Nachos are always a crowd-pleasing appetizer or main. But customize them with spicy shredded chicken, creamy avocado and lots of melted cheese, and they get taken to a whole new tasty level. Loaded chicken and avocado nachos are the ultimate Mexican-inspired fiesta feast!
This blog post will cover everything you need to know to make restaurant-worthy nachos at home. From tips for ideal homemade tortilla chips to layering the perfect toppings, read on for the complete cheesy chicken and avocado nacho recipe. Olé!
Nacho Perfection Starts with the Chips
You can certainly use store-bought tortilla chips for nachos. But taking the extra step to fry your own fresh chips at home pays off in a big way.
Benefits of homemade nacho chips:
- Use quality ingredients – corn tortillas, avocado oil
- Customize shape, size and thickness
- Serve warm and super crispy
- Addictively delicious flavor
- Cost effective and easy to make
How to make homemade tortilla chips:
- Stack 6-inch corn tortillas and slice into 6 wedges.
- Heat 1-2 inches of avocado or vegetable oil to 350°F in skillet.
- Fry wedges in batches for 1-2 minutes until crispy and lightly golden.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
That’s it! With freshly fried chips, you’ll get that satisfying crunch and rich corn flavor in every nacho bite.
Build the Base Layer
A good nacho foundation sets you up for optimal topping success. Here are a few base layer options:
- Refried beans – Spread a layer of warm refried or whole pinto beans first. Adds protein and partitions toppings.
- Spanish rice – Cooked rice, particularly seasoned Spanish rice, helps absorb flavors.
- Shredded lettuce – Crisp lettuce or cabbage adds nice crunch and freshness underneath.
- Cheese – Sprinkle tortilla chips with a layer of shredded cheese like cheddar or Oaxaca to start melty goodness.
Choose a base depending on the other ingredients you’ll be using. You really can’t go wrong!
Pile It On: Epic Nacho Toppings
Now for the fun part – loading up those chips with all the delicious toppings! Here are some can’t-miss options:
- Protein – Spicy Mexican chicken, ground beef, steak, carnitas, chorizo, shrimp
- Beans – Refried, black, pinto, kidney; whole, mashed, or smashed
- Cheese – Monterey Jack, queso fresco, cotija, Oaxaca, cheddar, Mexican blend
- Veggies – Diced onion, tomato, jalapeño, bell pepper, radish, lettuce, avocado
- Sauces – Guacamole, salsa, queso, sour cream, crema, ranchero sauce, mole
- Fresh – Cilantro, lime juice and wedges, pico de gallo
Pile the ingredients on in sections over the chips so you get the perfect bite each time. Don’t be shy – nachos are meant to be loaded!
Cheesy Shredded Chicken
A protein-packed topping for nachos is spiced and shredded Mexican chicken. Similar to nacho chicken, it’s easy to cook right in your skillet.
Season and cook 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts in taco or fajita seasoning and olive oil until cooked through and shredable.
Shred chicken using two forks then return to skillet.
Add 1⁄4 cup Mexican crema, 1⁄2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, juice of 1 lime and toss to coat.
The zesty, cheesy chicken mixes flawlessly with all the other ingredients on your nachos!
Creamy Avocado Galore
No nacho platter would be complete without fresh, creamy avocado. Use it in a few forms:
- Dice one avocado and scatter over top
- Make quick guacamole – mash an avocado with lime juice and salt.
- Layer on spoonfuls of storebought guacamole
- Garnish with thin sliced avocado
Avocado adds a refreshing richness and beautiful green pops of color.
Nacho Topping Ideas and Combos
With all the possible nacho ingredients, the topping combinations are endless. A few tasty ideas:
- Spicy ground beef + refried beans + tomato + jalapeño + cheddar + crema
- Carnitas pork + black beans + pineapple pico + queso fresco + cilantro
- Soy chorizo + smashed pinto beans + cabbage slaw + avocado slices + vegan queso
- Ancho chicken + cilantro rice + charred corn + cotija + chipotle crema
- Cajun shrimp + mashed black beans + bell peppers + Jack cheese + guacamole
Mix and match your favorite Mexican flavors to customize the ultimate nachos!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best cheese for nachos?
A Mexican blend or mixture of cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, cotija and queso fresco gives you the most flavor and meltability.
2. How long can you keep nacho toppings?
It’s best to add toppings right before serving so they don’t get soggy. Store individual components like chicken, beans and salsa in the fridge for 3-5 days.
3. Should you bake or broil nachos?
Baking at 400°F for 5-10 minutes or broiling for 1-2 minutes will melt and lightly crisp the toppings. Keep an eye so they don’t burn.
4. Can you freeze assembled nachos?
It’s best not to freeze a fully assembled nacho plate. The tortilla chips will get soggy. Freeze individual components like shredded chicken for later use.