Super Bowl Nachos

By Ann Fulton

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!
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Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

 

Nachos have always held a special place in my younger son Christian’s heart, so the casual dish we typically associate with bar food or game day snacking makes periodic appearances as dinner in our house.

Occasional indulgences align with my general approach to eating. Plus, when one examines the toppings of these loaded nachos – ground beef, beans, cheese and a variety of veggies – redeeming qualities do exist.

On one such nachos-for-dinner night, I was sautéing the ground beef mixture (which, by the way, is equally delicious in tacos, taco salad, and stuffed into a baked potato) when Christian asked if Pops was coming over to eat with us. Pops is my dad, and I often invite him over for dinner when my mom is away.

This time, however, I had not extended an invitation. Dad gravitates towards more traditional meals – i.e., those with a separate protein, vegetable, and starch. I had considered an invite earlier that day but thought he might not be satisfied with nachos for dinner. (Fully embracing the nature of the meal, I wasn’t even serving an accompanying side dish or salad.)

At my son’s prompt and because it’s always nice to be included, I called Dad with a request to join us   – along with a detailed dinner description.

Full disclosure had been issued, but I need not have worried. My square-meal-loving father enjoyed the casual fare just as much as his grandson. Not a chip remained on the platter.

Of course, my usual intent is to serve these hearty nachos during casual get-togethers, and my family often requests them on Super Bowl Sunday.

Served as an appetizer in the context of other offerings, the recipe will feed a crowd. When enjoying as a slightly indulgent entrée, plan on six to eight servings. If hungry teenage boys are in the house (or an active 89-year-old, for that matter), I’ve learned to reduce the expected yield to four servings.

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

The seasoned meat mixture is like taco meat – but better! A few unexpected ingredients ratchet up the flavor while supplying fiber and additional nutrients. Don’t hesitate to also use it in tacos, on taco salad, and stuffed into baked potatoes.

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

The toppings are then layered over two types of chips. The Scoops are the magical “extra,” providing exceptional crunch. Taking a few minutes to get a some of the cheese and meat mixture on each chip will make for the most crowd-pleasing nachos. 

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

When serving as part of an appetizer spread, Crispy Buffalo Wings or Grilled Chicken Wings will complement beautifully. Air Fryer Mini Peppers and Easy Cheesy Pepper Poppers are crowd-pleasers too.

Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

Tips for nacho success (and a bit of wholesome appeal):

  • Mixing beans with the taco meat mixture integrates and flavors the beans while increasing the protein content and heft of the dish. Christian will tell you that he’s not a fan of beans but adores these nachos, and he’s never requested their removal.
  • Opt for thick, sturdy tortilla chips that will hold up to the weight of the toppings. Thinner, restaurant-style chips tend to crack or become soggy when topped. In the following recipe, the use of two types of chips, including super-crunchy Frito’s Scoops, is my trade secret. The extra thickness of the Scoops works well, and the variety offers special appeal.
  • Freshly shredded cheese typically produces the best melt and gooeyness, although I’ve used pre-shredded cheddar and Mexican blend cheese as a welcome timesaver with very good results.
  • Distribute the toppings evenly. It takes a few extra minutes to create layers and dole out the toppings in an even fashion, but nachos are much more satisfying when all the chips contain some of the topping.
  • Serve wet toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and additional salsa on the side in little bowls with spoons so diners can add as desired. Dolloping wet toppings over the freshly baked nachos will cool them quickly and create sogginess. (And few people relish a big bite of sour cream!)
Super Bowl Nachos are the gold standard of nachos and include two types of chips for maximum crunch. Loaded with flavorful toppings, these nachos are game day perfection and hearty enough to be an occasional meal. The meat mixture makes great tacos and taco salads too!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and tag a photo @fountainavenuekitchen on Instagram and Facebook. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Super Bowl Nachos
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Yield: 8-12 appetizer servings
A crowd pleasing appetizer (or slightly decadent dinner!), I’ve offered a list of traditional toppings, but feel free to adjust the toppings based on personal preference.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
  • ½ cup (136 grams) salsa plus ¼ cup (2 ounces) water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 (9-ounce) bag tortilla chips (you can eyeball from a larger bag if need be)
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) bag Fritos Scoops (not the Tostito’s tortilla chip version)
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • ¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • 1 small avocado or half a large, chopped (may substitute guacamole)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Optional toppings: 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced or cut into thin slices; a few tablespoons each sliced black olives; chopped fresh cilantro; additional salsa; sour cream
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. When the beef is nearly cooked, drain any excess grease, and then sprinkle with the taco seasoning and stir in the salsa and water. Stir to combine, and then simmer the mixture for approximately 5 minutes or until thickened (this will prevent soggy tortilla chips later), stirring occasionally. Stir in the drained black beans. Prep ahead tip: At this point, the mixture can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  2. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425℉. For easy cleanup, line a rimmed half sheet pan with foil or parchment paper (no need to grease if not lining the sheet), and then cover the pan with a mixture of the tortilla chips and Fritos. At this point, I use about ⅔ of each bag. Reserve the rest.
  3. Top the chips evenly with ⅔ of the cheese (you can eyeball this) followed by roughly ⅔ each of the ground beef mixture, corn, and onion. Helpful hint: Taking a few minutes to get some of the cheese and meat mixture on each chip will make for the most crowd-pleasing nachos.
  4. Top with a layer of remaining chips (omitting the broken pieces at the bottom of the bag – reserve these for a chili or chicken tortilla soup topping), and then evenly scatter the remaining cheese, beef, corn, and onion over all.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cheese and chips start to lightly brown around the edges. (Check a minute or so early, as all ovens vary.)
  6. Remove from the oven and top with the avocado, scallions, and optional ingredients of choice, serving the wet ingredients like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side. Serve immediately.
Notes

Leftovers? For maximum crunch, baked nachos are best eaten fresh from the oven. However, any leftovers can be heated on a metal baking sheet in a low oven (275℉ to 300℉) for 5-10 minutes or until hot. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Even when reheated this way, some of the chips will still be somewhat soft, but nobody here has ever complained!

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This recipe was first posted on January 26, 2019.

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Comments

  1. Marie Newlin

    Dear Ann, you were one of the last reasons I picked up the Sunday paper. About a year ago I started going to your web site on line. You are my go to when I want something good and different. My family loves your recipes and I always say “it is from the Fountain Avenue Kitchen”, they gobble it up! Thanks so much, Marie

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Your comment makes me so happy, Marie. Thanks for letting me know and for being a regular in this space. Please feel free to comment and share feedback on any of the recipes going forward. It will be a treat to have that kind of dialogue among readers in a fresh, new way!

      Reply
    2. Kathy Mitchell

      Can you use this as a dip rather than putting the chips in with the dip ingredients so the chips would be on the side and people could put as much of the ingredients on them?
      It looks delicious!!!

      Reply
      1. Ann Post author

        I think the meat and bean mixture would work beautifully as a dip, Kathy. If you try, I’d love to know what you think!

        Reply
  2. Christine Rosser

    Dear Ann, I first found you online and was later thrilled to see you in the Sunday News. I’ve tried a number of your recipes and never been disappointed. I too will miss seeing you every Sunday. Somehow I have grown to feel as if I know you as a friend. Thanks so much for the many inside stories that accompany your recipes. That made it so personal and fun!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      The feeling is completely mutual, Christine! I feel such a special connection with my readers, and I really hope many of those who can no longer find me in the paper will find their way here. It would be wonderful to start a fresh, new dialogue through the comment section of the posts where we can all enjoy the comments, suggestions and feedback from others. Above all, thanks for being one of my longtime, loyal readers…I’m so lucky!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I am so sad, too, Kelly, but truly look forward to welcoming many of my fantastic LNP readers to this space. Hopefully, we can have just as much fun and even better dialogue here. (And I love that your teenagers approved!❤️)
      Oh, if you haven’t already, please feel free to enter your email in the little blue box on this site. That way you’ll receive email links to new recipes - only 2 per week and I never share or sell the email addresses!

      Reply
  3. Jim

    You were my go to place as I learned to cook & bake better after my wife died 6 years ago. I routinely made your Sunday recipe for family and friends. I still have several jars of homemade Vanilla.

    Thanks!

    Jim Riccio

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      It is comments like yours, Jim, that make this job of mine worth doing. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I bet your family and friends cherish that time with you on Sundays!

      Reply
  4. Patty Otto

    Ann, so sorry to see your column disappear! I’ve clipped many of your recipes. I will keep Fountain Ave as a favorite! Bon appetit,
    Patty O.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Patty! Thank you for your kind words. I’ve received so many lovely emails this morning and am truly sad to say goodbye to such a loyal group of readers. I just added the original goodbye letter I wrote for the newspaper (under the recipe on this post), as it’s a bit different than what was published and for those who may have simply missed today’s paper. It was a wonderful seven years!

      Reply