These are the nachos that you make for dinner.
These are the nachos without the tower of precariously balanced ingredients—you can pull from anywhere on the pan and know that the whole thing won’t come tumbling down.
These are the nachos your kids will be happy to eat because they are basically like deconstructed tacos.
These are also the nachos you can put out at a party, right on the pan—just make sure you remind people the pan is hot!
Sheet Pan for the Win!
A sheet pan facilitates easy prep, serving, and clean up—it’s no wonder it’s a popular trick these days with lots of recipes.
It also makes dinner come together very quickly because everything cooks at once—all you have to do is divide the nachos between plates and top with your favorite toppings.
What are the best tortilla chips for sheet pan nachos?
I went with a thicker style tortilla chip, and a normal size. I don’t think the ones that are geared toward scooping or snacking will work as well, as they won’t provide the same amount of surface area for all those toppings.
You want to steer clear of thin, restaurant style chips in this scenario—they are more likely to collapse under the weight of the toppings.
Whether you want white, yellow or blue corn, or something else more exotic, that’s entirely up to you. My kids and I agreed that the white was the best, and visually speaking, the blue ones got lost in the ingredients. But you can choose what you like.
You’ll probably use close to an entire bag—it’s not an exact science, really, laying it out on the sheet pan, but I liked having a little extra leftover because invariably some of the ingredients will fall off during extraction from the pan, and you’ll want a few extra chips to scoop them up.
The Best Cheese for Nachos
As for the cheese, you can use what you like. To reinforce the ease of prep with this dish, I opted for a bagged blend of Mexican cheeses but any cheddar, Monterey jack or good melty cheese would work well here. Your call!
Prep Work is Your Friend
It’s a good idea to have the peppers and cilantro chopped, the beans and olives drained, the corn measured out, and the cheese all grated before you cook the beef or begin assembling the nachos. Set everything up on the counter and leave space for the sheet pan and pan of beef so you can put it together all in one place. It’s much easier that way.
Do the same prep work for the toppings at the same time if you’re using a lot of toppings, so that once the nachos come out of the oven, you can mobilize dinner quickly. Or the giant snack you’ve just created for your guests.
Sheet Pan Nachos are Versatile
The beauty of a dish like this also lies in its versatility. If you aren’t a fan of black beans, swap them out for red beans or even chickpeas. If you’d rather use different colored bell peppers, go for it.
Hate corn? Leave it out. Hate cilantro even more? Skip that, too, and maybe use salsa instead instead of the cilantro creme topping. And you could swap out the cilantro for a couple tablespoons or so of chopped fresh oregano to sprinkle over the finished nachos.
If you’ve got eaters in your midst who are into hot peppers, put them right on top of the nachos before they go into the oven (before cheese and after the olives, perhaps). I simply opted for it as a topping here because not everyone in my house is into jalapeños.
How Many People Does this Serve?
Well, that’s not totally an exact science either. My 10-year-old twins and I ate almost half the pan, easily, the first time I made this. You could safely serve this to a family of four for a meal, or to about six to ten people, tops, as a party snack.
Just be warned—it does not really reheat well because the chips get soggy when refrigerated with all those toppings, so it’s best made and eaten in one sitting. However, you could—and I did this while developing the recipe—opt to remove the toppings and reheat them separately with new, fresh chips. Waste not, want not.
If you’re feeding some hungry adults, you’d probably be wise to also make a side salad and a pot of rice to round out the offerings. Or just make another sheet pan. It depends on your crowd, really.
Want More Nacho Recipes?
Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos Recipe
If you really want to make clean up a breeze, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
For the nachos:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), chopped
- 1 pound ground beef (80-20 mix)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt (maybe more)
- 1 (16-ounce) bag tortilla chips, preferably thick and sturdy
- 1 bell pepper, cored, halved and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, about 1/4 cup
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese or shredded Mexican cheese blend
For garnish, optional:
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 scallions, green ends sliced thinly
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sour cream
For the cilantro-lime crème:
- 1 cup sour cream
- Juice of one lime
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- Pinch of salt
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2 Cook the onions and beef: Heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick or cast iron skillet, and cook the onions for 5 minutes until they start to soften.
Add the beef, chili powder, coriander, oregano and kosher salt. Break the beef up with a wooden spoon and cook until it browns, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3 Line the pan with tortilla chips: This is not an exact science—I probably used 6 to 8 handfuls of tortilla chips to line the sheet pan. You want them close and touching and mostly in one layer, but not too high.
4 Add the beef: Using a slotted spoon to drain off the fat, transfer the beef to the pan with the chips, scattering it evenly across the pan. Be generous—you’ll use it all up.
5 Add the toppings: Add the bell pepper, black beans, corn, black olives, and cheese.
6 Bake the nachos: Bake the nachos in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly.
7 Make the cilantro lime crème: While the nachos bake, place the sour cream, lime, cilantro, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Process until the ingredients become smooth and there are no lumps. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
If you don’t want to bother with your food processor, you could finely chop the cilantro and stir it into the sour cream with the lime juice and salt.
8 Drizzle the crème and serve: Remove the sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle with the fresh cilantro. Using a spoon drizzle the crème across the top of the nachos.
Serve the pan as is right on the table with little bowls of the garnishes alongside.
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