Nachos are the ultimate snack: chips, cheese, meat, and vegetables all layered together turns into a delicious food you can eat with your hands. It’s easy to get lazy with your nacho creations — chips topped with melted cheese are delicious all on their own. But you probably have the makings for some next-level nachos in your kitchen right now.
Nachos can be anything you want — even a healthy snack if you use fresh vegetables instead of chips. As long as you have a base layer of chips (or a reasonable facsimile) and some melted cheese, all of the other components of a great plate of nachos are flexible.
Though the true history of nachos is debated, it is thought that they were created in the 1940s in a Mexican border town by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya for a group of American women from a nearby U.S. military base. The original dish probably consisted of fried tortillas, cheese, and jalapeño peppers. Order a plate of nachos at a bar today and you're more likely to get a plate of tortilla chips loaded with cheese, refried beans, sour cream, onions, jalapeños, salsa, and guacamole — significantly different than the original.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a science to making delicious nachos. The key is to have only one layer of chips, to get maximum cheese coverage. To do this, simply arrange tortilla chips in one layer on a baking sheet instead of a plate. Cover with whatever toppings you want and a healthy amount of shredded cheese before placing in a hot oven (between 450 and 475 degree F) until the cheese melts. Microwaved nachos will still taste good, but you may end up with some soggy chips (plus, you can fit a lot more chips in a conventional oven).
Step up your nacho game with these tasty toppings.
Bacon makes everything better, especially nachos. Crumble freshly cooked bacon (or almost any other cured meat) into the mix and you’ll be a happy, nacho-eating camper.
Refried, baked, or otherwise, beans step up the fiber and protein factors of nachos. Try tossing drained and rinsed canned black beans with chopped cilantro and lime juice before adding to nachos.