty recipes to back it up).
1. You take the handcrafted, from-scratch approach.
If you’re a bona-fide nacho lover, you know that this loaded dish is a whole lot more than a greasy bar snack. Take The Pioneer Woman’s approach, for example. She starts her Cowboy Nachos by cooking marinated beef brisket for hours until it’s fall-apart tender. Because, when it comes to nachos, only the best will do.
Every so often the world brings you something that satisfies a deep need you had no idea you had. Like, for instance, delivering fabulous, easily returnable shoes to your door. Or, perhaps, providing you with a restaurant exclusively devoted to nachos.
Actually, we can thank the same man for both of those things. Nick Swinmurn, the guy who launched Zappos — and then left his job as the shoe e-tailer’s CEO in 2006, three years before the company was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion — has just opened an all-nacho restaurant in California, with an eye toward rolling it out to other regions, should the idea prove successful.
No matter whether your game-day crowd is more focused on the football, the commercials or the food, this eye-popping spread of rainbow-hued nachos will steal the show. And it tastes as good as it looks. Party guests will keep coming back to try a new color block of flavor. Hit play below to watch staffers whip them up in our Food Network Kitchen, or check out our step-by-step gallery to see how easy it is to turn your table or counter into a 6-foot nacho fiesta for the big game on February 7. Read more
If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be nachos. And I’ll take ‘em any way they come, from chips that are individually topped and have the perfect cheese distribution to a mess of cheesy goodness smothered in guacamole where you have to hunt for each topping. With tailgating in full swing, it’s easier than ever for me to justify my nacho craving every weekend while watching a game. They are the perfect party food, though; if it were up to me, I’d never have to share.
When you’re short on time or low on ingredients, Ree Drummond’s nachos are simple: Cover white tortilla chips with Monterey Jack cheese and jarred jalapeno slices.
The beauty of nachos is that, unlike dishes that require a certain set of ingredients, there are no rules for creating the ultimate plate. Chips, cheese, maybe a meat and something creamy — that’s all that’s expected, and beyond that, it’s up to you to customize the platter however you see fit with whatever you happen to have on hand. On yesterday’s brand-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, Katie Lee showed off a wow-worthy platter of chorizo nachos, one so impressive that it’s sure to incite “table envy” from those dining near you.
Recently Food Network asked you to tell us about your best-ever nacho eats, and in true superfan fashion, you delivered in droves, with comments and photos of piled-high plates. Keep scrolling below to see FN Dish’s favorite selections.
A heaping platter of crunchy, gooey nachos might be simple, yet its power to satisfy and comfort is undeniable. Whether flaunting pork, brisket or pickled onions, this cheese-shellacked blanket of tortilla chips is especially cherished during football season. To satisfy your cravings during these football-free weeks before the big game, check out 10 of of the country’s best takes on this humble staple of Tex-Mex joints in our full gallery.
Los Angeles: Border Grill (pictured above)
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, the dames behind modern Mexican institution Border Grill, are known for their Skillet Nachos. At the downtown Los Angeles location — as well as in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and the Forum Shops at Caesars — the dish arrives piled high with housemade tortilla chips, from-scratch cheese sauce, organic black beans and tender morsels of carne asada.
From salads and sandwiches to casseroles and pasta, the key to bulking up vegetarian dishes and turning them into satisfying meals is adding hearty, protein-rich ingredients other than meat. If you’re new to Meatless Monday or vegetarian cooking in general, consider stocking your refrigerator with eggs and tofu, and your pantry with good-for-you grains and your favorite varieties of beans. Along with fresh vegetables, these go-to picks can transform everyday dishes into rich, comforting plates to look forward to.
Pinto beans play a shining role in Food Network Kitchen’s Baked Nachos with Roasted Sweet Potatoes (pictured above), an eat-with-your-hands meal ideal for weeknights and game days alike. To guarantee layer upon layer of flavor, FN Kitchen tosses spiced baked tortilla chips with bright lime zest, then piles on the bold toppings, including a pinto bean mixture laced with adobo sauce and cumin-scented roasted sweet potatoes. For an added burst of freshness, top the platter with a simple tomato-serrano salsa and finish with cool, creamy avocado slices.
While some get-togethers are all about elegantly plated entrees, individual servings and dainty dishes, big-game bashes aren’t among them. For successful football food, all that’s needed is something easy to eat on the couch and large enough to feed a crowd, which is why traditional picks include sticky, saucy chicken wings, eat-with-your-hands chips and dips, and bowls of meaty chili. Nachos, however, may be the ultimate tailgate-worthy dish, as they’re not only simple enough to chow down on with one hand, but they’re often served family-style, encouraging big-group snacking. The foundation of nachos is simple — just chips and some cheese or salsa — but beyond that, they can be customized to your family’s tastes or whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. Check out Food Network’s best-five nacho recipes below from Rachael, Guy, Marcela and more Food Network chefs to find winning platters that will wow your party guests.
5. Grilled Chicken Nachos with Cheese Sauce, Avocado Relish and Charred Jalapenos — The secret to Bobby’s moist, flavor-packed chicken is a marinade of lime juice, ancho chile powder and Worcestershire sauce. He lets chicken thighs rest in the mixture overnight before grilling the meat and adding it to a platter of chips with creamy Jack cheese sauce, cool avocados and jalapenos.
4. Guy-talian Nachos — Guy assembles his nachos in layers — first chips, then a combination of sauteed beef and turkey, and a sprinkle of mozzarella — before covering them with salami, basil and tomato-garlic salsa for an Italian-inspired plate.