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Chicken Chili Nachos

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

These are made with ground chicken, but you can also use shredded cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken, for instance). If doing the latter, add 2 cups shredded chicken to the skillet after the onions and spices and toss to combine.


  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño; more, sliced, for serving
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro; more for serving
  • 1/4 cup beer or water
  • 8 oz. (about 12 cups) tortilla chips
  • 8 oz. sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 sliced scallions, sliced
  • Salsa, sour cream, and guacamole for serving


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F.
  • Heat the 1 tsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, and cook, stirring and breaking up any large chunks, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Add another 1 tsp. oil to the skillet, then add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender but not browned. Add the chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook briefly, stirring to combine. Stir in the cilantro. If the pan is dry, add the beer or water and stir to combine.
  • Arrange most of the chips on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer with no overlap. Sprinkle with a little less than half of the cheddar and half of the Monterey Jack cheese. Cover any gaps in the chip layer with the remaining chips. Top with the chicken chili and the rest of the cheese.
  • Bake until both layer of the cheese are nicely melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Top with the lettuce, tomato, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeño, and serve with the salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • mmeckstr | 04/17/2021

    recipe is unclear - you set the chicken aside, on a plate, and then cook the onions and spices. At some point don't you want to combine those??

  • user-7326871 | 06/03/2019

    Made this for friends, everyone loved it. Not a crumb left over!

  • user-244510 | 06/12/2017

    Made this last evening and my husband and two adolescent kids loved it! Pleasing adolescents is not an easy thing! I substituted chicken with turkey and added another 1/2 tablespoon of chilli powder and it tasted fantastic!

  • Krispie | 05/24/2017

    This and the pork nachos from the same issue are both excellent. My kids love them and so do I (something that doesn't occur that often).

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