Easy chicken nachos are a great weeknight dinner recipe or crowd pleasing appetizer.
Quick to make with minimal prep, they are so easy to adapt with your favorite toppings. These baked sheet pan chicken nachos are seriously the best!
Nachos are one of my absolute favorite guilty pleasures. I love the salty crunch mixed with lots of delicious toppings and can never get enough of them!
When Chris and I first started dating in college, we would “cook” together. 9 times out of 10 this included some variation of nachos, cheese quesadillas, tacos or taco salads.
It’s an easy, inexpensive, and delicious dinner, perfect for that college lifestyle, but so good we still eat them 20+ years later.
Baking the chicken nachos on a sheet pan is the easiest and quickest way to prepare them. It ensures that each chip is covered with the toppings and they don’t take long to heat through.
If you love nachos as much as we do, don’t skip these Doritos Nachos and these fabulous Italian nachos!
Why You’ll Love these Chicken Nachos
- So crunchy when baked!
- Great for a crowd
- Easy to customize
- Good for a game day appetizer, or dinner!
5 STAR REVIEW
“Chicken and Nachos were made for each other. So stinking good!”— RACHAEL —
You can serve them straight from the sheet too! This is the perfect way to feed a crowd.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken Breast – Bake the chicken breast in the oven before adding to the nachos.
- Olive Oil – Brushed on the chicken to seal in moisture.
- Fajita Seasoning – Added to the chicken before it is baked for flavor.
- Tortilla Chips – I like to use freshly baked chips from the deli, you can also use your favorite brand.
- Queso Blanco – You can make your own Queso Blanco or use store bought.
- Monterey Jack – Shred your own cheese if you can. It is so much creamier when it melts!
- Jalapenos, Red Onion, Green Onion, Tomato and Cilantro – For fresh color, texture and flavor. Use whatever you have on hand!
- Black Beans – Use canned black beans and be sure to drain and rinse them before adding.
- Sour Cream – Sour cream balances out the nachos perfectly. If you want to take it a step further, mix ranch and sour cream together, make lime crema.
- Salt – Finish the nachos with freshly cracked sea salt, it really makes all the difference!
- Use Fritos or any other favorite chips to switch up from traditional tortilla chips.
- If you don’t have fajita seasoning, you can use a mix of cayenne and garlic powder. You can also use my taco seasoning or poultry seasoning.
- Try refried beans instead of black beans.
- Add Salsa Guacamole – Not shown, but another delicious addition!
How To Make Easy Chicken Nachos
- Prep – Pre heat the oven and brush the chicken with olive oil and add seasoning.
- Bake – Bake (or sauté) the chicken until cooked through and allow to rest before slicing or dicing.
- Make – Add the tortilla chips to a sheet pan and drizzle with the queso blanco. Add your other toppings, including the chicken.
- Bake – Place the sheet pan in the oven and cook until the cheese has melted and everything is heated through.
- Serve – Add the tomato, sour cream and salt and serve to the table.
- Use the freshest ingredients you can.
- Shred your own cheese – it makes all the difference over the bags of pre-shredded cheese!
- Layer all of the toppings evenly across the chips. No one likes getting a plain chip when they dig in!
- These nachos are best served straight away, but you can prep the ingredients for nachos ahead of time and keep them covered in individual containers in the fridge.
Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!
Frequently Asked Questions
I tend to make baked chicken breast in large quantities to enjoy throughout the week in salads, nachos, wraps and more, but you can make it just for this chicken nachos recipe. Either way, you can make these nachos start to finish in less than 30 minutes.
If you are in a pinch you can use store bought pre-cooked chicken or even shredded rotisserie chicken.
I’m a firm believer that combining two types of cheeses makes the perfect nachos! In this chicken nachos recipe, we suggest a Monterey Jack combined with a melty white queso. You can also try a crumbly cotija cheese – you’ll never regret that salty addition to nachos!
More Nacho Toppings
You can adapt chicken nachos to your preference – some of my favorite topping suggestions are:
- pico de gallo
- black beans
- chipotle corn salsa
- ranch or sour cream – bonus points if you mix the two!
- lime crema
- Use corn chips for Gluten Free chicken nachos
- Nut Free
How to Store
- Room Temperature – Chicken nachos can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
- Refrigerator – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and reheated in the oven to get the chips crunchy again.
- Freezer – I don’t recommend freezing your remaining nachos, although you can freeze the chicken separately to re-use at any time!
- 1 large chicken breast (Cooked, chopped into small bite sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
- 18 ounces tortilla chips
- 8 ounces queso blanco
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack shredded
- 3 tablespoons jalapeños jarred
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ⅛ cup green onion chopped
- ⅛ cup cilantro chopped
- ½ can black beans drained
- 1 tomato chopped
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon sea salt cracked over the top of sheet pan
To Bake the Chicken
- Preheat oven to 400°F if you're baking the chicken.
- In a baking dish, brush both sides of chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle on seasoning. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F for next steps.
To Sauté the Chicken
- Add oil to frying pan and heat to medium high. While it's heating, cut chicken into smaller pieces to make it easier to cook through.
- Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the heated skillet, sprinkling with seasoning of choice. Cook over medium heat until golden brown approximately 6-7 minutes, until cooked through.
Create the Nachos
- Remove chicken from pan, and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then slice or dice.
- Meanwhile, cover large sheet pan with tortilla chips.
- Drizzle with queso blanco.
- Add toppings.
- Bake 10 minutes at 350°F.
- Remove from oven and add tomato, sour cream and toppings of your choice, finishing with a few cracks of sea salt.
Secrets to making the best nachos:
- fresh cracked sea salt
- freshly shredded cheese
- use the freshest ingredients you can
- layer all of the toppings evenly across the chips
- serve immediately
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and reheated in the oven.
- Queso – Make your own or store bought
- Chicken – Make my juicy chicken breast as listed in the recipe, use rotisserie chicken or frozen.
- Chips – Make your own with chips in the deli section of your grocer or restaurant style chips, baked
- Sour Cream – Use sour cream or crema, mix in ranch seasoning to make ranch sour cream or make a lime crema
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.
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