These tasty Ground Beef Nachos are the best and easiest homemade nachos. Chili seasoned ground beef sits on top of melted and gooey cheese and is topped with crunchy, fresh vegetables and herbs.
Mix and match toppings with my tips, and learn what the best tortilla chips for nachos are to set you up for success.
Ultimate Ground Beef Nachos
This resident Texan loves a good nacho platter. And let me tell you, there are many different kinds of nachos. The nachos that mix queso and ground beef, like Mattito's. The nachos perfectly piled on individual chips, inspired by Taco Diner. The nachos with beans and cheese, shredded lettuce optional, like E-Bar. But what if you could combine all of these for nachos supreme?! You'd get this recipe.
I love this recipe because:
- It's the perfect weeknight or weekend meal when you're too tired to put in a lot of effort.
- Nachos are so crowd-pleasing and can be catered to lots of different diets.
- You can customize them to be gluten free or vegetarian easily.
- They're the perfect game day appetizer.
Best Tortilla Chips for Nachos
Good tortilla chips are an essential part of nachos. They're the foundation for the house...and we all know what happens when you have a bad foundation. This means avoid thin chips that break really easily.
Some favorites: A Texas favorite of mine is G. Cardona which can be found at HEB and Whole Foods Texas. Santitas Yellow Corn work well and have a great price point. On The Border also has a thick chip with good corn flavor that works well with nachos.
Pass on these: Xochitl has great flavor, but I find them a little thin for nachos. Their "dipper" version is better. Whole Foods brand lacks flavor and texture, same with Trader Joe's.
Here are just some ingredients that I used for these ground beef nachos, but feel free to edit it to what works for you.
- Ground Beef - I like to use 85/15 which I find the most flavorful, but any ground beef will work. You could also use ground turkey or chicken.
- Chili powder - Essential for the spice mixture, I like to use one with limited ingredients (and no cocoa powder) like Morton and Basset or Frontier. This mixes well with the other spices like cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
- American Cheese - Did you know that most Tex-Mex restaurants use American cheese in their queso? This is because it melts so beautifully and has a really mild flavor. I like to use Boar's Head or Andrew and Everett White American Cheese, which are typically sold at the deli counter. Ask for it to be cut "block style" to make for easy, at-home grating. If you can't find either of those or don't have a deli counter, Horizon has a good one too.
- Black Beans - I use low sodium black beans in a can. Just drain them and rinse, then pat dry.
- Corn - I like to use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn and keep it in the freezer so I can whip these up anytime.
- Radish - Love these for an extra crunch!
- Cilantro - Omit if you're one of those people who can't stand the taste!
- Peppers - Bell pepper will work, but I just used thin-sliced, sweet mini peppers here.
How to Make
It's really important to layer the ground beef nachos in this order to avoid sogginess, or cooking toppings that need to be left fresh.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Begin by making the seasoned ground beef, which also works well in tacos! You can also add the corn in this step if you don't mind them being mixed, or just use the same pan to heat it up after if you want to layer it.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Layer a large amount of tortilla chips on top.
- Use a cheese grater to grate the cheese and spread it evenly on top of the chips. If your cheese comes in slices, you can remove the separation paper and smoosh them together to grate them, or tear the cheese and divide it evenly on top of the chips.
- Top the cheese with seasoned ground beef, black beans and corn and bake for 5-7 minutes until cheese has fully melted.
- Sprinkle the peppers, radish, cilantro, and any other fresh vegetables on top. Serve hot!
Want to make this vegetarian? Leave off the chili-spiced ground beef!
Here are a few of my favorite additional toppings for ground beef nachos.
- Other types of cheese - Mix up the cheese with another cheese that's easy to melt, like mozzarella, which will give you those beautiful stringy cheese pulls.
- Substitute the black beans for refried beans to make this more like the Taco Bell Nachos Supreme.
- Shallots, which have a lighter flavor than onion.
- Sliced Jalapeno or Poblano Peppers...basically any peppers.
- If you're sensitive to sour cream, like I am, place cottage cheese in a food processor and blend till smooth.
- My salsa verde recipe or regular salsa, both in my cookbook. Or a good store-bought salsa.
- Mango Salsa
If you're looking for a sauce to top these with, I recommend my ranch dressing (just use smoked paprika for a southwestern taste), or my mozzarella queso recipe. Just drizzle a little bit over the top right before serving to avoid soggy nachos!
What Goes with Nachos for Dinner?
If you want to serve these for dinner and need other side dishes or want other appetizers that complement these nachos, check out these recipes.
Easy Tex Mex Recipes
For more easy recipes like these ground beef nachos supreme check out these:
Ground Beef Nachos Supreme
Seasoned Ground Beef
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn
- ½ 12oz bag tortilla chips
- ½ pound good quality American cheese, shredded (Boar's Head, Andrew & Everett, or Horizon)
- ½ cup low-sodium canned black beans
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup sliced peppers (sweet mini peppers for mild, jalapeño for hot)
- 2 radish, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add ground beef to a large pan over medium high heat and begin to cook till no longer pink about 5-6 minutes, breaking it up into small bits. Once cooked through, drain any excess fat and add the spices, stirring over medium heat till well-combined. Add ⅓ cup of water and bring to a simmer, until almost all the water has cooked off. Mix corn with the beef to defrost, or cook separately in the same pan once the beef is removed.
- Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the tortilla chips on top, then sprinkle with shredded American cheese. Layer the ground beef, beans, and corn. Bake for about 7-8 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Add the fresh toppings - cilantro, peppers, green onions, radish, and any sauces and serve immediately!
- Good quality American cheese is usually found in "block" form from the deli counter. Ask them to cut you a big piece so you can grate it on a cheese grater. If you can only find Horizon, tear into smaller pieces or remove the individual wrappers and smush them together to grate.
- For a faux sour cream, blend cottage cheese in a food processor and leave dollops on top of the nachos after baking.
This post was originally published August 27, 2020 and has been updated January 2022 with new pictures, step by step instructions, and pairing suggestions.