Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Nachos Recipe
These nachos are a combination of homemade chicken enchiladas and classic chicken nachos, and they are absolutely loaded with flavor. Cooking them in a cast iron skillet allows them to go straight from the oven to the table, and the cast iron retains heat and keep the nachos warm while serving. These nachos are the best of both worlds too! The edges are crispy and loaded like traditional nachos and the center is more like a nacho casserole! These are perfect for an appetizer or as a main dish.
Chicken Enchilada Nacho Ingredients
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – Chicken thighs add delicious flavor but chicken breasts can be a great substituted. If substituting chicken breasts, skip the browning.
- Vegetable Oil – avocado oil or any high temperature oil for searing.
- Onion – finely minced yellow or white onions.
- Jalapeños – seeds and membranes removed. If you want extra heat, don’t remove the seeds.
- Garlic – minced. Garlic powder can be substituted.
- Chicken Broth – use low-sodium chicken broth or water and chicken bullion seasoning. If using chicken bullion seasoning, cut the amount of salt added to the recipe.
- Tomato Sauce – I use two 8 oz cans of good quality tomato sauce like Hunts.
- Seasonings – Use Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Kosher Salt and Pepper for seasoning, or in a pinch, use taco seasoning.
- Sugar – to cut the acidity in the enchilada sauce.
- Beans – Black Beans or Kidney Beans
- Cilantro – fresh cilantro for the enchilada sauce and for topping the nachos.
- Tortilla Chips – Use your preferred tortilla chips, just not tortilla chips that are too thin like cantina style tortilla chips.
- Cheese – Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Pepper Jack or any Mexican Cheese Blends are all great options.
- Nacho Toppings – See below for a suggested list.
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Nachos
- Start by preparing the chicken and making the enchilada sauce. Sear the chicken thighs, then let them simmer with the onions, jalapeño, garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce, sugar and spices. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from pan and shred. Stir back into sauce and add drained black beans and cilantro.
- Once the chicken enchilada mixture is ready, assemble the nachos.
- Use a cast iron skillet to heat the nachos so they can stay warm while serving.
- Layer the nachos starting with half of the tortilla chips, chicken enchilada mixture, and cheese. Then top with remaining chips, chicken enchilada mixture, and cheese. Add remaining toppings and cook until nachos are heated through and cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and top with sour cream, avocado, and/or guacamole.
Toppings for Chicken Enchilada Nachos
In addition to chicken, cheese, beans, and enchilada sauce, here are some topping ideas.
- Sliced Jalapeno
- Diced Tomatoes
- Diced Green Onions
- Pico de Gallo
- Corn or Corn Salsa
- Hot Sauce
- Sour Cream
Instructions for Substituting Rotisserie Chicken
To use rotisserie chicken instead of chicken thighs or chicken breast, follow the recipe as written but skip the step to brown the chicken. After preparing the enchilada sauce, shred rotisserie chicken and add into the sauce during step 3.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 1 jalapeno minced, seeds removed
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper freshly ground
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained
- 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- 1 13 oz bag tortilla chips
- 16 oz Colby Jack Cheese Shredded
- Black Olives
- Diced Tomatoes
- Sliced Jalapeno
- Fresh Cilantro
- Sour Cream
In a large skillet or sauté pan heat oil until shimmering, sear chicken thighs on both sides to brown. Chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point. Set chicken thighs aside and remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.
Add onions and jalapeños to hot oil and sauté until they start to soften, then add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add chicken broth to pan and deglaze by scraping up browned bits in the pan. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, pepper, spices, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and return chicken thighs to sauce. Let simmer and reduce for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced. Remove chicken and shred.
Stir chicken back into sauce and add black beans. Stir in fresh cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Preheat oven to 375°. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, layer half of chips followed by half of chicken enchilada sauce mixture and half of the shredded cheese. Add the remaining chips, then chicken enchilada sauce mixture and cheese. Top with black olives, jalapeños, and diced tomatoes. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and nachos are heated through. Top with fresh cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole.
MORE MEXICAN RECIPE FAVORITES
- Easy Mexican Rice Recipe
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Slow Cooker Refried Beans
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Skillet Enchiladas
- Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
My five FAVORITE recipes for busy families!
- Quick to make
- Light on your budget
- Easy to clean-up
- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS
Love everything about these nachos!! There is so much flavor, they are hearty, & so good!! My family can clean the plate in minutes!! I want to try these with beef next!
Literally the best lunch! My husband and I DEVOURED this whole thing! Super easy recipe to follow!
Wow, these nachos are amazing! Aside from it’s easy to make, it’s super delicious too! My whole family has nothing but all good feedback for this recipe.