Grilled Chicken Nachos

AppetizerGame DayTexMexNachos

Grilled BBQ Chicken Nachos in foil, perfect for tailgating or camping!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Why grill nachos? Why not? They’re perfect for tailgating, camping, or when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.

And by the way, grilling nachos in a foil boat is the BEST way to make nachos. Seriously!

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Nachos are always at risk of getting limp and soggy. But when you have high direct heat blasting at the tortilla chips from the coals or flame underneath, it does a great job getting the chips crispy. Covering the grill will melt the cheese on top.

Grilled Chicken Nachos in Foil with Sour Cream BBQ Sauce

Melted cheese on top, crispy chips below. Perfect.

For a nacho sauce we are using sour cream mixed with BBQ sauce (easiest chip dip ever!). Drizzle it over the cheesy nachos and you don’t need queso.

Enjoy the nachos as is, or dressed up with extras—chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, avocado, red onions.

Grilled Chicken Nachos Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-8



  • 8 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken meat (a rotisserie chicken is great for this)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce

Sour Cream BBQ Sauce:

Extras (all optional):

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

You'll need:

  • 2 15x12-inch sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil


1 Preheat grill and prep ingredients: Preheat your grill for high direct heat. While the grill is heating, prep the ingredients.

2 Mix BBQ sauce with chicken: Mix the cooked chicken with the BBQ sauce and set aside.

3 Make sour cream BBQ sauce: Mix the sour cream with BBQ sauce and set aside.

4 Make foil boats: Take the sheets of aluminum foil and crimp the sides so that you have "boats".

5 Assemble nachos: Arrange a layer of tortilla chips over the bottom of the foil. It's okay if some of the chips overlap, but all chips should have some exposure at the top. Sprinkle with most of the cheese (reserve some to go on top of the chicken).

Sprinkle the BBQ sauce coated cooked chopped chicken over the chips. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

6 Grill: Place nacho boats on pre-heated grill, cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chips are lightly browned at the edges.

If your grill doesn't have a cover (as in a campfire), either make a large foil packet to put the nachos in, or tent the foil boats with another piece of foil. Some of the nachos prepared this way may not be as crispy, but they'll still be great.

7 Serve: To serve, drizzle with sour cream BBQ sauce and sprinkle with extras such as chopped tomato, red onion, jalapeño, and/or cilantro.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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12 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGrilled Chicken Nachos

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Doc

    Make sure you grill indirect, then they come out perfect.

  2. Kelly K

    I’ll admit I’m a nacho fanatic. Loved making this on the grill. It turned out incredible.


  3. Geri

    A simple question which has nothing to do with the recipe itself Elise. What do you mean “Drizzle it over the cheesy nachos and you won’t need “queso”? Queso means cheese of course. Do you mean that you won’t need more grated cheese on top because of the sour cream BBQ sauce? Just curious.
    These nachos will be delish, I just know it. Have all the ingredients including 3 types of bottled BBQ sauce so the most difficult part of prep will be deciding which flavour BBQ sauce to use (=
    Thanks as always for using your creativity to satisfy our hunger!

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Charlotte

    How to make in oven. Thanks

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Janell

    Youch! Four minutes on direct high heat torched my chips. Only the ones in the middle were salvageable. Was I supposed to kill the heat before putting the chips on the grill?

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