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What to Serve with Nachos

Whether you serve nachos for dinner or as a tasty snack, here are 36 ideas for what to serve with nachos. Enjoy these handpicked toppings, saucesappetizerssoups, and entrees to make your next meal or get-together a hit.

Cover image for what to serve with nachos.

Start with Nacho Recipe

Birria nachos on a sheet pan.

Nachos are a beloved Tex-Mex dish featuring crunchy tortilla chips, gooey-melted cheese, and colorful toppings. Whether you’re having a game night with friends or just in the mood for a tasty snack, nachos are always a good choice.

Shake up regular nachos with my sheet pan birria nachos, loaded with tender shredded beef and a side of rich comsome for dipping.

Tachos on a plate.

Ditch tortilla chips and use crispy tater tots to make sheet-pan tachos with seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and your favorite toppings.

Can Nachos be a Main Meal?

Serve loaded nachos as a lunch or dinner entree. Start with a base of crispy tortilla chips, choose a protein like ground beef flavored with taco seasoning, shredded chicken, or beef brisket, and pile on your favorite toppings! You can make vegetarian nachos with pinto beans or black beans and sautéed vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

And don’t forget the cheese! Use shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend that melts once you bake the nachos, or prepare gooey melted nacho cheese, the kind you get at a concession stand at ball games.

Best Toppings for Nachos

1. Guacamole

Guacamole without tomato in a bowl.

Guacamole without tomato is ready in 10 minutes! Serve it as a dip, or use it as a topping for your favorite nacho recipe. 

Don’t feel like making guacamole? Prepare homemade avocado lime crema!

2. Pico De Gallo

Pico de gallo in a serving bowl.

Make super simple and fresh-tasting pico de gallo with vine-ripe tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice.

3. Chunky Salsa

Chucky salsa on a serving tray.

Prepare chunky salsa with cilantro and avocado with little to no work. The salsa combines simple ingredients, and it’s on the table in 20 minutes!

4. Mango Pico De Gallo

Mango pico de gallo in a bowl.

Our family can’t get enough mangos in the summertime! I mean – have you tried Indian mango lassi? 

If you’re craving nachos with more of a tropical flavor, make sweet and spicy mango pico de gallo.

The homemade salsa is so good you will want to eat it with a spoon, and it’s a perfect topping for grilled chicken, fish, and nachos.

5. Sumac Onions

Sumac onions in a serving bowl.

For a fresh spin on pickled onions, try marinated sumac onions! Serve the bright and tangy red onions with kabobs, salads, wraps, and nachos!

6. Pickled Jalapeños

A spoon scooping pickled jalapeños.

After trying homemade pickled jalapeños, you will want to always keep a jar on hand. Make the easy-to-make topping from simple ingredients, and there are so many ways to use them.

Photo Credit: It’s Not Complicated

More Pickled Recipes:

7. Serrano Crema

A bowl of serrano crema.

I usually serve creamy serrano crema with roasted Peruvian chicken, but the spicy green sauce tastes great with nachos. 

8. Velveeta Cheese Dip

Velveeta cheese dip in a bowl.

What are nachos without cheese? And gooey nachos aren’t just for ball games!

The creamy goodness of Velveeta cheese dip is the perfect way to finish nachos, especially when you’re feeding a crowd.

Transfer the sauce in a Crockpot or Instant Pot to keep it warm, and serve it on a table with other toppings for a fun and delicious nacho bar idea.

Photo Credit: Joyous Apron

9. Pineapple Corn Salsa

Pineapple corn salsa in a serving bowl.

It’s salsa time! Savory and sweet pineapple corn salsa is just what you need to serve with corn tortilla chips or use as a topping for burgerstacos, and fresh salad greens. 

10. Chile Con Queso

A bowl of chile con queso.

Make chile con queso with authentic roasted New Mexican green chiles. The slightly spicy dip pairs perfectly with tortilla chips for nachos, and it’s ideal for Cinco de Mayo and game day celebrations like the Super Bowl!

Photo Credit: Food Meanderings

11. Salsa Verde

Salsa verde with tomatillo in a dish.

Salsa verde combines roasted tomatillos and jalapeño peppers for a quick and easy salsa.

More Nacho Toppings

Don’t forget a few dollops of sour cream, hot sauce, chopped onions, fresh cilantroblack olives, green onions, sliced avocado, and fresh jalapeños as toppings for nachos!

While these simple ingredients don’t require a recipe, they taste just as good piled onto nachos. So when someone needs ideas for what to serve with nachos, these no-prep ingredients always top the list.

Appetizers

Finding tasty side dishes is easy when deciding what to serve with nachos since it’s a versatile meal. From simple sides like fresh salad to heartier additions such as beans, Spanish rice, or roasted vegetables, it’s easy to take nachos from a simple snack to a filling meal.

12. Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

Wings with three different sauces.

These extra-crispy baked chicken wings are a tasty main course, but they pair well with different nacho recipes at any party or get-together.  

Whether you top the chicken wings with a classic buffalo sauce, sweet BBQ sauce, or a fiery sriracha coating, wings are an excellent addition to the table. 

More Chicken Wing Recipes:

13. Quesadillas

Chicken quesadillas stacked on a plate.

Cheese, cheese, and more cheese! Since you’re making nachos, why not melt extra shredded cheese between tortillas to make these loaded chicken quesadillas?

Photo Credit: The Foodie Physician

14. Jalapeno Poppers

A plate of jalapeño poppers.

Name a better duo than jalapeño poppers and nachos. The air fryer jalapeño poppers are loaded with cream cheese, garlic powder, sharp cheddar, and panko breading, making them a perfect pairing for nachos.

Photo Credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

15. Mini Tacos

Air fryer mini tacos on a plate.

Enjoy crispy, golden air fryer mini tacos  – perfect for dunking in guacamolechunky salsablack bean corn feta dip, and warm nacho cheese.

This easy appetizer is a good idea for serving a large group when you need a lot of food to go around.

The Best Side Dishes for Nachos

The side dish options are endless when deciding what to serve with nachos. From simple sides like salad to heartier additions such as beans, rice, or vegetables, it’s easy to take nachos from a simple snack to a filling meal.

16. Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad

Avocado cucumber tomato salad in a bowl.

Combine fresh herbs, juicy tomato, crisp cucumber, and creamy avocado to make this easy, light side dish. 

17. Mexican Rice

Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish.

Vegan Mexican rice simmers with tomato puree, vegetable broth, fresh jalapeños, and garlic for a highly concentrated and flavorful side to serve with steaming hot nachos. 

18. Refried Beans

A crockpot of refried beans.

​Rich and creamy slow cooker refried beans topped with melty cheese or crumbled cotija cheese are a great addition to a crispy layer of tortilla chips.

Whether you spoon the beans onto the chips or serve them as a side dish, these refried beans are a great way to finish the meal.

Photo Credit: The Magical Slow Cooker

19. Homemade Coleslaw

Homemade coleslaw in a bowl.

Homemade coleslaw combines crisp vegetables like cabbage and carrots with fresh mint, cilantro, scallions, and zesty dressing – the coleslaw is a fantastic side dish or adventurous topping for nachos.

20. Refried Black Beans

A bowl of refried black beans.

Serve nachos with healthy, refried black beans that simmer in the slow cooker. Layer them onto nachos or serve them on the side. 

Photo Credit: Bake It With Love

21. Cucumber Carrot Salad

Cucumber carrot salad in a bowl.

Refreshing and tangy, this cucumber carrot salad is a perfect way to enjoy fresh vegetables.

22. Cilantro Lime Slaw

A bowl of cilantro lime slaw.

Serve cilantro lime slaw as a crunchy side or topping. The tangy yogurt-based dressing complements savory meals like tacos, fried seafood, and nachos. 

Photo Credit: The Healthful Ideas

23. Mexican Fruit Salad

A bowl of Mexican fruit salad.

Prepare refreshing Mexican fruit salad using sweet honey, fresh lime, and chili lime seasoning. The salad is a great option for summer potlucks, BBQs, or a nacho bar party with a Mexican theme.

Photo Credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

24. Chili Lime Pepitas

A bowl of chili lime pepitas.

Toss crispy roasted pumpkin seeds in a seasoning that’s the perfect blend of tangy and sweet. Sprinkle them on top of the nachos or serve them on the side.

Photo Credit: The Honour System

What to Serve with Nachos – Soup and Stew!

Adding a comforting bowl of soupstew, or chili to nachos is a huge hit, especially during the cooler winter months.

25. Birria Con Consume

A bowl of birria con consome.

Take simple nachos up a notch by piling them high with vegetable or meat toppings. 

One of my favorites will always be mouthwatering beef birria con consome – a flavorful blend of tender beef, rich broth, and aromatic spices.

26. Chili Con Carne

Chili in a small bowl.

Top it with fresh onion, cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado slices. Serve the chili with warm corn tortillas, tostadas, or scoop it up with the chips from nachos.

27. White Chicken Chili

Instant pot white chicken chili in a small bowl.

Ladle creamy white chicken chili over the top of nachos or serve it in a bowl on the side for a perfect balance of flavor.

More Chili Recipes:

28. Pozole Rojo

A bowl of pozole rojo.

Authentic Instant Pot pozole rojo is a rich stew made from tender pork, hominy, and a savory chili-based broth. Pile your bowl high with fresh toppings like radishes, cilantro, cabbage, onions, and Mexican oregano.

Eat it as a main dish or shred the leftover pork to make flavorful pulled pork nachos. 

29. Black Bean Soup

A bowl of black bean soup.

Guatemalan black bean soup is creamy, packed with flavor, and hearty enough to be a full meal, or it’s a perfect appetizer to serve before a delicious plate of nachos

Photo Credit: A Taste for Travel

30. Picadillo Soup

Picadillo soup in a bowl.

Start your meal with Mexican picadillo soup, a comforting dish with classic picadillo flavor.

Best Main Courses for Nachos

31. Carne Asada Tacos

Three carne asada tacos with toppings.

Tender and juicy carne asada is marinated and grilled to perfection to make the best street-style carne asada tacos.

For a more complete meal, try this restaurant-style carne asada platter.

32. Homemade Tacos with Ground Beef

Homemade tacos with ground beef on a plate.

Prepare easy homemade tacos with ground beef for your next weeknight meal, complete with all your favorite toppings.

Or you can spread the taco meat onto homemade tortilla chips with cheddar cheese to make the ultimate nachos.

33. Carnitas

Instant Pot carnitas tacos on a plate.

Fill a warm tortilla with tender melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder and top it with fresh cilantro and red onion for Instant Pot carnitas.

34. Chicken Tinga

Three up close chicken tinga tacos.

Chicken tinga is spicy shredded chicken with chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, tomatoes, and onions – perfect for tacos, quesadillas, and nachos.

Photo Credit: Joyous Apron

What Dessert to Serve with Nachos?

Churros are a perfect dessert to serve with nachos. Drizzle the cinnamon sugar-coated and deep-fried pastries with warm caramel or rich chocolate sauce. For a lighter, reach for fruit salsa with diced strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, and kiwi, tossed with agave nectar and lime juice. You can also serve the nachos with a scoop of ice cream, like vanilla, dulce de leche, or cinnamon.

35. Plantains

Air fried plantains on a plate.

Air Fried Plantains are a quick and easy side dish or dessert to make, and they pair well with everything from Instant Pot beef stew to tacos and nachos.  

36. Kelewele

A bowl of fried plantain slices.

Fried plantains are irresistibly sweet and savory – learn how to cook plantains or Ghanaian-inspired kelewele. Fry them in a large skillet until perfectly caramelized and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

More Dessert Ideas:

  • Tres Leches Cake
  • Mexican Rice Pudding
  • Flan
  • Fruit Empanada
  • Fried Ice Cream

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Nachos are best served hot and fresh. However, if you end up with leftovers, wrap them in plastic and keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers in the microwave or oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best meat for nachos?

• Ground Beef: Ground beef is a classic choice, but you can use ground turkey or ground chicken for a light option. 

Chicken: Shredded or diced chicken works well, especially when seasoned with warm Mexican spices or simmered in salsa. You can use rotisserie chicken for convenience or cook and shred chicken breasts or thighs.

Pulled Pork: Slow-cooked pulled pork adds a rich, smoky flavor to nachos.

• Steak: Thinly sliced and marinated steak, such as flank or skirt steak, is a solid option, but you can also use grilled carne asada. 

Chuck Roast: I love preparing a heaping pot of birria con consome and using some of the leftovers to make nachos.

• Chorizo: Chorizo is a staple in many authentic Mexican food recipes. Crumble the spicy sausage over nachos for additional flavor. 

• Brisket: Use juicy leftover beef brisket to make an out-of-the-box BBQ-flavored nacho plate, or try my brisket sliders.

What’s the best cheese for nachos?

Use traditional options like Velveeta, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, Colby, or pepper jack. Try queso blanco, a mild and creamy cheese used in Mexican cuisine with a smooth and silky texture once melted. Oaxaca is a type of cheese with a stringy texture, similar to mozzarella, making it an excellent choice for nachos.

For the best results, consider mixing a few different kinds of cheese, or you can prepare a creamy cheese sauce by melting the cheese with milk or cream for a gooey, ballpark nacho cheese sauce.

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