Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos-1-18Loaded Nachos are always a crowd pleaser. They are such a great appetizer for a party or a low key, casual dinner, especially during the hot summer months. I love that the most time consuming parts of this awesome appetizer can be made ahead of time. You can also customize the toppings to whatever you or your family and friends like.

The crispy chips, the fresh tomatoes and herbs in the Pico de Gallo, the ooey-gooey cheese sauce and the creamy avocado all come together in the perfect bite.  On the rare occasion that I felt good when I was pregnant, I found myself craving these Nachos quite often. 

Ingredients:

1 bag (8.5 oz) of tortilla chips

1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked chicken, beef or pork (I roasted two chicken thighs and then shredded the meat with a fork)

8 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.)

1 avocado

1/2 – 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 Tablespoons each, green onion, cilantro, chopped, use as a garnish

Pico de Gallo – recipe here

Cheese sauce: (Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country)

1/2 Tablespoon oil

1 small onion, minced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

10 oz can diced tomatoes and chilies (I used mild)

12 oz can evaporated milk

12 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.)

salt to taste

Instructions:

Loaded Nachos-1-26

Prepare the Pico de Gallo, the meat and the Cheese Sauce. You can make all three ahead of time, which will make this appetizer a breeze to make.

Pico de Gallo is a fresh tomato salsa. I have the recipe posted here. Pico de Gallo-1-5

There are many meat options for these loaded Nachos. You can use leftover chicken, or use the Slow Cooker ChickenSlow Cooker Beef, or Pulled Pork. You can even completely omit the meat and make this vegetarian. For the sake of this recipe, I roasted 2 chicken thighs and then shredded the meat with a fork.

Cheese Sauce:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions have softened, 3-5 minutes. Loaded Nachos-1-30Pour in the evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Loaded Nachos-1-29Pour the hot milk mixture into a blender along with the grated cheese and mix to combine until the cheese sauce is smooth, or use an immersion blender. Pour the cheese mixture back into the saucepan or into a bowl. Add the can of diced tomatoes and chilies. Season to taste with salt. Loaded Nachos-1-27Let the sauce stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to thicken.Loaded Nachos-1-22

The cheese sauce can be made ahead of time. Reheat it over low heat in a saucepan. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but be careful not to cook it too quickly on high heat or the sauce will separate.

Assembling the Loaded Nachos:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place half of the chips on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread half of the chicken and half of the grated cheese on top of the chips. Loaded Nachos-1-25Repeat with another layer of chips, meat and cheese. Loaded Nachos-1-24Place it in the oven for about 8 minutes, just until the cheese melts.

Loaded Nachos-1-23Add the toppings.

Pour on the cheese sauce, add slices of avocado, Pico de Gallo, and fresh cilantro and green onions. Loaded Nachos-1-21

Loaded Nachos-1-20You can also serve the chips with the melted cheese and chicken on its own and have all the toppings set up next to it. This way, your guests can customize their food with whatever toppings they like. Other topping options: beans, corn, jalapeño, olives, etc.Loaded Nachos-1-17
Loaded Nachos-1-18

Loaded Nachos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 bag (8.5 oz) of tortilla chips
  • 1½ - 2 cups cooked chicken, beef or pork (I roasted two chicken thighs and then shredded the meat with a fork)
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.)
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ - 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons each, green onion, cilantro, chopped, use as a garnish
  • Pico de Gallo - recipe here
Cheese sauce: (Recipe adapted from Cook's Country)
  • ½ Tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and chilies (I used mild)
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 12 oz shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.)
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Pico de Gallo, the meat and the Cheese Sauce. You can make all three ahead of time, which will make this appetizer a breeze to make.
  2. Pico de Gallo is a fresh tomato salsa. I have the recipe posted here.
  3. There are many meat options for these loaded Nachos. You can use leftover chicken, or use the Slow Cooker Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef, or Pulled Pork. You can even completely omit the meat and make this vegetarian. For the sake of this recipe, I roasted 2 chicken thighs and then shredded the meat with a fork.
Cheese Sauce:
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions have softened, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour in the evaporated milk and bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the hot milk mixture into a blender along with the grated cheese and mix to combine until the cheese sauce is smooth, or use an immersion blender. Pour the cheese mixture back into the saucepan or into a bowl.
  4. Add the can of diced tomatoes and chilies. Season to taste with salt.
  5. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. The cheese sauce can be made ahead of time. Reheat it over low heat in a saucepan. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but be careful not to cook it too quickly on high heat or the sauce will separate.
Assembling the Loaded Nachos:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place half of the chips on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread half of the chicken and half of the grated cheese on top of the chips.
  3. Repeat with another layer of chips, meat and cheese.
  4. Place it in the oven for about 8 minutes, just until the cheese melts.
  5. Add the toppings. Pour on the cheese sauce, add slices of avocado, Pico de Gallo, and fresh cilantro and green onions.
  6. You can also serve the chips with the melted cheese and chicken on its own and have all the toppings set up next to it. This way, your guests can customize their food with whatever toppings they like. Other topping options: beans, corn, jalapeño, olives, etc.

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