Home-Style Nachos Recipe with Sharp Cheddar and Refried Beans

When I was a kid, my family had our own special technique for making nachos. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I learned that to most people, nachos were a big pile of chips with a soft fake cheese squirted on top and a few other toppings tossed on willy-nilly if you were lucky. Since those chips were in a pile, the top chips were fine but the majority of the chips lower in the pile had no toppings whatsoever. I was, to be honest, a little appalled.

Recently, I came across a post about Texas-Style Nachos that finally introduced me to the specifics of the high-end nacho, each chip a work of art with quality ingredients and no bare chips bereft of toppings at the bottom of the pile.

Home-Style Nachos resemble Texas Nachos with the single-layer genius and quality ingredient standards, but they are not quite as exacting and artistic (and they are a little more messy). Sharp cheddar and jalapenos give them bite, but the refried beans and other toppings flesh them out and give them some variety and depth. Enjoy!

This recipe can be made with meat or vegetarian.

Home-Style Nachos Recipe with Sharp Cheddar and Refried Beans
serves three


  • large bag of corn tortilla chips
  • one 15-ounce can of refried beans
  • 10-12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • sliced nacho jalapenos (pickled)
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper
  • canned black olives
  • optional: ground beef or lime-marinated boneless chicken breasts
  • serve with salsa and sour cream

Preparation Instructions:

1). If using ground beef, break it into small pieces and fry it in a skillet over medium heat (in its own grease) until done through. Drain off grease when done. If using marinated chicken breasts, cut them into small strips and fry in a skillet (adding oil if necessary), until almost done. They will finish baking in the oven and still have plenty of moisture.

2). Meanwhile, heat the refried beans in a pot over medium low heat. Arrange the chips on a baking pan or two (we usually fill one cookie sheet and one small round pizza pan) in a one-chip layer spread evenly. Grate the cheese and slice the olives. Clean the bell pepper and dice.

3). When the meat (if you are using it) and refried beans are ready, daub them over the chips evenly so that most chips have at least a little on them. Sprinkle olives over that, then evenly coat with grated cheese. Put either jalapeno slices or bell pepper pieces on top of each chip, alternating.

4). Turn your oven on BROIL and put the nachos in. Watch carefully. When the cheese is melted and the chips are starting to brown, remove them quickly. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping. Gather around and enjoy!

Feel free to experiment with different toppings and combinations! Generally, no too nacho nights are exactly alike at our house.

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