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Two of our favorite go-to game-day foods are wings and nachos. Loaded with cheese, leftover chili, and sour cream these chili cheese nachos are the perfect football food, and just like our Sheet Pan Nachos Supreme, they are ready in 25 minutes.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
You need three ingredients (and your favorite nacho toppings) for the perfect chili cheese nachos.
The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.
- Chili: These nachos are the perfect solution to leftover chili. Both our traditional no-bean Texas chili and Game Day chili with beans are perfect options.
- Cheese: We definitely prefer queso for our chili cheese nachos but you can also use freshly grated cheese. We do suggest shredding your own since store-bought shredded cheese contains additives such as potato starch to keep the cheese from clumping. This can prevent the cheese from completely melting.
- Tortilla Chips: Use a thicker, sturdier chip since they will be loaded with chili, cheese, and other toppings, and avoid the thinner “restaurant-style” chips.
Best Toppings for Nachos
Our go-to toppings for chili cheese nachos are sour cream, jalapenos, and green onions. But, there are many other toppings that you could add so get creative!
- Red Onions
- Pico de Gallo
- Grilled Avocado Guacamole
- Creamy Avocado Ranch
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
Best Chips for Nachos
The key to nachos is selecting tortilla chips that are thick and sturdy so they hold up under all the toppings and won’t break when you pick them up. We prefer freshly fried tortilla chips that we make at home from corn tortillas. Here are our tips for frying up your own:
- Use corn, not flour tortillas. Cut corn tortillas into six triangles.
- Use a neutral oil. Pour canola, corn, or avocado oil to a depth of about 1/4-inch into a skillet with high sides then heat on high until about 350°F.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Place tortilla triangles in the hot oil in a single layer. Using metal tongs or a slotted spoon gently push them beneath the oil to get well coated. Fry for about 2 minutes or until they are lightly brown and are no longer pliable. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
How to Make Chili Cheese Nachos
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: The key to making perfect nachos is evenly layering the ingredients so that you get a little bit of everything on each chip.
1. Assemble the Nachos: Place half of the tortilla chips in a single layer on a cookie or baking sheet then top with half the chili and queso (or shredded cheese). Add a second layer of tortilla chips and top with the remaining chili and queso.
2. Bake the Nachos: In a preheated 400°F oven bake the nachos for 4-6 minutes until the cheese is bubbly (shredded cheese should be melted).
3. Serve: Top with jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole, or any of your favorite chili toppings. Serve immediately.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- For easy clean-up line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Layer the chips, cheese, beef, and refried beans. Additional toppings will go on after the nachos are cooked and out of the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
These nachos are best eaten immediately but if you do have leftovers, they can be reheated on a baking sheet at 400 °F for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove any cold toppings like sour cream before reheating.
The best cheese is one that melts well, such as cheddar, Monterey jack, Mozzarella, queso Oaxaca, or homemade nacho cheese sauce. The key is to shred it yourself since store-bought shredded cheese contains additives to prevent it from clumping which also means it won’t be as melty.
The chili does not have to heat up first since the nachos will be baked in the oven. The key is to add a thin layer of chili evenly over the chips.
Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these other game-day favorites:
- Game Day Chili
- Nashville Hot Honey Chicken Slider Sandwiches
- Jamaican Jerk Spiced Chicken Wings
- Build Your Own Nacho Bar – 20 Toppings Every Nacho Bar Needs
Chili Cheese Nachos
- 1 Cookie or Baking Sheet
- 8-10 ounces tortilla chips
- 1 cup chili
- 1 cup queso or shredded cheese
- 1 small tomato, diced
- avocado, sliced
- sour cream
- green onion, diced
- red onion, diced
- jalapeno, sliced
- cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place one-half of the tortilla chips in a single layer on a cookie or baking sheet. Top with one-half of the chili and queso or shredded cheese.
- Add a second layer of tortilla chips topped with remaining chili and queso or shredded cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 4-6 minutes until the cheese is bubbly (shredded cheese should be melted).
- Top with your favorite nacho toppings. Serve immediately.