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Chicken Nachos

This Chicken Nachos recipe is the ultimate crowd-pleasing appetizer or easy enough for weeknight dinner – on your table in less than 30 minutes!  The sweet, tangy, ridiculously flavorful pairing of Honey Lime Salsa Verde Chicken, guacamolepico de gallo, olives, pickled jalapenos and mandatory melty cheese create the best Chicken Nachos of your life with minimal prep and high reward.  The chicken is easy to make in minutes with rotisserie chicken and all the toppings can be prepped ahead for easy assembly, or use store-bought. This Chicken Nacho recipe is endlessly adaptable (variations included) for a lazy yet sumptuous dish that will have everyone coming back for more.
Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings



  • 3 cups packed shredded chicken (I love rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa verde
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp EACH ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder


  • 14 ounces thick/sturdy tortilla chips
  • 12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (3 packed cups)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained



  • Sour cream (if not use above)
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo or chopped tomatoes and cilantro
  • Sliced olives
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • See post for tons more ideas!


  • Chicken: Whisk all of the Salsa Verde Chicken ingredients together (except chicken) in a large nonstick skillet. Add the chicken, stir to coat and warm through. Remove from heat and set aside while you prep the toppings.
  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Whisk all of the Salsa Verde Cream Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside. Prep all of the toppings so you can quickly assemble the nachos as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Assemble: Spread half the tortilla chips in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Top with half of the seasoned chicken, half of the black beans and half of the cheese; repeat.
  • Bake: Bake at 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Toppings: Just before serving, drizzle with salsa verde and garnish with desired toppings.


  • If you know your nacho eaters don’t all like the same toppings, create a nacho toppings bar. You can even let everyone create their own from-scratch nachos and micorwave them separately.



Jen's expert tips:

  • Chicken variations: Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken, Chicken Tinga or Shortcut Mexican Chicken.  Generally, shredded chicken is ideal because it doesn’t dry out as easily when baked.   You can also swap I your favorite beef or pork such as Mexican Shredded Beef, Beef Barbacoa, Beef Birria, Carne Asada, Carnitas or Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork
  • Chips: Use the thickest tortilla chips you can find.  I recommend checking your bakery section for chips that were fried in-house or locally.  I have also had success with La Fortaleza Tortilla Chips, pictured in this recipe.  They are sold at Costco in two 3-pound bags.
  • Chipotle chili powder: Adds a sublime smoky heat instead of just pure heat.  If you don’t have chipotle chili powder, add a pinch-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - start with less and add to taste.
  • Use more or less honey: The honey balances out the heat so if you choose to make the chicken less spicy, start with only 3 tablespoons honey.  You can add more to taste after it’s all combined if you still want it sweeter.  
  • Cheese: Shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses are coating in anti-clumping chemicals which prevents the strands from clumping together in the bag – this also prevents the cheese from melting as well - it also doesn’t taste as good. 
  • Shortcuts: Use store-bought guacamole or shortcut guacamole by mashing avocados with lime juice, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. For the pico de gallo, use store-bought. 
  • Microwave nachos for individual servings: Spread one layer of chips on a microwave safe plate, top with chicken, beans, then cheese, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the cheese is completely melted, dig in!
  • Meal prep: The Honey Lime Salsa Verde chicken can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead of time. Gently reheat before using.  The toppings can also all be prepped ahead of time. 
  • Scale the recipe: This recipe can easily be scaled up or down by using the sliding scale next to the servings in the recipe card. 
  • Storage: Leftover nachos are good for up to 3 days but they will no longer be crunchy.  If you are a chilaquiles fan, consider adding some additional salsa verde to your reheated leftover nachos and topping with a fried egg like in this chilaquiles recipe.