Sheet Pan Nachos-Faster and Healthier Than Takeout

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Preview: This easy recipe for sheet pan nachos will save your sanity on a busy weeknight. You can have these ready and on the table faster than you can get through the drive thru window.

This recipe for easy sheet pan nachos makes a quick dinner on a busy night. Keeping a bag of tortilla chips in the pantry and some cheese in the refrigerator means you are mere minutes away from a supper that will please even the pickiest kids. We often serve sheet pan nachos on Sunday evenings when I really don’t want to cook. They are so simple that your kids can fix this recipe.

Sheet pan nachos make a quick supper on a busy night.

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BBQ chicken sheet pan nachos
Two types of sheet pan nachos-The Original on the left and BBQ Chicken on the right.

Reasons This Recipe Works

  1. It relies on staples you probably already have on hand.
  2. It is a great recipe for picky kids since you can put toppings on part of the pan and leave them off of others.
  3. Sheet pan nachos can be a great way to use up leftover meat and vegetables in the refrigerator.
  4. There are lots of variations to keep the recipe from getting boring.
  5. It is quicker, definitely cheaper, and probably healthier, than the take-out you were thinking of buying.

Sheet Pan Nacho Combinations

While there are endless combinations of this recipe, I wanted to share some of our family’s favorites. Rest assured, you can probably come up with your own variations too. (And if you do, please share them in the comments below.)

The Original

Our most often made version is tortilla chips, taco meat (either ground beef or chicken seasoned with this homemade taco seasoning), diced onions, diced bell peppers, and cheddar cheese. We serve it with salsa and sour cream at the table. I try to keep seasoned taco meat in my freezer for nacho emergencies. ?

BBQ Chicken or Pork Nachos

This is our favorite version of sheet pan nachos. We use leftover chicken or pork tossed in BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and diced red onion. For the ones that like it spicy, jalapenos, pickled or raw, make a great addition.

Philly Cheesesteak Nachos

For this version, you can choose to use cooked ground beef or thinly sliced steak. Top the tortillas with the meat, peppers, onions, sauteed mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Yum! If you want a sauce, use a little steak sauce, but go easy on it. If you use too much, the nachos will turn out too salty.

Pizza Nachos

Pepperoni, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, diced onions, and diced peppers top tortilla chips in this version. While a slightly different nacho, it is still delicious. Think of the tortilla chip as the pizza crust and its really not a stretch. My oldest dreamed up this winner. Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings. I think cooked Italian sausage and mushrooms would be great too.

BLT Nachos

And another nacho creation from my oldest son, BLT Nachos were a hit. Lots of cooked bacon (You can use the pre-cooked kind to make it easy on yourself.) and cheddar cheese go on the nachos before they go into the oven. Once they are out of the oven, top with chopped tomatoes and lettuce. If you want a sauce, Thousand Island Dressing would be delicious or you can go for Ranch BLT Nachos using my ranch dressing. Drizzle the sauce on top of the lettuce and tomato after the nachos come out of the oven.

Chili Cheese Nachos

Basically, a riff on chili cheese fries, chili cheese nachos make use of a small amount of leftover chili from the refrigerator or freezer. Top the tortilla chips with the chili, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese, and bake for a few minutes. Easy, cheap, and usually a hit with most adults and kids alike. You can add sliced jalapeno’s for the ones that like some kick.

Vegetable Nachos

If you have a vegetarian, this recipe should please them as well. Top your nachos with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers, and top with whatever variety of cheese you like best. During the height of summer, some zucchini would taste great on this version too.

Breakfast Nachos

And don’t forget about breakfast. Scrambled eggs, cooked bacon or sausage, (Or both, no judgement here.) and cheddar cheese would definitely be a breakfast worth getting out of bed for. Add some peppers and onions if your family approves. Serve with salsa for the ultimate morning meal. This also works for BFD (breakfast for dinner) night.

How To Please Everyone

For your picky eaters, you can easily put some of the toppings on one side of the pan and leave some off (or use entirely different toppings) on the other side. Since I often use this meal as a “clean out the fridge” meal, we have even made BBQ pork nachos on one half of the pan, and taco beef nachos on the other. (See picture below.) I hate wasting food and this is a great way to clean out leftover meat and vegetables in the refrigerator.

If everyone likes different toppings, each person can put their tortillas on a plate, top them however they like, and pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese. If you are going this route, it is best to slightly warm the meat first to ensure everything gets hot.

sheet pan nachos closeup

Look at all that cheesy goodness!

For All Versions of Sheet Pan Nachos

Be sure to thoroughly cook all meat first, before topping the nachos. We find it best to spread the tortilla chips on the pan, top with the meat, then cheese, and finally with any additional toppings such as peppers and onions. This combination seems to help keep the toppings on the chips. However, you may want to experiment to see what your family prefers.

There is a printable copy of all the versions below. However, I did not list quantities. You will have to judge how much your family will eat. I often do a double layer to feed my crowd-chips, meat, cheese, toppings then another layer-chips, meat, cheese, toppings. It may take just a few more minutes in the oven.

What I Use to Make This Recipe Easy

To be sure I have enough to feed my family, (Remember there are 5 of us, 3 of whom are growing boys.) I use a large 12″ x 18″sheet pan. Most places actually refer to this as a half sheet pan. Before putting down the tortilla chips, I either line the pan with foil or parchment paper or use my silicone baking mat. Often times to serve, I plop the pan on the table and give everyone a small plate. Everyone just reaches in and grabs a few nachos at a time.

The aftermath of a meal of sheet pan nachos.
Sheet Pan Nachos
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
 

This easy recipe for sheet pan nachos will save your sanity on a busy weeknight. You can have these ready and on the table faster than you can get through the drive thru window.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sheet pan nachos
Ingredients
The Original
  • tortilla chips
  • taco seasoned cooked beef or chicken
  • diced onions
  • diced bell peppers
  • cheddar cheese
  • salsa to serve with nachos
  • sour cream to serve with nachos
BBQ Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • cooked chicken or pork tossed in BBQ sauce
  • cheddar cheese
  • diced red onion
  • pickled jalapenos, optional
Philly Cheesesteak Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • cooked ground beef or thinly sliced steak
  • steak sauce, optional
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • diced peppers, cooked or raw
  • diced onions, cooked or raw
  • mozzarella cheese
Pizza Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • pizza sauce
  • pepperoni
  • mozzarella cheese
  • diced onions
  • diced green peppers
  • any other pizza toppings you like
BLT Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • cooked bacon
  • cheddar cheese
  • Ranch dressing or Thousand Island dressing, optional
  • chopped tomatoes to serve with nachos
  • chopped lettuce to serve with nachos
Chili Cheese Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • chili, with or without beans is fine
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced jalapenos, optional
Vegetable Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • diced onions, raw or cooked
  • diced peppers, raw or cooked
  • cheese, any kind
Breakfast Nachos
  • tortilla chips
  • scrambled eggs
  • cooked bacon or sausage
  • cheddar cheese
  • diced onions, optional
  • diced peppers, optional
  • salsa to serve with nachos
Instructions
  1. Spread tortilla chips in a large (12" x 18") pan. (Lined with foil if you want to make clean up super easy.) Sprinkle cooked meat over chips. Sprinkle cheese next, and then top with any vegetables or optional toppings. If you have a big family like I do, you may need to use two pans or just make two layers of nachos.

  2. Bake at 375° for approximately 12 minutes or until cheese is melted. If you do two layers it may take a few minutes longer. Set the pan in front of your family and watch them go crazy. You'll be a rock star!

Recipe Notes

There are no quantities in this recipe since I don’t know how large your family is. Only you can be the judge of that. While this is a great recipe to use up leftovers, the leftover nachos don’t keep very well. The chips get soggy and unappetizing. So do your best to make just what your family will eat.

So there are really endless variations on this recipe. Please make it your own. But certainly make it! It is a crowd pleaser, especially with the kids. And if you think this is the most unhealthy recipe you’ve ever seen, well…if it is sheet pan nachos or fast food, the nachos will win every time. (And you’ll save a good bit of money too!)

Do you have any other combinations that appeal to you? If so, please leave a comment below. And if you want more sheet pan dinner ideas, check out this post.

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