Our love for nachos runs so deep because they’re the ultimate snack (or dinner, or lunch). Think about it: toasty, crispy tortilla chips, layers of melty cheese, alllll the toppings! And it’s all built — and served — on a sheet tray. What’s not to love? The other amazing thing about nachos is the opportunity to make them your own. If you have chips layered with melty cheese, you’re already winning — but each pan of nachos is as unique as the cook who’s making them, which is where these four awesome recipes come in.
Justine Lee used the okonomiyaki her mom used to make as inspiration for her cabbage- and shrimp-topped nachos that are topped with zigzagging drizzles of tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo and a flurry of bonito flakes that wiggle and sway, thanks to the heat of the chips. Ivy Manning looked to her parents for snack inspo, too. Her beer and cheese fondue nachos are an homage to her dad’s nachos, which he based off of the ubiquitous shiny orange nacho cheese that comes out of a pump at sports stadiums. Ivy’s version is made with a combo of cheddar and American slices and spiked with a glug of IPA.
Marcella DiLonardo went for a vegetarian take on the classic chili-and-cheese combo, with a hearty bean-based chili standing in for the typically meaty version. The easy chili comes together in 30 minutes, which means it can be bubbling on the stove during the pre-game show. Rounding out the four is Kayla Voigt’s Beef Brisket Nachos, which leverage leftover brisket (Saturday dinner, anyone?) in the most delicious way. Tender beef, crunchy chips, plenty of cheese, finely chopped dill pickles (!), and dollops of guac, sour cream, and salsa come together on this tray.
These combos are sure to take your nacho game all the way to 11, but if you need even more inspo, we have tons of amazing chip-and-cheese combos. Try these pulled pork nachos; a black bean, corn, and blue tortilla chip version that you can shop for at Trader Joe’s; or a pan of restaurant-style chicken nachos that start with a rotisserie chicken. Just remember that inspiration begins where chips meet cheese — the rest is up to you.