Delicious layers of chips, gooey cheese and toppings that are baked to perfection in the oven. These easy skillet nachos take less than 20 minutes and are the perfect appetizer, lunch or dinner!
Is there anything you can’t do in a cast iron skillet? Whether it’s these cheesy loaded nachos, skillet breakfast potatoes, oven baked steak or even a dessert pizookie, the cast iron is a tried and true kitchen utensil to definitely have in your arsenal.
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 key to use 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. :)
There is so much goodness on one plate and the flavors are out of this world. Seriously. Look at all that cheesy goodness. And the guac is pretty much a must with these skillet nachos too!
How to make nachos in the oven
- LAYER. Start by pouring a thin layer of enchilada sauce across the bottom of a large skillet. Then spread the refried beans on top, followed by a small sprinkle of cheese. Next add a layer of tortilla chips with another layer of cheese (about 3/4 cup). Repeat with the chips and cheese until you have 3 layers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the final layer of chips and then drizzle a few Tablespoons of enchilada sauce on top.
- BAKE. Place the skillet in the oven and bake the nachos until the cheese is bubbly and golden (this usually takes about 15 minutes).
- TOP. Remove from oven and then pile on any additional toppings of choice (check out my favorites below). Then serve immediately while hot!
I’m definitely a toppings kind of girl, so load on the guacamole, salsa, cilantro, queso, jalapenos…you name it. The more, the better! You can even add shredded chicken or taco meat to make it a quick and easy meal.
- Cheese (mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina)
- Beans (black, refried or pinto)
- Salsa (or salsa verde)
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Queso blanco or velveeta queso
- Black olives
Tips for the best skillet nachos
- Shred your own cheese. Don’t use the pre-shredded bags. Buy a block of cheese and grate your own. The bags of pre-shredded cheese have extra additivities that make it harder for them to melt. If you want that ooey gooey cheesy perfection, grate it yourself.
- Chips. Make sure you use chips that are thick, so that they don’t break and remain sturdy to hold all the toppings. You can even make your own homemade tortilla chips to take the baked nachos up a notch.
- Bake the base first. Layer on the base ingredients (chips, cheese, beans and enchilada sauce) and bake those first. Then once out of the oven, add the other toppings (like salsa, guacamole, jalapenos) so that they stay fresh.
- Skillet substitute. If you don’t have a large enough skillet or would prefer to bake the nachos on a sheet pan, you can definitely make sheet pan nachos. 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. Then add your favorite nacho toppings and dig in!
More recipes you’ll love:
- 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.