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. A few special tricks make these nachos even better. First, for optimal melting, shred the cheese by hand instead of buying pre-shredded. When you build the nachos, make sure you layer the toppings evenly, so there are beans and queso in every bite. To make these nachos vegetarian, skip the chorizo and add a pinch of cumin and smoked paprika to the beans, or substitute in Soyrizo. Save any leftover pickled onions for tacos, sandwiches or salads.

Gallery

Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Recipe Summary test

active:
1 hr 15 mins
total:
1 hr 35 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

For the pickled onions and jalapeños:
For the chorizo refried beans:
For the three-cheese queso:
For the guacamole:
For the additional ingredients:

Directions

Make the Pickled Onions and Jalapeños:
  • Place onion and jalapeño in a medium-size heatproof bowl or jar with a lid. Bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour vinegar mixture over onion mixture in bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

    Advertisement
Make the chorizo refried beans:
  • Cook chorizo in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break it into small crumbles, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour. Add lard to drippings in skillet; melt over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in beans (with liquid), cumin, and oregano. Cook, stirring often and mashing beans using the back of a spoon, until mixture is creamy and thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in reserved chorizo and season to taste with salt. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour. Reheat over low, if needed. The chorizo refried beans can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Rewarm gently before continuing.

Make the goat cheese-spiked queso:
  • Toss together Monterey Jack cheese, American cheese, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until evenly combined; set aside. Bring evaporated milk, onion powder, and garlic powder to a low simmer in a medium saucepan over medium, whisking occasionally. Gradually add cheese-cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly, until cheese is fully melted and mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add goat cheese. Cook, whisking constantly, until queso is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stir in green chiles. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour. Reheat over low, if needed. The queso can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Rewarm gently before continuing.

Make the Guacamole:
  • Using a fork, mash avocados in a medium bowl to desired consistency. Add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt; stir to combine. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of guacamole, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange half of the chips in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Top with half of the refried beans, chorizo, and queso. Repeat layering with remaining chips, refried beans, chorizo, and queso. Bake in preheated oven until hot, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set aside 1/2 cup drained pickled onions and jalapeños (reserving remaining for another use).

  • Remove nachos from oven. Top with dollops of guacamole and scatter reserved 1/2 cup pickled onions and jalapeños on top. Garnish with chopped tomato and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.

Advertisement