Whenever I visit my sister in New York City, we pick one night to leave the kids and husbands at home to go out for a girls’ night. We always dine at the same Mexican restaurant around the corner from her apartment, and we always skip entrees and order a bunch of appetizers instead. It feels like such an indulgence to pig out on chips, guac, and the like without having to worry about filling up before the main course. I love to eat this eat this way at home, too, but it’s harder when feeding a family. These chicken nachos are one of the few appetizers I can get away with serving for dinner. Loaded with pulled rotisserie chicken in a spicy chipotle-tomato sauce and ungodly amounts of cheese, they are hearty and satisfying – and everyone is happy when I say, “Nachos for dinner!” This recipe makes two large sheet pans of nachos. If you want to mix things up, the chicken mixture can also be used as a filling for quesadillas, tacos or tostadas.
You’ll notice that the recipe calls for two types of cheese: a Mexican blend (go ahead and buy it pre-shredded from the dairy case) and Pecorino Romano, a sharp, salty Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. The Pecorino might seem like an odd addition to nachos, but it’s an excellent substitute for the funky, longer-aged Mexican cheeses that can be hard to find. I know almost 8 cups of cheese seems like a lot, but trust me: good nachos require a generous topping of melted cheese, and light-on-the-cheese nachos are just plain sad. For the guacamole, you can make your favorite recipe — or do as I do and prepare a quick version by mashing some diced avocado with a little lime juice and salt, to taste.
Begin with the chicken. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
Add the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and sauce, sugar, cumin, oregano, and salt.
Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and cilantro.
Mix and set aside.
For the nachos, arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer, overlapping slightly, on two 13 x 18-inch baking sheets. Spread the chicken evenly over the chips.
Sprinkle the the cheeses evenly over the chicken.
Bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the nachos from the oven, then sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing the guacamole, sour cream, and lime wedges separately.
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Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
For the Chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon sauce from can
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, from 1 rotisserie chicken
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
For the Nachos
- 1 (13-oz) bag tortilla chips
- 7 cups (28 oz) shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup finely sliced scallions, from 2 to 3 scallions
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
For Serving (Optional)
- Sour cream
- Limes wedges
For the Chicken
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
- Add the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and sauce, sugar, cumin, oregano, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cilantro.
For the Nachos
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and set two racks in the center of the oven.
- Arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer, overlapping slightly, on two 13 x 18-inch baking sheets. Spread the chicken evenly over the chips, followed by the cheeses.
- Bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the nachos from the oven, then sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing the guacamole, sour cream, and lime wedges separately.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: The chicken mixture can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead of time. Warm the chicken to room temperature in the microwave before assembling the nachos.
- Note: The nutritional information does not include the optional ingredients for serving.
- Per serving (10 appetizer-sized servings)
- Calories: 624
- Fat: 42 g
- Saturated fat: 18 g
- Carbohydrates: 29 g
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 32 g
- Sodium: 677 mg
- Cholesterol: 115 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.