I like to feed my family as few processed foods as possible, so concession-stand nachos topped with canned cheese product is not something I care to serve. But I’m a firm believer that almost any crowd favorite can be a really fun and healthy meal when made with real food ingredients.
So… let the nacho transformation begin!
A Healthier Way to Make Nachos
Nachos are one of those flexible foods that can be a snack or appetizer, lunch, or dinner (and in some parts of the country, even breakfast!)
For starters, I sub grain-free tortilla chips made with cassava, coconut flour, and chia seeds for the usual corn chips. Next, I add tons of diced veggies! We’re moving in the right direction…
The BBQ part of these nachos comes from a creamy sauce made with cream cheese, sour cream, barbecue sauce, and my own ranch dressing mix. I dot it over the nachos prior to baking and serve the extra for dipping.
BBQ Chicken Ranch Nachos on Short Order
It’s a snap to make these nachos when you already have leftover cooked chicken on hand. Grill or bake extra chicken ahead of time and store or freeze for salads and other meals throughout the week.
When I don’t have pre-cooked chicken, the Instant Pot is a nice fast way to get the job done quickly. I cook the chicken and then shred and season it.
And remember nachos for breakfast? Sounds bizarre, I know. But don’t knock it until you try it!
BBQ Chicken Ranch Nachos Recipe
- 2 (5 oz) bags cassava tortilla chips
For the Chicken
For the Sauce
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 TBSP barbecue sauce
- 1 tsp ranch dressing mix
- 3 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
- 2 cups tomatoes (diced)
- ½ cup green onion (chopped)
- 2 avocados (diced)
- To cook the chicken, pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Put the trivet in and place the chicken on top of the trivet.
- Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes with a 5 minute natural pressure release, releasing the remaining pressure when done.
- Shred the chicken and season with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, the cumin, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
Assemble, Cook, and Top
- To make the nachos, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place a layer of cassava chips on an oven-proof platter or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Top with shredded chicken, dot with the sauce, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Place a second layer of cassava chips atop the first, and again top with shredded chicken, some sauce, and a larger amount of shredded cheese
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 if necessary on an additional platter or baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and cook 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Top the finished nachos with desired optional toppings and serve with remaining sauce for dipping.
- This recipe is a great one for using up leftover chicken -- just chop or shred and sprinkle with a little cumin.
- I use my own ranch dressing mix recipe for the sauce. If you don't have all the ingredients to make it, you can just add a little garlic or onion powder and some dried dill or parsley.
Do you make healthy nachos? I’d love to hear about your recipe!