What do you make in the kitchen when you want a savory snack but don’t feel like making a full meal? For a short stint, my thing was nachos. Throw some tortilla chips on a plate with some shredded cheese and nuke ‘em in the microwave. It was the epitome of a picky child choosing to eat only “yellow food”. I didn’t even bother with adding salsa. Luckily, you won’t see that version of nachos today on the blog.
What makes nachos extra delicious, without a ton of extra labor in the kitchen? Color. Adding fresh tomatoes, onions, and avocado morphed this dish from a child’s yellow nachos to an adult’s gourmet appetizer (or snack, or meal…). We’re adult-ing, over here!
Another crucial step in making some bomb nachos is technique. Simply throwing tortilla chips on a plate and then topping it with the rest of the goodies leaves for some pretty sad chips. The ones in the middle and on the bottom definitely have a case of FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.
Solution? Layer that baby like you’d layer lasagna: one layer of chips, then meat, then cheese. Repeat until you have something close to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and then finish with the pico de gallo, avocado, and possibly even more cheese.
For my friends who are saying, “NACHOS?! Nachos aren’t “healthy”!!!”
Well, you’re right. But neither is the cup of Talenti pistachio gelato I ate yesterday. While I think describing food as “healthy” can be relative, you’ll see that I’ve substituted ground beef for ground chicken. Does that make it “healthy”? Depends on how many chips you eat. Regardless, it’s an easy substitution that can decrease the fat content, which could be deemed as “more balanced”.
While I normally try and share healthIER recipes with you, I just couldn’t wait to share these chicken nachos. And once you try this dish for yourself, you may be glad I didn’t try and seriously healthify this recipe.
- 2-3 handfuls tortilla chips
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 avocado, diced
For pico de gallo
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- Small handful cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1-2 lime wedges
- Small pinch of salt
- In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add ground chicken, breaking up as you cook. Saute until chicken is cooked through.
- Add chili powder, cumin, and paprika to chicken mixture. Combine well, until chicken is covered in spice mix. Off the heat and set aside.
- To make the pico de gallo: combine tomato, yellow onion, cilantro, lime, and salt in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
- On a dinner plate, place one thin layer of tortilla chips down. top with meat mixture and some of the cheese. Repeat until desired amount of chips are layered. Top nachos with rest of meat mixture, and heat in 30-second increments in the microwave until cheese is melted (not bubbling). Finish with pico de gallo and diced avocado. Serve immediately.
- How do you like YOUR nachos?
- How do you make healthier substitutions?
- Any plans for the weekend?
- Have you been to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa?