How To Make Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Nachos

updated May 1, 2019
Nachos Recipe

Our step-by-step guide to making restaurant-style nachos at home.

Serves6 to 8

Prep40 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Crispy, crunchy tortilla chips covered in gooey, melty cheese, spicy salsa, and creamy beans is the most underrated weeknight dinner out there. Yes, I’m talking about nachos — but not just any nachos. These restaurant-style sheet pan nachos have a secret sauce that coats each and every chip in spiced meat and cheese. This super-smart technique singlehandedly changes the game when it comes to nachos at home.

This sheet pan nacho recipe makes enough for a crowd, whether you’re feeding a large family or serving friends on game day. Plus, you can add different toppings to different sections of the sheet pan, meaning it’s totally customizable for picky kids (and picky grown-ups, too). Here’s how to make the very best beefy nachos at home.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cheese Sauce Is the Secret to Restaurant-Style Nachos at Home

If you’ve ever felt like your homemade nachos were lacking the luxe creaminess of restaurant nachos, you’re not alone. But I’ve got a hot tip for you: Making a quick stovetop cheese sauce, complete with crispy browned beef and a handful of seasonings, is the secret to making the most incredible nachos at home. The velvety sauce can coat the edges of the chips much better than a sprinkling of grated cheese can, so you’ll get more cheesy coverage on every single chip.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Key Steps for Better Nachos Every Time

  • Give your meat the cheese sauce treatment. This recipe calls for ground beef, but you can skip the beef all together for a vegetarian version, or use another cooked meat such as shredded chicken or pork. Coating the protein in the cheese sauce prevents it from drying out in the oven.
  • Use restaurant-style chips. Nachos with this much cheese call for sturdy chips! Look for “restaurant-style” chips, which are thicker and hold up best under the creamy cheese.
  • Add more cheese. Is there a lot of cheese in this recipe? Yes, and the nachos are better for it. The second round of shredded cheese (the first goes in the sauce) adds texture and more cheesy flavor, and it holds additional toppings like beans and corn in place.
  • Bake, don’t broil. To ensure that every bite of cheesy chip goodness is warm, don’t just rely in your oven’s broiler to melt the cheese. A hot bake for less than 10 minutes will evenly heat everything on the sheet pan.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Topping and Serving Sheet Pan Nachos

Some toppings taste best when added after the nachos have been baked, such as chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced jalapeños. This recipe also allows for a little customization — you can leave spicy toppings off half of the nachos for younger kids, or add extra avocado to your corners.

We like to serve these nachos family-style, with snacking plates and extra toppings, so a fish spatula is ideal for sliding under a stack of chips and transferring them onto a plate.

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Nachos Recipe

Our step-by-step guide to making restaurant-style nachos at home.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


For the ground beef cheese sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 pound

    lean ground beef

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 (1.25-ounce) packet

    taco seasoning

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 2 cups

    shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or a combination

For building the nachos:

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag

    restaurant-style tortilla chips

  • 2 cups

    shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or a combination

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    black beans, drained

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) can

    corn kernels, drained

  • 1

    small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1

    small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 1

    small Roma tomato, diced

  • Sour cream, for serving

  • Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  2. Brown the beef. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the beef, use a stiff spatula to break it up into large pieces, and season with the salt. Brown the meat undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller pieces with the spatula and and continue to cook until mostly cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  3. Cook the cheese sauce. Add the taco seasoning, garlic, and flour and stir to coat the beef. Add the milk and stir vigorously with the spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir -- the sauce should thicken right away. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

  4. Layer the nachos. Arrange about 1/2 of the chips on the baking sheet in an even layer. Evenly drizzle with 1/2 of the cheese sauce, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining chips, followed by the remaining cheese sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle with the black beans and corn.

  5. Bake the nachos for 8 minutes. Bake the nachos until the cheese is melted and the chips around the edges are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.

  6. Add the toppings. Just before serving, garnish the finished nachos with the red onion, jalapeño, Roma tomato, dollops of sour cream, and cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The ground beef cheese sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through before building the nachos.