what to serve with nachos

What to Serve with Nachos: 13 Tasty Dips, Toppings, and Proteins

Nachos are one of the most popular appetizers, snacks, and finger foods for parties and get-togethers. That’s because they’re easy to prepare and customizable! You can keep it clean with cheese and peppers on top, or go messy and delicious by topping it with flavored proteins, veggies, sauces, and beans!

Thus, check out this article if you need food ideas for what to serve with nachos. It has excellent suggestions for nacho dips, toppings, and proteins, and you can choose the ones you’re ready to dig into.

1. Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo, or salsa fresca, can be served on top or beside nachos. It’s made of the freshest tomato, jalapeno, and onion chunks. Thus, each bite of a nacho chip topped with this salsa is sure to burst with juice, flavor, and heat. Besides them, there’s also cilantro, lime, and salt to provide new tastes and balance.

2. Mango Salsa

Like salsa fresca, mango salsa is tangy, fresh, spicy, and chunky. But because there’s fresh mango, it also offers more juice and sweetness than the usual salsa. Your tongue will surely enjoy exploring the several flavor dimensions in this salsa, which you can use as a dip or topping for your nachos.

3. Guacamole

Get your avocados sliced and ready because you’re about to make one of the most classic nacho sides: guacamole! This Mexican delicacy combines the fruit’s flesh with lime, cumin, scallions, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, and cilantro. Thus, you taste the avocado’s sweetness and creaminess blended with spicy, tangy, and fresh flavors. This recipe makes it chunky, so it’s best to have this on the side.

4. Nacho Cheese

Many people take pre-shredded cheese, dump it on top of their nachos, and just let it melt. While that results in a gooey, messy goodness, it’ll never be as creamy as nacho cheese. The recipe combines shredded cheddar cheese with cornstarch, evaporated milk, salt, and cayenne to achieve a saucy consistency. You can pour it all over the chips or serve it as a side sauce.

5. Chipotle Queso Blanco

This chipotle queso blanco is like an elevated version of nacho cheese. Instead of typical cheddar, it uses aged white cheddar with Monterey Jack. It’s also a bit spicier because it uses poblano peppers, serrano peppers, and cumin instead of cayenne. But besides those differences, the consistency is the same: creamy, smooth, and perfectly thick, great for dipping and pouring.

6. Refried Beans

Despite the term “refried,” these beans are fried only once in the recipe. However, before that, they undergo preparation, soaking, boiling, and then frying. Once they are fried and flavorful, you’ll mash or process them to your preferred consistency. Refried beans are an excellent topping for those who want more on their chips besides cheese, tomatoes, and spices.

7. Beef and Beans

It’s a fantastic idea to top your nachos with refried beans and ground beef. But you don’t have to prepare them separately if you follow this beef and beans recipe. The flavors may be different, but they’re still delicious. Indeed, you might even get more tastes, as there’s tanginess from barbecue sauce and tomato paste, savoriness from Worcestershire sauce, smokiness, and more!

8. Taco Meat

You can serve your nachos with simply seasoned ground meat on top. But if you want more flavors, specifically Mexican ones, swap it for this taco meat instead! Besides the more complex flavor profile, this taco meat is also saucier, tangier, and spicier. Moreover, while it’s usually made with ground beef, you can also use chicken, pork, or turkey.

9. Grilled Chicken

Proteins on top of your nachos are a must if you want them to be as loaded as possible. While classic choices are ground beef or taco meat, you can opt for unconventional alternatives, like grilled chicken. However, don’t put the uncut juicy and smoky chicken breast on the nachos. Instead, you must shred the meat or slice it thinly before spreading it on the chips.

10. Texas Style Oven Brisket

Smokey and delicious Texas-style brisket is a great alternative to ground beef on nachos. However, you’ll need to reserve extra time when you make this one because the recipe takes six hours to complete. While that seems too long, the impeccable flavors make all the effort and wait worth it. Once your brisket is hot and ready, shred or slice it for serving.

11. Pan-Seared Steak

Steak may seem too luxurious to become a nacho topping or side dish. However, this is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a novel way to enjoy either dish. You can prepare the steak the way you usually do – or follow this recipe – and then slice it thinly so you can place it on the nachos. You’ll appreciate the contrasting textures from the crunchy chips and tender meat.

12. Grilled Tofu

For those avoiding meat, tofu is a healthy protein alternative; however, you can also enjoy it even if you’re a big meat fan. The key is preparing it correctly so it comes out delicious, like this grilled tofu recipe. It flavors the tofu with lime, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper – simple but tasty. Once ready, crumble the tofu into pieces and spread it over the nachos.

13. Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

Carnitas or Mexican pulled pork is usually served as a taco, burrito, or slider filling, but who says you can’t have it on nachos? It’s flavorful and shreddable, qualities that make it an excellent topping. Its crispy textures, Mexican flavors, and incredible juiciness are just delicious bonuses! The catch, though, is it takes 6 hours to make, but like brisket, it’s worth it.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.