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A tray of these easy homemade nachos with ground beef makes a fun weeknight dinner or a festive party appetizer. Learn how to make nachos by just layering the chips, cheese, meat and jalapeños on a pan, and then popping them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Pile on your favorite toppings — such as tomatoes, sour cream, avocados, olives and cilantro — or let your guests customize their plates. A simple loaded nachos recipe is always welcome at the table!

Overhead shot of a hand reaching and picking up simple homemade nachos recipe on a tray

How to Make Nachos | 1-Minute Video

Beef Nachos Recipe

You’ll want to learn how to make nachos, since there’s something so fun about a meal that you can eat with your hands! Homemade nachos are a favorite around here, as we can design our own plates to make them exactly how we want them. Set up a nacho bar — it’s a perfect dinner for picky eaters!

My youngest keeps his beef nachos simple with just the cheese, chips, meat and salsa, while the rest of us pile on the toppings. With zesty ground beef, two different types of melty, gooey cheese, and plenty of fresh ingredients like avocado, tomatoes, and green onions, it’s a delicious combination of flavors and textures. Best of all, the meal is quick, easy, and perfect for busy weeknights!

What kind of cheese do you put on nachos?

You’ll find two different types of cheese on nachos: grated cheeses or a cheese sauce (typically made with Velveeta, like you find at ball stadiums and movie theaters). These homemade nachos call for real blocks of shredded cheese in any flavor combination that you prefer. I use half sharp cheddar (for its flavor and tang) and half Monterey Jack (for its oozy, melty texture). Other good options include Pepper Jack and Colby.

Bowl of grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

Ingredients for Homemade Nachos

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a simple nachos recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef: adds a hearty, satisfying, and flavorful component to the nachos, which turns them into a main course rather than just a snack or side dish.
  • Onion: cooks with the ground beef for even more flavor.
  • Taco seasoning: use a packet of store-bought seasoning or make your own seasoning blend at home. If using the store-bought packets, follow the preparation instructions on your specific packet (they often call for water).
  • Tortilla chips: pick a thick, sturdy variety that can stand up to all of the toppings (not a thin and crispy version).
  • Grated cheese: I like a blend of both cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, but you can substitute with Pepper Jack, American, Colby, or Colby Jack. Try sprinkling on some Mexican cheese like cotija or queso fresco!
  • Pickled jalapeños: for a little bit of heat! These are optional, so feel free to omit them for a more mild dish.
Baking sheet full of the best beef nachos recipe

How to Make Nachos in Oven

I’ll show you how to make nachos at home — it’s so darn easy! If you can brown some ground beef, you’re halfway there…

  1. Cook and stir the ground beef and onion in a skillet; drain off the fat.
  2. Add the taco seasoning (and water, if necessary); cook according to the instructions on the taco seasoning packet.
  3. Layer the nachos on a baking sheet, starting with half of the chips, then sprinkle with half of the cheese, half of the meat, and half of the jalapeños. Repeat the layers.
  4. Bake the nachos until the cheese melts. Take one bite and taste the flavorful combination!
Ground taco meat in a cast iron skillet
Process shot showing how to make homemade nachos with ground beef

How Long to Bake Nachos

Keep an eye on the nachos and pull them out when the cheese is melted and the edges start to brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes in a 425°F.

Horizontal shot of loaded nachos supreme

Toppings for Nachos

One of the greatest aspects of homemade nachos is their versatility. They’re great for serving a crowd or for feeding a family of picky eaters, since everyone can customize their own portions. Set up a nacho bar and let your friends and family add any of these toppings:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Guacamole or diced avocado
  • Chopped red onion or sliced green onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Sliced black olives
  • Jalapeños

What to Serve with Homemade Nachos

If you’re looking to round out your Mexican-inspired meal with some other dishes, try serving the baked nachos with refried beansranch-style beans, black bean and corn salad or a summer corn salad. Mexican cornbread, rice, or a simple green salad would also be a nice addition to the meal.

Storage

Nachos are definitely best when served warm, straight from the oven. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, but the chips will get soggy as they sit.

How to Reheat

Place the nachos on a baking sheet. Warm them in a 300° F oven just until heated through, about 5-10 minutes.

Can I freeze homemade nachos?

You can freeze the cooked, seasoned ground beef in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Then thaw the meat and use on the nachos as instructed. I do not recommend freezing the leftover baked nachos once assembled, since they will not retain their great crunchy texture.

Overhead shot of the best homemade nachos recipe with toppings

Recipe Variations — How to Make Nachos

  • Add beans to the nachos before baking. A can of drained, rinsed black beans or pinto beans would work well.
  • Omit the meat and prepare vegetarian nachos.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground turkey or ground chicken. Leftover pulled pork is also great on nachos!
  • Drizzling the top of the nachos with sour cream or salsa gives the platter a restaurant-quality finishing touch!
  • Use Doritos chips instead of plain tortilla chips.
  • Double the recipe and bake the nachos on two separate trays. Similarly, you can cut the ingredients in half if you’re feeding a smaller family.

Tips for the Best Homemade Nachos Recipe

  • Grate the cheese by hand. I find that packages of pre-shredded cheese don’t melt as smoothly and don’t give you that ooey, gooey, cheesy texture that we all love in our nachos.
  • Layer the nachos by starting with half of the chips, then adding half of the cheese, meat and optional jalapeño peppers. Creating multiple layers of chips, cheese and beef on your tray ensures that most of your chips are covered with toppings. Otherwise, you end up with cheese and ground beef on the top layer…and a bunch of plain chips underneath!
  • Use thick, sturdy corn tortilla chips that can stand up to the toppings. I like the freshly made-in-store chips that I find in the bakery section at my grocery store. Other good options include On the Border Cafe Style or Traditional Cantina Tostitos. Just avoid the thin and crispy varieties, which tend to get soggy and/or break under the weight of the toppings.
  • Nachos burn easily, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when the cheese melts and the edges just start to get brown.
  • Serve the nachos while they’re still warm from the oven. Nachos tend to get soggy and stale if they sit out for too long.
Overhead shot of a tray of homemade nachos

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try

Square featured image of a pan of homemade nachos with ground beef

Homemade Nachos with Ground Beef

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 529 kcal
A tray of these easy homemade nachos with ground beef makes a fun weeknight dinner or a festive party appetizer.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix (or use homemade taco seasoning blend)
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips (about 11 ounces)
  • 4 cups grated cheese (try cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, or a combination of these)
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeños, patted dry (optional)
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomato, salsa, sour cream, sliced black olives, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, diced avocado or guacamole

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet or line with foil or parchment; set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and onion until the onion is tender and the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat; return beef and onion to the skillet. Add taco seasoning (and water if called for on the packet). Cook according to the instructions on the seasoning packet.
  • Arrange half of the tortilla chips on the prepared baking sheet. Top chips with half of the beef mixture, half of the cheese, and half of the jalapeños (if using).
  • Repeat layers once more.
  • Bake in the oven until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes. Add optional toppings; serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • Grate the cheese by hand. I find that packages of pre-shredded cheese don’t melt as smoothly and don’t give you that ooey, gooey, cheesy texture that we all love in our nachos.
  • Layer the nachos by starting with half of the chips, then adding half of the cheese, meat and optional jalapeño peppers. Creating multiple layers of chips, cheese and beef on your tray ensures that most of your chips are covered with toppings. Otherwise, you end up with cheese and ground beef on the top layer…and a bunch of plain chips underneath!
  • Use thick, sturdy corn tortilla chips that can stand up to the toppings. I like the freshly made in-store chips that I find in the bakery section at my grocery store. Other good options include On the Border Cafe Style or Traditional Cantina Tostitos. Just avoid the thin and crispy varieties, which tend to get soggy and/or break under the weight of the toppings.
  • Nachos burn easily, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when the cheese melts and the edges just start to get brown.
  • Serve the nachos while they’re still warm from the oven. Nachos tend to get soggy and stale if they sit out for too long.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the nachos (not including optional toppings)Calories: 529kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 29gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 839mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 900IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 484mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: baked, beef nacho recipe, easy, homemade nachos, homemade nachos with ground beef, simple
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I used my own taco seasoning instead of packaged.I added an undrained can of Rotel tomato & green chili instead of 1/4 cup of water..Also topped with chopped onion,lettuce,& tomatoes before serving. Along with the squeeze guacamole & sour cream.Delicious. Thank you for sharing.