For gatherings, game days, movie night, and even dinner these oven baked nachos for a party are easy to make on just a sheet pan. Layer your favorite fixings and bake until the cheese has melted. You'll make the best nachos recipe that isn't soggy.
When I entertain at home I take a step away from the brain-work of major creativity (I cook for a living) and stick to things that are easy, crowd-pleasing and fun.
I like a simple recipe that uses minimal ingredients and minimal cookware.
For the big game, or just a weekend snack, I make these sheet pan layered nachos with all the fixings. Along with some drinks, like my mint limeade and my soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, I'm going to be totally set.
See this recipe on KSL.com where it was originally published.
How To Make Oven Baked Nachos
I make my best nachos recipe in the oven. No melting cheese sauces and cleaning up drippy messes, and no heating small batches of chips and cheese in the microwave.
Depending on my party guests, I'll make loaded vegetarian nachos with beans or nachos with shredded meat, like chicken or pork.
I put sour cream, salsas, and guacamole in bowls to make a nacho bar for guests to add to their plates.
Making nachos for everyone all at once is easiest by cooking them on a half sheet pan. I line it with foil (for easy cleanup), and layer the goodness of chips, cheese and other tasty additions, then bake for about 10 minutes.
What Type Of Cheese Is Best For Nachos?
When making nachos, the cheese is most important. For the best cheesy nachos recipe, I like a variety.
Mixing cheeses gives depth of flavor and texture. Some cheese melts silky smooth, some cheese gets a bit chewy, and others are crumbly and salty delicious like Cotija.
My favorite is a Monterey Jack, and his cheese brother Pepper Jack to add spice. A little mild or sharp cheddar adds classic flavor and even pieces of Velveeta or shredded American cheese gives a silky smooth melt on top of the crunchy chips.
Nachos With Meat
If I'm adding meat to my sheet pan nachos, I love carnitas (braised pork), shredded steak, or chicken. Adding meat makes the layered nachos more substantial, closer to a meal, if you eat enough like I usually do.
Best Nachos Recipe Tips
Check my list below for any extras you can add and layer, layer, layer. It's an oven-nacho trick.
One layer of chips, cheese, toppings, covered by another layer and sometimes even a third.
The even heat from the oven melts all the cheese and heats everything perfectly. Serve with tongs so guests can grab an entire serving at once.
The key to not having soggy nachos is to put the toppings in bowls and have everyone garnish right before they eat. Garnishing this cheesy nacho recipe too early will make the chips soggy.
Nacho Party Recipe Ingredients
Monterey Jack is perfect for melting. Pepper Jack adds great spice. Crumble Cotija or other Mexican cheese on top when the nachos come out of the oven for a salty bite.
Two or three layers of chips, cheeses and toppings are perfect in the even heat of the oven.
Meat Or Beans, Or Both?
Add black beans or pinto beans for loaded vegetarian nachos. For meat lovers, add braised pulled pork for carnitas nachos, or shredded chicken, or beef.
More Ingredients For Layered Nachos
Additions like canned beans, white onions, pickled jalapeños, fresh tomatoes, and sweet peppers are added in layers with the cheese and cooked along with the chips.
Nacho Bar Toppings
Have bowls of these add-ons for guests to try on their servings: sour cream, cilantro, sliced scallions, olives, guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce.
The key is to bake your nachos during the party right before serving. Place additional toppings for nachos in bowls and have guests use the nacho bar to garnish their own nachos just before eating.
For the best cheesy nachos recipe, layer the cheese in between the chips. Start with one layer of chips, then a layer of cheese and repeat two or three times. This makes for the best cheesy nachos.
Let me know how it went!
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More Party Food Recipes
Oven Baked Nachos Party
- 2 bags (11 ounces each) tortilla chips
- 5 cups shredded cheese
- 1 can black beans drained
- ½ cup white onion chopped
- ½ cup pickled jalapeños
- Toppings such as cilantro scallions and olives
- Serve with sour cream guacamole and salsa
- Heat oven to 350 F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Arrange half of the chips on pans and top with some cheeses, beans, onion, and jalapeño. Repeat layers for two to three layers total. (These can be assembled up to one hour before baking.)
- Working with one sheet at a time, bake until cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions and olives if desired and serve with desired toppings. Heat a second pan as the first for fresh, hot nachos.
Appetizers, Nibble and Finger Foods
Recipe and photography by Tara Teaspoon. Updated August 2023.