In episode 85, host Taryn Solie walks you through how to make Chicken Fajita Nachos using leftover Mexican grilled chicken, bell peppers, and onions. From prepping the ingredients to layering on the flavors, this dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or appetizer. Listen in for tips and tricks, as well as side dish serving suggestions!
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
- Loaded Chicken Fajita Nachos
- Mexican Grilled Chicken Breast
- Fruit Salad for a Crowd
- Red Cabbage Coleslaw
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Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to talk with you about all things grilling and outdoor cooking, including delicious recipes and handy tips and tricks, all to give you some grilling inspiration.
Today’s recipe is what I like to call a Round 2 recipe, meaning you can use the leftovers from one meal and turn it into something else. I’m walk you through how to make some seriously delicious chicken fajita nachos.
For this meal I like to use leftovers from my grilled Mexican chicken breast recipe, but you could use whatever leftover chicken you have around. Or if you don’t have leftover chicken but you want to make things as easy as possible, you could pick up a rotisserie chicken and use that.
What makes these chicken nachos a little different is a) they have fajita-style toppings, namely bell pepper and onion, and b) they’re made on a sheet pan so you can cook them all at once and let people dig in to get however many nachos they want. The recipe is written out for serving roughly eight people but that’s for appetizer portions. So if you’re wanting it as more of a dinner I would assume it serves between 4 and 6 people depending on how hungry your family gets and what sides you might be serving it with.
Let’s get into what ingredients you’ll need to make these nachos. Go ahead and grab the following:
- An 11 oz bag of tortilla chips,
- 0.75 pounds of cooked chicken (which is roughly 3 thighs or 1 breast),
- 10-12 ounces of shredded cheese, depending on how cheesy you like your nachos,
- 1 medium-sized onion,
- 2 bell peppers,
- ½ tbsp of oil, I typically use avocado oil,
- ½ tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and
- whatever toppings you like, which could be salsa, pico de gallo, jalapeno, avocado, guacamole, or sour cream.
Before we get into the recipe, a couple of things to note:
- One, when picking out tortilla chips, you want the kind that is on the thicker side as the fajita ingredients can be a little wet, as opposed to the really thin ones that tend to disintegrate once they have moisture on them. This way the chips will hold up better when the cheese is melting in the oven.
- Speaking of cheese, you can buy pre-shredded cheese or shred your own. Cheese you shred on your own does tend to melt better so keep that in mind. I like to do a blend of cheddar cheese and pepper jack for these nachos.
- Then the last note for this recipe is about the type of salt. This recipe specifically uses Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is the type of salt I prefer to cook and grill with. It’s less salty by volume than other salts, leaving a little more room for error as you season your food. If you have a different type of salt, I’ll link to an article on the show notes page that will help you figure out how much salt to use.
Okay, let’s get started with the recipe!
First you want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Take out a rimmed baking sheet, sometimes also called a jelly roll pan, and line it with a piece of parchment paper. Then set it aside for later.
Take out a large nonstick pan, pour the oil in it, and place it over medium heat on the stove top. Peel the skin off your onion and use a large sharp knife and cutting board to slice it into thin layers. Place the sliced onion in the pan, turn the heat down to low, and cook the onion for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a pair of tongs to help break up the slices.
While the onion is cooking, remove the seeds and stems from the bell peppers by cutting off the top and scraping out the seeds. Once that’s done, use the knife to cut the pepper into quarter-inch thick strips then cut the strips into thirds or fourths, depending on your preference. You basically want to make the pepper into bite-size pieces. Add the cut bell pepper into the pan with the onion. Sprinkle the kosher salt onto the veggies and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Start assembling the nachos while the peppers and onions are cooking. Lay the tortilla chips out in a crowded single layer on top of the parchment paper – and by crowded I mean try to have it so you can’t see the parchment paper on the bottom. You want to get the toppings on as many chips as possible and not have them fall through to the bottom of the pan.
Use the knife and cutting board to chop the cooked chicken into quarter-inch to half-inch pieces, if needed. You can also just tear pieces of chicken if that’s easier. Sprinkle the pieces evenly over the tortilla chips. Also, if you need to shred your cheese, do that now.
Once the onions and bell peppers are done cooking, spread them in an even layer on top of the tortilla chips and chicken. Do the same with the shredded cheese, covering each chip as best you can.
Place the sheet pan in the oven and cook for between 12 and 20 minutes – this really is going to depend on how big and how hot your oven runs, as well as what type of cheese you used as pre-shredded cheese typically takes longer to melt. Check the nachos after 10 minutes to see how fast the cheese is melting and cook in 3 minutes increments until the cheese is melted to your liking and starting to brown. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and serve the nachos with whatever toppings you like. And that’s it!
I mentioned previously you can use this dish as an appetizer or your main meal. What’s nice is it’s a pretty quick dinner for a weeknight, taking just over 30 minutes start to finish.
If you are wanting to serve it that way, I would eat it with some fruit, like a fruit platter or a fruit salad, and then maybe some coleslaw on the side, or some refried or black beans – you could even add those onto the nachos at the end if you wanted.
These nachos are definitely best when eaten right away. If you’re going to try and eat any leftovers, you want to store the nachos with the parchment paper underneath in an airtight container in the fridge. Then reheat them by heating the oven to 300 degrees F, placing the nachos with parchment paper on a sheet pan, and baking them until warmed through, between 7 and 10 minutes. They may not turn out as crispy as the day they were cooked, but they will crisp up a bit and still taste delicious.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for these chicken fajita nachos, as well as the other recipes and resources I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this recipe, consider subscribing to the show on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss out on future episodes! I’ve got so many more great grilling and smoking recipes you’re going to love.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.