BBQ Chicken Nachos

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BBQ chicken nachos offer a fun, customizable, and family-friendly dinner option, allowing everyone to tailor their plate with their favorite toppings and enjoy a delicious, interactive meal together.

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Easy Barbeque Chicken Nachos

These BBQ chicken nachos are a flavor explosion in every bite! The salty chips are the perfect base for shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, cheese and queso. If you want an extra kick of flavor add diced jalapenos, they are crunchy and delicious!

BBQ chicken nachos are an exceptionally family-friendly dinner choice, offering a delicious mix of flavors and textures that can be easily customized to suit the tastes of both adults and children, making mealtime both enjoyable and interactive for everyone. My kids love these nachos, they are cheesy and the perfect dinner any night of the week!

A tray of nachos topped with melted cheese, shredded chicken, jalapeños, red onions, and fresh cilantro.

How to Make Chicken Nachos

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips (14 oz) – The crispy foundation of any nacho dish, tortilla chips offer a satisfying crunch that holds up the hearty toppings.
  • Cooked shredded chicken (3 cups) – Tender and juicy, shredded chicken provides a protein-packed base that absorbs the rich flavors of the BBQ sauce.
  • BBQ sauce (1 bottle) – Sweet, tangy, and a little smoky, BBQ sauce coats the chicken, adding a depth of flavor that’s both bold and irresistible.
  • White queso – Creamy and smooth, white queso drizzles over the nachos, adding a velvety layer of cheesy goodness that melds the ingredients together.
  • Red onion (½ cup) – With its sharp, slightly sweet flavor, finely chopped red onion adds a crunch and zing that cuts through the richness of the other toppings.
  • Pickled jalapenos (½ cup) – Sliced jalapeños provide a spicy kick, bringing a bit of heat that complements the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.
  • Mexican cheese blend (1 cup) – This blend of cheeses melts perfectly over the top, adding a gooey texture and a complex flavor profile that ties the dish together.
  • Cilantro (½ cup) – Fresh cilantro sprinkled over the nachos introduces a burst of herby freshness that brightens the entire dish, balancing out the smoky and spicy flavors.

Use this Method

Prep Chicken. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the chicken and most of the bbq sauce, save some sauce for drizzling on the nachos when done. 

Assemble. On a large baking sheet, pour the bag of chips out and cover the baking sheet evenly. Spread the chicken out evenly over the chips. Add the onions, pickled jalapenos, shredded cheese, and onion. 

Bake. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake for about ten minutes and then take the nachos out. Add the queso and put back in the oven for about five minutes. 

Garnish. Top with cilantro and drizzle bbq sauce, enjoy!

A tray of loaded nachos topped with melted cheese, shredded chicken, jalapeños, red onions, and a drizzle of sauces, served on a wooden table.

Tips and Tricks for Making BBQ Chicken Nachos

Use Thick, Restaurant-Style Tortilla Chips: These hold up better under the weight of the toppings, preventing sogginess.

Layer Your Ingredients: Start with a base layer of chips, then add chicken, cheese, and other toppings before adding another layer of chips and toppings to ensure every bite is loaded.

Shred Your Chicken Finely: This allows the chicken to more fully absorb the BBQ sauce, enhancing the flavor throughout the nachos.

Homemade BBQ Sauce: Consider making your own BBQ sauce for a personalized touch; you can adjust the sweetness, tanginess, and smokiness to your liking.

Drizzle, Don’t Drown: Be generous but judicious with the BBQ sauce and queso to avoid making the chips too soggy.

Bake, Then Broil: Bake the nachos to warm through and melt the cheese, then broil for a minute or two to get those desirable crispy edges and bubbly cheese.

Fresh Toppings Last: Add fresh ingredients like cilantro, diced tomatoes, or avocado after baking to maintain their texture and flavor.

Serve Immediately: Nachos are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, so plan to serve them as soon as they’re ready for the best texture and taste.

Side Dishes: Offer sides of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for those who want to add more flavors or control the level of spice.

Customize Your Heat: Adjust the amount of jalapeños and the spiciness of your BBQ sauce to cater to different spice preferences within your family or group.

A tray of loaded nachos topped with shredded chicken, jalapeños, red onions, melted cheese, and garnished with fresh cilantro.

FAQs

What kind of chicken is best for BBQ chicken nachos?

Cooked, shredded chicken breast is ideal for its lean texture and ability to absorb flavors well. However, you can also use thigh meat for a juicier option, or rotisserie chicken for convenience.

How can I prevent my nachos from becoming soggy?

Use thick, sturdy tortilla chips, layer your ingredients with the wetter ones like BBQ sauce and queso strategically placed, and avoid overloading with too many sauce-based toppings. Baking just until the cheese melts helps too.

Can I make BBQ chicken nachos ahead of time?

It’s best to assemble and bake the nachos just before serving to maintain the best texture. However, you can prepare your shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, and other toppings ahead of time.

Are BBQ chicken nachos gluten-free?

They can be, as long as you use gluten-free tortilla chips and ensure that your BBQ sauce and other ingredients do not contain gluten. Always check labels if you’re serving someone with a gluten intolerance.

How can I make my nachos more flavorful?

Season your chicken well, use a high-quality, flavorful BBQ sauce, and don’t shy away from adding a variety of cheeses. Fresh toppings like cilantro, lime, and diced avocado also add layers of flavor.

What are some vegetarian alternatives for BBQ chicken nachos?

For a vegetarian version, consider using BBQ-flavored jackfruit, mushrooms, or even a mix of beans as your main topping instead of chicken.

How do I serve BBQ chicken nachos for a party?

Spread the nachos out on a large baking sheet or platter. Make sure there’s a good distribution of toppings for each serving. Serve with sides of extra BBQ sauce, sour cream, and guacamole for guests to add as they please.

What’s the best way to layer nachos?

Start with a base layer of chips, then add a layer of cheese, followed by your BBQ chicken and any other toppings you’re using. Repeat the layers, finishing with a generous topping of cheese to ensure every chip is covered.

Can I use bottled BBQ sauce?

Absolutely. Bottled BBQ sauce is a convenient and tasty option. Look for one with a flavor profile that matches your preference, whether it’s smoky, spicy, or sweet.

How do I make my nachos crispy?

Baking the nachos in a preheated oven at a high temperature (around 400°F or 200°C) for a short period helps melt the cheese and crisp up the edges of the chips without making them soggy. A quick broil at the end can add extra crispiness.

How do you store leftover Nachos?

Leftover nachos can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in the microwave but they won’t be as crispy as when first baked, they are best served immediately.

A tray of barbecue chicken nachos topped with jalapeños, red onions, and cilantro next to a bottle of barbecue sauce.

What to Enjoy with Barbeque Chicken Nachos

Coleslaw: Its crunchy texture and tangy flavor contrast beautifully with the smoky, savory taste of BBQ chicken nachos, providing a refreshing palate cleanser.

Grilled Corn on the Cob: The smoky sweetness of grilled corn complements the BBQ flavor, adding another layer of depth and a pleasant texture contrast.

Watermelon Salad: The crisp, juicy sweetness of watermelon offers a light, refreshing balance to the rich and spicy flavors of the nachos, helping to cool the palate.

Baked Beans: Their hearty, savory sweetness pairs well with the smokiness of the BBQ chicken, adding a comforting, filling side that enhances the overall meal.

Potato Salad: Its creamy texture and mild flavors provide a comforting balance, making it a perfect side dish that doesn’t overpower the bold flavors of the nachos.

Cornbread: The sweet, buttery flavor of cornbread complements the spicy and tangy notes in the BBQ sauce, adding a Southern twist to the meal.

Pickled Vegetables: Their sharp acidity and crisp texture cut through the richness of the nachos, adding a delightful contrast and enhancing the flavors of each bite.

Avocado Salad: The creaminess of avocado and the freshness of the salad ingredients offer a cooling, creamy counterpoint to the spicy, tangy nachos.

Chili: For those who love a hearty, spicy addition, chili can amplify the flavors while adding a satisfying, protein-rich component that turns BBQ chicken nachos into an even more substantial dish.

Try these BBQ sides:

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A tray of nachos topped with melted cheese, shredded chicken, jalapeños, red onions, and fresh cilantro.

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A tray of bbq chicken nachos topped with melted cheese, jalapeños, diced red onions, and fresh cilantro, drizzled with barbecue sauce.
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BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ chicken nachos are a crowd-pleasing snack, layering crispy tortilla chips with succulent, barbecue sauce-smothered chicken, melted cheese, and a colorful array of toppings for a perfect blend of smoky, crunchy, and cheesy delight.
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq chicken, chicken nachos, nachos
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 664kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell
Cost $8

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. tortilla chips
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup White queso
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the chicken and most of the bbq sauce, save some sauce for drizzling on the nachos when done.
  • On a large baking sheet, pour the bag of chips out and cover the baking sheet evenly. Spread the chicken out evenly over the chips. Add the onions, pickled jalapenos, shredded cheese, and onion.
  • Bake for about ten minutes and then take the nachos out. Add the queso and put back in the oven for about five minutes.
  • Top with cilantro and drizzle bbq sauce, enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1591mg | Potassium: 502mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 3mg

About Courtney

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Awesome!

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Great fusion!