When you’re feeling the dinner time crunch, try these easy Ground Beef Nachos! Crispy, cheesy, and meaty, these nachos deliver big flavor in under 30 minutes!
Speedy Weeknight Ground Beef Nachos
But perhaps our favorite speedy weeknight meal is nachos, particularly these dynamite Ground Beef Nachos. We find oursevles making them over and over again, and for good reason. They've got all the cheesy crunchiness we crave, but also the fresh heat of salsa, jalapenos, and cilantro.
- They’re super fast. You can have these ready in less than 30 minutes, maybe even less.
- They’re super versatile. Nachos are endlessly versatile! You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, including that half jar of salsa and whatever veggies you’ve got lying around.
- They’re super loved. Cheesy beef nachos are always a fan favorite. Whether we make them for a quick dinner for our family or for a fun party, these nachos always disappear in no time.
We’ve got all the tips for avoiding the dreaded soggy nachos. Let us show you how to make crunchy, cheesy, irresistibly beefy nachos in no time!
- Ground beef- I used 80/20, but any kind of ground beef will work.
- Taco seasoning- We are big fans of this homemade taco seasoning, but you can pick up a packet from the grocery store as well.
- Canned tomato sauce + water- This is the ticket to our perfect ground beef for tacos! It makes the meat wonderfully rich and saucy.
- Tortilla chips- Choose a sturdy chip that can hold up to toppings. Very thin chips will fall apart. Store bought works well, but try these Air Fryer Tortilla Chips for a special treat.
- Cheese- What’s a nacho without cheese? We like to use two different kinds of cheese. See below for some different combinations we love.
- All the toppings- Load up your nachos with all your favorite fresh veggies, herbs, and salsa, or double down on the meat and cheese with our ridiculously creamy Ground Beef Queso.
How to Make Ground Beef Nachos
- Brown the ground beef.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato sauce.
- Assemble the first layer of chips and cheese and broil.
- Add the seasoned ground beef and a second layer of shredded cheese, and broil again.
- Serve immediately with all of your favorite toppings.
Note: we enjoy making nachos in a cast iron skillet, but a sheet pan also works great and can easily be scaled up!
Toppings for Beef Nachos
- Diced fresh tomatoes
- Diced red onion
- Fresh jalapeno
- Pickled jalapeno
- Homemade black bean and corn salsa
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
Our favorite nacho toppings are tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. We usually use fresh jalapeno slices for heat, but try pickled jalapeno for a more acidic, mild heat.
What goes first on nachos: meat or cheese?
We always put a layer of cheese on the chips first. This helps create a barrier between the wetter ingredients and the chips.
What cheese is best to melt for nachos?
There are so many great options for cheeses for nachos! A Mexican blend cheese is always great, but other great melting cheeses include cheddar, Monterey Jack, and pepper jack. Choosing a really ooey gooey melty cheese like Monterey Jack and pairing it with a more flavorful cheese like cheddar is a great option.
Freshly grated cheese always melts better than pre-shredded. We still use pre-shredded when we’re in a hurry, but if you’ve got the time, fresh grated cheese will deliver the best melt and awesome cheese pulls.
How do you keep chips crispy on nachos?
- Start with a sturdy chip. We love a super thin chip for dunking in salsa, but for nachos you want to pick a chip with a little more heft.
- Melt a layer of cheese on your chips before adding the remaining ingredients. This acts as a barrier, keeping your chips nice and dry and crisp.
What other food goes well with ground beef nachos?
More Mexican Ground Beef Recipes
We love Mexican food and have so many fast and easy favorites.
These Ground Beef Quesadillas are ridiculously easy to make and a favorite of our kids.
Tortilla Lasagna adds a spicy twist to a classic dish.
Creamy and Keto Friendly Taco Soup is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly evening.
And of course, don’t forget about a classic Ground Beef Taco recipe, a great easy option for any night of the week!
Ground Beef Nachos
- Swirl of olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ a bag tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Fresh jalapenos (sliced)
- Diced tomato
- Sour cream
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and spread it evenly over the surface. Cook undisturbed for several minutes or until the bottom has developed a brown crust. Flip, and continue to cook until all sides are well browned, about 7-8 minutes total. Drain all but a Tablespoon of grease from the pan.
- Season with taco seasoning, add water and tomato sauce, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened and warmed through. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread the chips over a foil lined sheet pan or large cast iron skillet. Top with 1 cup of the cheese. Place the chips on the middle shelf, and broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Remove the pan from the oven and spread the beef evenly over the chips. Top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven, broiling for another 2-3 minutes, until the top layer of cheese is very melty.
- Remove the beef nachos from the oven and top with jalapenos, diced tomato, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro, or the toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.