Loaded Nachos

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I take nachos very seriously.
Very, very seriously.
No, I’m serious. Don’t even joke about it. I’m not even kidding.
I’m being serious here.
Dead serious.
What I’m saying is, we really do love nachos in our house. And while my family prefer a more pared-down, simple approach, I like to load mine with everything I can get my hands on.
Here’s a version I made last night! It straddles the fence between what they want and what I want.
That pretty much defines everything I cook around here.
Loaded NachosDice up half the onion…
Loaded NachosAnd throw it into a skillet with a little olive oil over medium-high heat.
Loaded NachosCook the onions for a minute or two, then throw in the ground beef…
Loaded NachosBreak it up…
Loaded NachosAnd let it cook until the meat is totally browned.
Loaded NachosDrain off the fat…
Then add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
Loaded NachosStir it around to mix in the spices…

Loaded NachosThen crack open the beans. I like Ranch Style beans because they’re just so ranch.
Loaded NachosPour ’em right into the skillet.
Loaded NachosStir it around, then pour in the hot water to make it a little more saucy. Reduce the heat to low and simmer away while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.Next up…
Loaded NachosDice the rest of the onion.
Loaded NachosLop off the tops of all the tomatoes, then cut them into slices, then cut the slices into strips…
Loaded NachosAnd cut them in the opposite direction to dice them.
Loaded NachosFor heat, lop off the top and bottom of a jalapeno…
Loaded NachosThen cut it into thin strips and cut the strips into a fine dice.
Loaded NachosThrow the onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno into a bowl and tell ’em you’ll be right back.
Loaded NachosTear the leaves off of half a bunch of cilantro and give it a rough chop…
Loaded NachosThen throw it into the bowl.
Loaded NachosSlice a lime in half…
Loaded NachosThen squeeze in the juice.
Loaded NachosSprinkle in a little salt…
And stir it together.
Loaded NachosI actually prefer it more chunky like it is in the previous photo, but I wound up dumping it out and chopping it up a little more finely for the more persnickety people in my household.
I’m not going to name any names.
Loaded NachosSlice a couple of avocados in half, then pit them and scoop out the good stuff.
Loaded NachosSlice the avocados into strips…
Loaded NachosThen dice ’em up.
Loaded NachosFinally…the cheese! I grated both cheddar and Monterrey Jack, but I didn’t mix them up.
I’ll show you why in a minute!
DSC_0020To assemble the nachos, make a single layer of chips on a platter or plate.
DSC_0022Grab a big scoop of the beef/bean mixture…
DSC_0025And sprinkle it all over the chips. Don’t be afraid to get some juice on there and really make these messy!
Loaded NachosSprinkle on a layer of cheddar…
Loaded NachosThen throw on another layer of chips…
Loaded Nachos
Another layer of beef and beans…
Loaded NachosThen a nice layer of Monterrey Jack.
Loaded NachosI couldn’t resist a final layer of chips.
Loaded NachosAnd another layer of beef and beans.
Loaded NachosAnd another layer of cheddar.
Loaded NachosNext, I nuked the nachos at 45-second intervals until the cheese was perfectly melted.
I would like to get a t-shirt that reads “I Nuked the Nachos.”
Loaded NachosI’m naughty.But I had to do this.
DSC_0068And then I had to do this. Hey, they’re veggies! So that makes the whole platter of nachos healthy.
Maybe.I know for sure it makes them delicious!
DSC_0081I have firsthand experience with this.
Enjoy these, guys! They’re totally yummy. And you can add whatever extras you like: Sour cream, chopped black olives—anything. And what I love about these is that the chips toward the bottom start to soften a bit under all the gooey ingredients, while the top ones stay more crisp. So the bottom ones are like mini enchiladas or soft tacos after awhile. Divine!

Loaded Nachos

10 Minutes
15 Minutes
8 Servings
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 can (14-5 Ounce) Pinto Beans, Chili Beans, Or Ranch Style Beans
  • 1/2 cup Hot Water
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1-1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 6 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Diced Finely
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
  • Juice Of 1 Lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 whole Avocado (pitted And Diced)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and half the onion. Cook it until starting to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it's totally browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beans and hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • To make the salad, combine the other half of the onion with the tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir it together and set it aside.
  • To build the nachos, place a layer of tortilla chips on a platter or plate. Top with a layer of the beef/bean mixture, then all but 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add another layer of chips, another layer of the beef/bean mixture, and the Monterey Jack cheese. Add a final small layer of chips, then a small layer of beef and beans, then a final sprinkling of cheddar. 
  • Microwave in 45 second increments until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (You may also place the platter into a 325 degree oven if it's heatproof. Just leave it in until the cheese is melted.)
  • Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of salad.

Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there!

Serve immediately!