Ever have moments when all of a sudden there are 4-6 hungry college students in your apparent? Oh, right, some of you don’t live in dorms. Maybe you have you have hungry kids’ friends that showed up after a sweaty outdoor play session. Or neighbors bringing jars of jam that want to stay and chat (I want jam jar carrying neighbors!). Or maybe it’s your turn to host small group and it’s been a REALLY busy week and you didn’t have time to plan a fancy snack. Or you’re a pastor’s wife and people show up at your house unplanned and hungry often. Or maybe you’re just hungry! I am. These nachos are so easy it seems silly to call it a recipe. Maybe we can just call it a project. First step – always have these ingredients on hand! They are pretty basic pantry/cabinet/fridge ingredients anyway. I can’t even count how many times I’ve fed these to people. They feed a lot of people, are super fast, cheap, and easy to make. And people love them! My RAs ask for these all the time.
- tortilla chips (Cheap ones! Don’t be fancy here because you are piling a lot of ingredients on these chips. Kroger 10 for $10 is perfectly acceptable.)
- shredded cheese (I usually use the mexi blend or the queso blend)
- canned black beans
- canned dark or light red kidney beans
- frozen or canned corn
- frozen diced cooked chicken (I always keep the Kroger version of this on hand to use for salads – or impromptu nachos.)
- frozen cooked fajita steak strips (I often keep these on hand as well.)
- lime juice
- taco seasoning (I make it homemade so I always have it on hand, put the packet works fine!)
- sour cream (I use fat free)
- salsa (any ol’ jar will do)
- diced avocado
Heat oven to LOW broil. If broil scares you or you have a tendency to forget about things broiling, just get it on a high temp, 400-ish. While the oven is heating, heat a skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil or cooking spray. Saute your frozen meats. They are pre-cooked, so you’re just warming them up and giving them a little searing color. Drain and rinse your beans. Add in beans and corn. Splash in a few tablespoons of lime juice and shake in some taco seasoning. Tip – never skip lime juice in Mexican dishes! People always wonder why their at home taco nights don’t taste as good as Mexican restaurants, and it’s the lime! Add lime to all things Mexican. Stir and let all the ingredients get warmed up and seasoned then remove from heat.
This project wouldn’t be easy if it didn’t also have easy clean up, so I always line a large baking sheet with tin foil. Layer the baking sheet with chips. Heavily sprinkles half of the cooked mixture over your nachos, you want them good and covered. Sprinkle cheese. Layer more chips, add the rest of the cooked ingredients mixture, sprinkle cheese, and then add jalapenos! Bake in the oven until cheese is ooey gooey all the way melted. Serve with sour cream, salsa, and avocados on the side. I pile the avocados high on my portion and then dip the hearty nachos into salsa and sour cream.
Be kind to your guests and know if they like jalapeños or not. Half of my RAs do, as do I, but half don’t. Half and half is a perfectly fun game to play with this project for any and all ingredients you choose to pile atop your nachos. Nachos are sort of like ice cream sundaes – a blank canvas to create your tastiest version of yumminess. All of the ingredients I’m listing are optional (except chips and cheese I’d venture to say) and interchangeable a give or take situation. Like it? Try it! Don’t? Leave it off! Like something else you think might taste yummy in the mix? Try it! This is a project, not a recipe, get involved!
Are you hungry now? Because I am! I’m going to the grocery store right now to stock up on these stables again. Wait, NO! I’m not. I always forget NOT to go to the grocery story while hungry. I’m going to go eat lunch, THEN stock up. Crowd approved, tummy pleasing, perfect for this Friday night for the impromptu friend gathering that might happen at your house tonight OR perfect for your PJs and Hulu night at home.