Nachos with Spicy Beef

February 8, 2011

This is the first year in a very long time that we haven’t had any plans for the Superbowl! We still wanted to have some kind of party food even though it was just the two of us, and we decided on nachos. However, one of the big problems with nachos is that the top chips get smothered in toppings while the bottom chips are totally dry. My cookbook suggested separating the chips into two layers in a 13×9 pan, putting some of the beef and cheese in between the layers and then baking the whole thing in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. This worked really well, and none of the chips were too over-laden nor too dry. The seasonings in the meat are very similar to those used in our favorite chili recipe, and I added jalapenos and kidney beans for some additional flavors and textures. I also added lettuce and olives to the cold toppings, and I only used half the amount of cheese originally called for (1 pound??). The recipe calls for homemade guacamole and salsa, but we went the easy route this time and used store-bought. Overall, a very tasty (and large) Superbowl dinner-for-two!

Nachos with spicy beef


  • 2  teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1  onion, minced
  • 2  jalapenos, finely chopped (remove ribs and seeds if you prefer more mild flavor)
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  pound ground beef, 90% lean or leaner
  • 1/2  can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8  ounces tortilla chips (we used multigrain)
  • 8  ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Toppings: Thinly sliced scallions, shredded lettuce, olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, plus whatever else you’d like!


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Ass the garlic, jalapeno, spices, and salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the kidney beans and stir to combine until heated through, about 1 minute.
  3. Spread half the chips in an even layer in a 13×9 pan. Sprinkle half the beef mixture evenly over the chips and then sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining chips, beef mixture, and cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 9 minutes. Sprinkle with the cold dry toppings and then dot with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Serve immediately.

One comment

  1. Lovely!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: