11 Nacho Recipes that Steal the Show

Sheet Pan Nachos
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Crispy, crunchy, cheesy, gooey, savory, salty. We could go on forever about everything that makes nachos so irresistible. But these 11 recipes, ranging from Three-Cheese Queso Nachos to Loaded Pita Nachos, speak for themselves, and they're perfect for all kinds of occasions. For game day, whip up a platter of Andrew Zimmern's Best Nachos of All Time, piled high with fixings like melty queso fundido. Take your dinner leftovers and transform them into one incredible meal with Food & Wine Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple's Thanksgiving Leftovers Nachos. Or, take the concept of nachos and combine them with another favorite food to make burgers loaded with nacho toppings — they'd be a hit at a cookout. Sound good? Get ready to build the nachos of your dreams.

01 of 11

Smothered Mole Chicken Nachos

Smuggled Mole Chicken Nachos
© Abby Hocking

While this recipe calls for store-bought mole sauce, you can absolutely use homemade if you have it.The nachos are finished with a garnish of shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced fresh and pickled jalapeños, and cilantro leaves.

02 of 11

Three-Cheese Queso Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Whether you're making this loaded tray of nachos for entertaining or the ultimate snack dinner, it's sure to impress. Each individual component takes this dish to the next level, from homemade pickled red onions and jalapeños to creamy queso made with Monterey Jack, white American, and goat cheese.

03 of 11

Nacho Hot Dogs

Nacho Hot Dogs
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

These hot dogs from former Food & Wine editor Paige McCurdy-Flynn are topped with beer cheese, two different kinds of crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, scallions, and finally, pickled jalapeños. The best part? You only need a microwave to make them.

04 of 11

Creole Crawfish Nachos

Creole Crawfish Nachos
© W&P Design

New Orleans icon Big Freedia drapes her signature nachos in spicy cheese sauce and buttery, Creole-seasoned crawfish. "Crawfish is something my mom made all the time when I was a kid, so I can make crawfish in many forms," she says. "It's so New Orleans."

05 of 11

Best Nachos of All Time

Best Nachos of All Time
© W&P Design

"These super- sophisticated nachos are built with several components, all made from scratch and delicious on their own," Andrew Zimmern says. "When served together, they will blow your mind."

06 of 11

Cheesy Nachos with Fried Eggs and Giardiniera

Cheesy Nachos with Fried Eggs and Giardiniera
© Marcus Nilsson

F&W Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple makes these delicious nachos with sausage, tangy pickled vegetables, and fried eggs. They're perfect any time of day.

07 of 11

Nachos in a Bag

Nachos in a Bag
© W&P Design

"I am a traditionalist when it comes to nachos, and my gold star goes to the 'walking taco,'" says chef Kristen Kish. "I'm talking about the old school, cafeteria hot lunch–style walking taco. Individual bags of chips filled with grated cheddar cheese, taco meat, sour cream, chopped onion, pickled jalapeño, canned black olives, tomatoes and whatever else you could find at the salad bar. I was known to top it all off with a little ranch dressing and buttery corn. You roll the top of the paper bag closed, shake it, then dig in with a plastic spork. The chips are evenly coated, every bite drenched, your knuckles kissed by the flavors as you dig for that last bite in the bottom corner."

08 of 11

Nacho Snack Dinner with Sweet Potato Queso

Nacho Snack Dinner with Sweet Potato Queso
Antonis Achilleos

"It's a great meal for movie night, the big game, or a night of card games," cookbook author and Food & Wine Cooks contributor Ann Taylor Pittman says about this nacho snack dinner. "Everyone loves snacking, especially when it involves cheese dip." Her vibrant queso, made with Colby-Jack cheese, gets subtle sweetness and its orange color from the addition of pureed sweet potato. Rather than serving it directly on tortilla chips, the queso is served in a bowl surrounded by the chips and prepped vegetables for a deconstructed nacho situation.

09 of 11

Nacho Burgers

Nacho Burgers
© John Kernick

This over-the-top burger from chef Bobby Flay features a gooey cheese sauce made with Monterey Jack and pecorino, as well as a salsa that gets smoky heat from a chipotle chile in adobo.

10 of 11

Thanksgiving Leftovers Nachos

thanksgiving-leftover-nachos-ft-blog1119-1.jpg
Sarah Crowder

Food & Wine's Justin Chapple makes his next-level nachos with leftovers from his Thanksgiving meal. He uses diced turkey, chopped roasted vegetables, and whole cranberry sauce, but any leftovers you have can be used because gooey Monterey Jack cheese brings everything together.

11 of 11

Loaded Pita Nachos with Lentil Chili and Feta Queso

Loaded Pita Nachos with Lentil Chili and Feta Queso
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

In this recipe for plant-based nachos, pita chips are drizzled with a feta queso and then laden with lentil chili, harissa-spiked pickled cabbage, and a dollop of creamy labneh. Make the chips, queso, and cabbage ahead of time to help this dish come together easily, or use store-bought pita chips, if desired. The tangy feta queso gets its smooth body from the addition of red lentils and is a versatile ingredient on its own, says chef Cassie Piuma of Sarma in Somerville, Massachusetts, who adds, "We use this queso in mac and cheese and sub it in as a sauce for eggplant parm or moussaka."

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