The Ultimate Nachos Recipe – Delicious layers of chips, gooey cheese and toppings that are baked to perfection. These baked nachos take less than 20 minutes and are the perfect appetizer, lunch or dinner!
It doesn’t get better than cheesy loaded nachos. There is so much goodness on one plate and the flavors are out of this world. I’m definitely a toppings kind of girl, so load on the guacamole, salsa, cilantro, queso, jalapenos…you name it. The more, the better!
Now you may be thinking, nachos… do we really need a recipe for chips and cheese? Why, yes we do, friends! Because if you’re anything like my husband, you’ll grab some pre-shredded cheese from the refrigerator and pile it on top of some chips and put it in the microwave.
The only thing wrong with that picture is the cheese comes out dried and hard. Yuck! I’m all about the ooey gooey cheese. And to achieve that gooeyness factor, it’s all about using the right kind of cheese (not pre-shredded!!), layers and piling on the toppings. Plus… nachos are a million times better baked in the oven, if you ask me. :)
What chips to use for nachos?
When making homemade nachos, I prefer to use tortilla chips. Store-bought are fine, however I would aim for a more authentic looking brand. You want them to be thick and sturdy so that they can hold all those yummy nacho toppings. :) You can also make your own homemade tortilla chips with flour tortillas if you’d like.
What cheese is best for nachos?
I know I’ve said it before, but the key to making the best nachos is the cheese! Always buy fresh cheese that isn’t pre-shredded! It seriously makes a world of a difference when you grate your own cheese. Some of my favorite cheeses to use when making homemade nachos are mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina.
What do you bake nachos on?
I like to layer my nachos in a large skillet (cast irons work great if you have one). I love that they bake in the skillet and can also be served in it as well. The skillet gives a nicer presentation when serving the nachos, but a baking sheet would work fine too.
How to make nachos
Scroll down for the printable nachos recipe.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. On the bottom of a large skillet, pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce across. Then spread refried beans on top, followed by a sprinkle of cheese.
- Layer on tortilla chips with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat, so that there are 3 layers of chips. Top final layer with remaining cheese.
- Drizzle enchilada sauce on top (2-3 Tablespoons). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Add favorite nacho toppings and enjoy!
What toppings are good on nachos?
Where do I start…there are SO many delicious toppings that can be added to nachos. A few of my must-haves are cheese, beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. But the options are endless! Check out some crowd favorite nacho toppings below.
- Cheese (not pre-shredded!)
- Beans (black, refried, pinto)
- Salsa (red or green)
- Pico de gallo
- Fresh cilantro
- Black olives
- Diced tomatoes
- Queso cheese
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- Shredded chicken or taco meat
TIP: Bake base first (chips, cheese, beans and enchilada sauce), then layer on toppings once out of oven.
- 10 ounce can red enchilada sauce
- 16 ounce can black bean refried beans
- 3 cups freshly grated mozzarella , monterey jack or fontina cheese
- 1 bag tortilla chips , thick ones work best
Optional toppings: guacamole, pico de gallo,fresh cilantro, jalapenos, sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce across the bottom of a large skillet. Spread the refried beans on top and add a little salt and pepper if desired. Then sprinkle on a little bit of cheese. I like to use a mix of freshly grated mozzarella and fontina.
- Next layer on tortilla chips with another layer of cheese (about 3/4 cup). Repeat, so that you have 3 layers of chips. Top the final layer of chips with the remaining cheese. Drizzle 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and bubbly hot.
- Top with your favorite toppings, just before serving. My favorites are guacamole and pico de gallo. Serve immediately.
Sheet pan nachos
If you don’t have a large enough skillet or would prefer to bake the nachos on a sheet pan, you can definitely do that. Just line the pan with tortilla chips and top with cheese, beans and drizzle with enchilada sauce. Then bake at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Add your favorite nacho toppings and dig in! Check out my sheet pan BBQ nachos for a fun variation.