Loaded Texas Nachos – Individual crispy tortillas are loaded with refried beans, seasoned ground beef, and shredded cheese before they’re toasted in the oven. Don’t forget your favorite fresh toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo!
Happy Cinco de Mayo week, everyone! We started our celebrations yesterday by having our baby shower in the theme of a Mexican fiesta, with a full taco bar, fresh margaritas (virgin for me!), and even a piñata! It was so fun to celebrate our little señorita with all of our friends and family. She already so loved!
And please excuse my husband…Apparently, his fake mustache turned him into a tough guy who thinks smiling is overrated!
In keeping with the theme, today’s recipe is one you need to serve at your Cinco de Mayo fiestas this weekend. But before we get to it, here are some other recipes that need to make an appearance, as well:
- Tropical Red Bull Margaritas – The guava juice in these margs takes them to a whole other level!
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Salad – Corn and cojita cheese never tasted as good as they do in this chicken salad!
- Fried Chicken Tacos – A simple taco with fried chicken tenders, lemon garlic mayo, lettuce, and tomato – but don’t let that fool you. These tacos are incredible!
The above are fun remixes of traditional Mexican dishes. But you also gotta serve up the classics, right?! So that’s why I am bringing you these Loaded Texas Nachos today!
So you may be asking yourself “What the heck are Texas nachos???” Are they the same are normal nachos? What makes them “Texas”?”
These are all excellent questions! The key difference in a Texas nacho vs. most nachos you’ve had is that Texas nachos layer toppings on each tortilla chip individually. That means, you have the perfect nacho every single time with the perfect amount of cheese, refried beans, and seasoned beef in every bite.
Ummm, yes please! No more digging for the perfect nacho chip from the heaping pile of ingredients!
To make these nachos, you need a few key ingredients:
- A sturdy tortilla chip to carry the load of all those toppings
- Perfectly seasoned ground beef and refried beans
- A perfect cheese for melting that doesn’t get greasy or overpower the other flavors
The chips are super important here, people. The last thing you want is a flimsy tortilla chip that cannot hold the weight of all the ingredients. So corn tortilla chips are a must. I even decided to take mine to the next level and fry them myself.
Corn tortillas are much thicker than the corn chips you might find in the grocery store, so I fried them in some oil to crisp them up because I knew they’d hold up best. You can also use tostada rounds or hard taco shells broken in half. I personally prefer the texture of the freshly fried tortilla chips so I didn’t mind the extra 10 minutes of work.
Also, I cut mine in thirds from the round tortilla in order to maximize the real estate on the chip. But feel free to cut into fourths – you’ll just have smaller nachos that way.
For the beans, I used canned seasoned refried beans – nothing fancy. And then for the beef, I simply cooked up ground beef with some taco seasoning. I made my own but you can definitely use the store-bought packets, instead.
Finally, the cheese! Finding the right cheese is super important. Some cheeses are too bold in flavor so they overpower the nachos. Other cheeses are too firm so they get greasy when melted. I found that colby cheese is the perfect consistency and flavor for these nachos. I mean, just look at how gooey and melty it looks!
In addition to the tips I give you for the ingredients, here are a couple more to make sure these nachos are INCREDIBLE:
- When frying your own tortilla chips, it is so so so important to dust them with salt immediately after removing them from the oil. This will keep the salt stuck on the chip after the oil dries.
- Always shred cheese yourself – especially when using it for melting purposes, whether it’s for pizza or nachos or fondue or queso. Pre-shredding cheese has anti-caking preservatives so that the cheese doesn’t clump together. These preservatives keep the cheese from melting perfectly.
- Try to keep the layers thin on the nachos. You really don’t need to load them up to get a perfect bite. If anything, that will make the nachos soggy and flimsy.
Alright people – now you have everything you need to feed your fiesta this weekend! Don’t forget your ponchos and sombreros!
Loaded Texas Nachos
- 5 yellow corn tortillas
- 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning prepackaged or make your own
- 2/3 cup water
- 8 ounces colby cheese shredded
- 2/3 cup seasoned refried beans
- sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, pickled jalapeno for serving
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut corn tortillas into thirds. You can do fourths if you are struggling with cutting into thirds. However, the servings will be smaller. Heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees in cast iron skillet or dutch oven. If you don't have a thermometer, this will probably take about 10 minutes.
- Test oil with one tortilla third. If it sizzles and begins to crisp, the oil is ready. Add 4 more tortillas and cook for 45 seconds. Flip and cook for 45 more seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels. Quickly sprinkle with salt before the oil dries. Repeat with rest of the tortillas.
- While the chips cool, let's prepare the seasoned beef. Heat a pan to medium and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, add beef and brown completely. Remove from heat and drain excess fat. Return to medium heat and add water and taco seasoning. Stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce for a simmer. Cook uncovered until mixture thickens and water has evaporated. Remove from heat.
- Now we assemble the nachos. Make sure chips are scattered on a large baking sheet in one layer. Spread a 1 1/2 teaspoons of refried beans onto eat tortilla chip - you may have some leftover. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons ground beef onto each chip. Sprinkle cheese over each chip individually until all the cheese has been used. They will look covered in cheese, but once it melts, it won't look like so much.
- Bake chips in preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese has completely melted. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!
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