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Healthier BBQ Chicken Ranch Nachos Recipe

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Healthier BBQ Chicken Ranch Nachos Recipe

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.

Finally, add fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, avocados, onion or green onion, black olives, and cilantro. Sometimes we drizzle on some fermented salsa or dollop with homemade guacamole.

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

Make healthier nachos with homemade shredded chicken, a barbecue cream cheese sauce, real cheese, and all the nacho toppings.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Calories 479kcal
Author Katie Wells


8 people


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.


Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Ranch Nachos Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 479 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 140mg47%
Sodium 853mg37%
Potassium 874mg25%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 1235IU25%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 361mg36%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 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!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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