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Skillet Nachos

These skillet nachos are ready in under 30 minutes and the perfect flavor-packed appetizer for sharing with friends or family. Made in a cast-iron skillet for extra impact, this one-pot dish is an easy and fun recipe to put together quickly for special occasions.

I think these skillet nachos would be the perfect Super Bowl snack, but they’re also great as a shared starter at dinner parties, or served alongside other Mexican classics like these crispy potato tacos and this creamy salsa sauce.

I used my Le Creuset cast iron skillet for this recipe, but if you don’t have a skillet available, I’ve included some notes on how you can still make this nacho recipe.

Ingredient Notes

The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.

  • Mince: I used vegetarian mince for this recipe, but of course, you can change this depending on your dietary preferences. If you would prefer to keep these skillet nachos vegetarian but not use a vegan mince, you could simply omit it and increase the quantity of black beans used.
  • Tortilla Chips: Any generic lightly salted tortilla chips will do fine for this recipe – most of the flavors come from the toppings anyway! You could use seasoned tortilla chips, like extra cheesy or chili ones if you want to add even more flavor.
  • Peppers: I added diced red and yellow bell peppers to this recipe for added color and crunch.
  • Seasonings: You can use a store-bought taco seasoning blend for this recipe if you prefer – but I opted to mix my own blend of seasonings together. Seasonings used include smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne chili powder, garlic powder, onion salt, and dried oregano.
  • Cheese: I just used grated cheddar cheese for this recipe. However, a blend of cheddar and mozzarella or a spicy Monterey jack cheese would also work great in this skillet nachos recipe.
  • Black beans: I used tinned, drained, black beans for this recipe for flavor and added protein!
  • Toppings: These delicious nachos are topped with my creamy avocado lime crema and fresh salsa. You could mix these up depending on your preferences though! This creamy salsa or spicy jalapeno creamy sauce would also work great.
a close up shot of the finished skillet nachos, loaded with mince, black beans, avocado crema, fresh salsa, and melted cheese

Variations:

  • To Make This Recipe Vegan:

Use vegan mince and dairy-free cheese. Ensure your other toppings, like the avocado lime crema, are plant-based too.

  • To Make This Recipe Gluten-Free:

Ensure your tortilla chips are gluten-free. Most are made from corn, but it’s best to double-check.

  • To Make These Nachos Without a Skillet:

Use a baking dish or oven-safe pan instead. The steps remain the same, but you may need to adjust the grilling time depending on your oven.

How To Make This Skillet Nachos Recipe

Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. 

Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.

Step 1) Make Your Mince Mixture

Heat olive oil in your skillet over medium heat. Add the mince and minced garlic, sautéing for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the mince begins to brown.

Add the red and yellow bell peppers, black beans, passata/tomatoes, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne chili pepper, and dried oregano. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then stir in ⅔ of the cheddar cheese until it melts and the mince is fully cooked.

Step 2) Assemble The Nachos

Remove the mince mixture from the skillet and start assembling your nachos. Place a layer of tortilla chips (about half of the bag) into the skillet, and scatter half of the remaining cheese over the chips. 

Add a second layer of tortilla chips, then pour the mince mixture over the top. Finish with the rest of the cheese.

Step 3) Add Toppings

Grill the skillet nachos for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and is starting to turn golden brown.

Once grilled, add your toppings: dollops of avocado lime crema, salsa, and chopped cilantro.

What To Serve Your Skillet Nachos With

These nachos are great on their own, but you can pair them with additional sides like homemade guacamole, sour cream, or fresh salsa for extra zest.

You could also serve these skillet nachos with other great Mexican appetizers and snacks such as these crispy potato tacos, with this creamy jalapeno salsa, these easy one-pot Mexican pinto beans, or these crispy Mexican potatoes.

Storing

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave, but note that the tortilla chips may lose some of their crispiness.

I would recommend eating your skillet nachos immediately for best results. You could make the mince mixture ahead of time to cut down on cooking/assembly time.

a cast iron skillet full of cheesy, loaded nachos and finished with an avocado crema, fresh salsa, and chopped cilantro

FAQs

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

A: You can prepare the mince mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Assemble and grill the nachos just before serving for the best texture. 

If you make the full dish ahead of time, you’ll be likely to end up with soggy tortilla chips when you come to eat them!

Q: Can I still make this recipe if I don’t have a skillet?

Yes, you can easily recreate this recipe if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, instead using a standard frying pan to make your cheesy mince mixture, and then an oven-proof dish to assemble your nachos and grill them.

a close up shot of the finished loaded skillet nachos

Q: What can I substitute for black beans?

A: You can use pinto beans or kidney beans if you don’t have black beans on hand.

Q: Can I use different types of cheese?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different cheese blends. A Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack could be delicious alternatives.

Q: What vegetarian mince did you use in this recipe?

For the photos in this recipe, I used the Quorn frozen mince. However, any brand will work just fine! If you are not vegetarian, you can of course use whatever mince you prefer.

Skillet Nachos

Skillet Nachos

Yield: 3-4 portions
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ready in under 30 minutes, these skillet nachos are the perfect flavor-packed appetizer for sharing with friends or family.

Ingredients

  • 170g bag lightly salted tortilla chips
  • 80g mince
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne chili pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ⅓ cup passata or roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 200g black beans (drained weight)
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • 5 tbsp avocado lime crema
  • 5 tbsp salsa
  • 10g fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in your skillet and then add the mince and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the peppers, black beans, passata/tomatoes, and the seasonings. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, then stir in ⅔ of the cheese until it’s melted and the mince has cooked.
  3. Remove the mixture from your skillet, and place a layer of the tortilla chips (about half) inside. Scatter over about half of the remaining cheese, then add another layer of tortilla chips followed by the cheesy mince mixture, then the remaining cheese.
  4. Grill the skillet nachos for 4-5 minutes until the cheese on top has melted and begun to turn golden. 
  5. Layer up your skillet nachos with the salsa, avocado lime crema, and some fresh chopped cilantro.

Notes

These skillet nachos are best enjoyed immediately after adding your toppings to avoid getting soggy nachos! Serve in the skillet but take care if the skillet is hot.

Adding a layer of cheese between the tortillas helps make sure you’re not left with lots of tortilla chips that aren’t covered in a nacho topping - but you could also serve the sauces separately to dip any bare chips in!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 9gSugar: 5gProtein: 18g

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