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How to Make Nachos in the Oven

Super easy, cheesy, sheet pan Mexican Nachos!! I’ll show you how to make nachos in the oven with just a few ingredients in just 20 minutes.

Making nachos in the oven has to be one of the easiest appetizers on the planet. There’s very little cooking involved (none at all if you use shredded rotisserie chicken) and it’s a dish that everyone loves! It’s perfect for a party where everyone can graze while talking or watching a game, but don’t shy away from enjoying sheet pan nachos for dinner, too!

mexican sheet pan nachos with all the toppings
Table Of Contents

Ingredients for Mexican sheet pan nachos

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make a basic batch of nachos. If this is all you have on hand and want to make them without any toppings, they’ll still be delicious. You can even skip the beef, salsa, and beans to make just a pan of nachos with tortillas and melted cheese.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup salsa
  • salt and pepper
  • tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
  • black beans (optional)

Suggested toppings

  • sliced or minced jalapeño
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado or guacamole
  • chopped red bell or poblano peppers
  • diced red onion
  • chipotle sauce
  • fresh corn
  • black olives
a cloesup of mexican sheet pan nachos just out of the oven

How to make nachos in the oven

First you’ll do the only “cooking” that’s necessary. Put the ground beef in a large skillet and cook it until no pink remains. Drain off any fat then season the meat with salt and pepper. Stir in the salsa until it’s well combined.

Now for the fun part! Spread the tortilla chips in an even layer on a sheet pan. Sprinkle on some shredded cheese all over the tortilla chips. Pop it all in the oven for about 3 minutes.

Take that out of the oven and sprinkle on some black beans. Spread the beef mixture evenly over the top, then add more shredded cheese. Put the nachos back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.

Now you just add whatever toppings you want and serve it. I told you it was easy!

How to make sure your oven nachos don’t get soggy

The reason you put shredded cheese on and bake once first instead of adding all the toppings at once is so that you have a “cheese barrier”. You don’t want the wet taco meat to soak into the chips too much or they’ll all get soggy. This way the chips on the bottom stay as crispy as the ones on the top!

What temperature should nachos be cooked at?

A moderate temperature of 350F is best when making Mexican nachos in the oven. Too high a temperature will result in the chips browning too much and possibly burning. The temperature needs to be high enough to melt the cheese in a short amount of time without “cooking” the tortilla chips too much.

How long do you leave nachos in the oven?

Leave the nachos in the oven for 3 minutes with a layer of shredded cheese only, then add the rest of the ingredients and heat them for another 5-7 minutes until everything is hot and the second layer of cheese is melted.

a sheet pan of mexican nachos just out of the oven

The best cheese for Mexican nachos

The best cheese to use for nachos is, hands down, a Mexican blend. Most brands have Monterey jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla and asadero cheeses which melt well and the flavors blend wonderfully with the other ingredients. You can pick it up at almost any grocery store pre-shredded in bags in the cheese section. If you can’t find it, any of these cheeses will also work:

  • Cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Cheddar-Jack
  • Pepper-Jack
  • A combination of any of the above

Sheet pan nachos variations

  • Use cooked, shredded chicken instead of the beef called for in the recipe. You’ll still want to mix it with the salsa so it’s coated well and doesn’t dry out in the oven, plus it adds a ton of flavor. This also means there’s no cooking involved at all!
  • Make cheesesteak nachos with thinly sliced steak, sauteed onions and bell peppers, and monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
  • Skip the salsa and toss cooked, shredded chicken with buffalo sauce instead! Top with crumbled blue cheese, diced celery, and chopped green onion.
  • Use cauliflower instead of tortilla chips for a low-carb/keto version. These Buffalo Ranch Roasted Cauliflower Nachos are amazing!
  • Use french fries instead of tortilla chips to make nacho fries. Or tater tots to make Totchos!
  • Toss pulled pork with barbecue sauce instead of the salsa for pulled pork nachos
  • Make a smaller batch in a cast iron skillet instead of a sheet pan
  • Toss the cooked beef, sausage, or pepperoni and toss it with marinara instead of the salsa for pizza nachos
  • Use cooked shrimp and green salsa for shrimp nachos
  • Make healthy nachos so you can still indulge a little but keep the calories a bit lower
the result of learning how to make nachos in the oven with a sheet pan of mexican nachos just out of the oven

Tips

  • If you’re making Mexican nachos for a party and you’re not sure what everyone will like, split or double the recipe between two pans. You could make one with meat and one without, skip the beans on just one, or make two completely different variations using the suggestions above.
  • Don’t skip the first round of melting some of the cheese in the oven first before adding the wet toppings. This helps prevent the bottom layer of tortilla chips from getting soggy.
  • Don’t be tempted to use the broiler to melt the cheese or the tortilla chips may burn.
  • The ingredient amounts in this recipe are merely suggestions! Once you know how to make nachos in the oven you can freely play around with the ingredients and make them any way you like. Nachos are very versatile that way!

I’ve made these for everything from parties to lunches with friends and everyone always loves them! Now that you know how to make nachos in the oven, play around with different variations to discover your favorite way to make them. If you happen to snap a pic, be sure to tag me (@thewickednoodle on all social channels) so I can see your delicious creation!

mexican sheet pan nachos with all the toppings

How to Make Nachos in the Oven

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Use these ingredients as a rough guideline and make these nachos any way you like! These are easy to make and are a great appetizer to throw together for a party.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup salsa
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups tortilla chips
  • 3-4 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained well

Suggested Toppings

  • sliced or minced jalapeño
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado or guacamole
  • chopped red bell or poblano peppers
  • diced red onion
  • chipotle sauce
  • fresh corn
  • black olives

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain off any fat. Season with salt and pepper then stir in the salsa. Set aside.
  3. Place the tortilla chips on a sheet pan and top with 2 cups shredded cheese (or more, if desired). Place in the oven for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and top with the black beans, then the beef/salsa mixture. Top with the remaining cheese, then place the nachos back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
  5. Remove from the oven, add any toppings you like, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 928Total Fat: 63gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 1170mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 60g

This information was calculated using Nutritrionix and isn't always accurate. It was calculated without any toppings.

Kristy Bernardo
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Maribel Ramirez

Monday 1st of April 2019

TRYING THIS OUT TONIGHT FOR DINNER... HOPE IT COMES OUT DELICIOUS.. THANKS 4 THE RECIPE!

Maggie Unzueta

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

This looks incredibly delicious. Yum!

Kristy

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Thanks, Maggie!

Melinda

Thursday 8th of June 2017

Ha ha! Love your comment "do they even exist?!". I met one coworker 6 years ago that HATED any sort of beans (but she loved green beans). WHAT!!!!!? Cray.

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 12th of June 2017

haha, right?! I looove beans. Thanks for the laugh :)

Corinne

Tuesday 14th of February 2017

That looks amazing. I bought the same salsa brand but I realized mine is not green, it's red. Is that still okay to combine with the meat?

Kristy Bernardo

Tuesday 14th of February 2017

Hi Corrine! Yep, it should be just fine. Please let me know how you like them. Cheers :)

Melissa

Wednesday 1st of June 2016

Love this recipe! I have made and serve this three times in the past two weeks.

I make one change to this recipe: we are vegetarian so I leave out the meat. Then I top with lots of veggies: diced fresh tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, jalepenos, shredded lettuce, snipped scallions, diced avocados and sour cream. And plenty of fresh salsa!

Kristy Bernardo

Friday 24th of June 2016

I love those changes, I'm sure they're delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

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