Easy Skillet Nachos

Side view of skillet nachos.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Either as a loaded appetizer or a main dish, these Easy Skillet Nachos are crowd-pleasing every time and totally customizable.

Skillet full of loaded nachos with sour cream and salsa in the background.

Who doesn’t love nachos? Really?

What are Nachos?

Nachos are considered a Tex-Mex appetizer.

The basic components are corn tortilla chips, cheese, and pickled jalapeños. However, any and everything can be added like beef, chicken, pork, olives. tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and so on.

Where did nachos originate?

Nachos originate in Northern Mexico. The story goes that a man named Ignacio Anaya created them out of necessity one day by frying fresh triangular-cut tortillas.

Close up view of freshly baked easy skillet nachos.

He then layered them with cheese and pickled jalapeños. He served them to his restaurant guests who absolutely loved them.

From there they grew in popularity and the rest is history.

Are nachos and tortilla chips the same thing?

Tortilla chips are the essential ingredient and base for making nachos.

How to make easy skillet nachos

Ingredients needed for making skillet nachos: green onions, tortilla chips, tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, taco seasoning, cheeses, salsa, chili, ground beef, and sour cream.

Nachos can come together really quickly. Grate the cheeses and slice anything needing slicing like tomatoes and green onions.

I found it easier to buy already sliced olives and jalapeños. I am a fan of short cuts. But I do not recommend buying pre-shredded cheeses. The anti-caking agent used on that leaves a funny taste once heated.

Browned ground beef in a cast iron skillet with taco seasoning added.

Brown the ground beef, draining off any rendering then add the taco seasoning packet. Water is needed, but each packet is different. Follow your packet’s directions.

Once the beef is now taco meat, remove it from the skillet and set it aside. This is a one-pan meals, so I just wipe the cast iron out and assemble the nachos.

Side note: If you’re not a fan of packet taco seasonings, feel free to use a homemade blend. Here’s a recipe from my gal-pal Michelle over at The Complete Savorist. See the recipe notes below on using a homemade blend like hers.

Corn tortilla chips layered in a cast iron skillet topped with canned chili and taco meat.

Layer the corn chips in the bottom of the skillet. The entire bottom of the skillet needs to be covered but you don’t want to many on top of each other or you’ll have too many chips without any toppings…and we’re all about the goodies.

Spoon over about of the chili, getting is as evenly spread out as possible, then repeat with the taco meat.

Don’t want to use canned chili, please use your favorite homemade chili like my Awesome Chili

Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses over the chili and meat.

Sprinkle half of both of the cheeses. You can do this in layers or you can mix them. No hard and fast rule with this. Heck, add three types of cheeses if you like. This is a judgement-free zone friends.

Take care to work some of the shreds around the edges where there might not be any meat. This will give some melted cheese to those bites instead of plain chips.

Now to the fun part!

Sprinkle around the tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, and green onions. I usually only use the white parts on this bottom layer, but sometimes I just don’t care.

Confession: I totes forgot to buy fresh tomatoes when I ran to the store. This being January in Utah, fresh, home grown don’t exist.

So when I realized I forgot and loathed the idea of running back up to the store, I improvised with draining canned tomatoes. Worked like a peach!

A layer of tortilla chips in the skillet creating the top layer of easy nachos.

Pro-tip: Have someone who hates one of the ingredients?

Segment the nachos leaving a section free of the offending ingredient. That way they don’t have to pick it off and waste it. Or worse, that ingredient doesn’t leave its essence behind contaminating the bite for the eater.

Now we start all over again. Add the remaining corn tortilla chips over all the goodies in the cast iron skillet.

Chili and taco meat on top of tortilla chip for creating the top layer of skillet nachos.

Spoon over the remaining chili and taco meat. Remember to take care to fill in those nooks and crannies. Nobody likes a plain chip when their after a bite of nacho.

The remaining cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, olives, and green onions are added to complete the nachos.

Sprinkle the remaining cheeses as evenly as possible.

Then add the remaining everything, all the tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, and green onions. I do save a few of the green onions for garnish after it comes out of the oven. The cooked and raw onions have different tastes and I like both.

Pop the skillet in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes or until everything has warmed through and the cheese is all melted. Serve with sour cream, your favorite salsa, and enjoy these easy skillet nachos.

Side view of skillet nachos loaded with toppings.
Close up view of loaded nachos in a cast iron skillet.
Print Recipe
5 from 20 votes

Easy Skillet Nachos

Either as loaded appetizer or a main dish, these Easy Skillet Nachos are crowd-pleasing every time and totally customizable.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Nachos
Servings: 4
Calories: 1086kcal
Author: Ned Adams
Cost: $10


  • 12-inch cast iron skillet


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 oz. taco seasoning 1 packet
  • 8 oz tortilla chips give or take
  • 15 oz. chili 1 favorite brand can
  • cups cheddar cheese grated
  • cups Monterey Jack cheese grated; or pepper jack
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes halved; or 1-15 oz can diced, drained
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeños sliced
  • ¼ cup green onions 2; diced, green and white divided
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • On medium-high, heat the skillet.
  • Crumble the ground beef into the skillet, breaking up any large chunks and cook until done; about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the ground beef.
  • Add the taco seasoning and water per packet directions and cook as directed. (see notes)
  • Once cooked, remove beef from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
  • Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
  • Layer half the alloted tortilla chips into the bottom of the skillet.
  • Spoon over half of the chili and taco meat.
  • Sprinkle half of both cheeses evenly over the chili and taco meat.
  • Spoon half of the tomatoes, olives, and jalapeños over the cheese.
  • Sprinkle the majority of the white parts of the green onions.
  • Evenly layer the remaining tortilla chips in the skillet.
  • Spoon the remaining chili and taco meat over the chips.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the beef and chili.
  • Spoon over the remaining tomatoes, olives, and jalapeños over the cheese.
  • Sprinkle the remaining white parts of the green onions and most of the green, reserving a few for fresh garnishing.
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
  • Garnish with the remaining green onions.
  • Serve hot with sour cream and salsa.


This recipe is labeled for 4 servings as a main dish, however, as an appetizer it can serve 6-8.

Adaptations for making nachos.

The olives, tomatoes, and jalapeños can be added after baking, if desired. 
Canned diced tomatoes that have been fully drained can be substituted for fresh tomatoes, if desired. 
Refried beans can be substituted for canned chili.
Homemade taco seasoning can be used. If so, add up to 2 tbsp. of the homemade mixture, ¾-1 cup water. I have found ½ cup tomato sauce with ¼ cup water really gives the meat a lovely depth of flavor. 


Calories: 1086kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 75g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 2428mg | Potassium: 1187mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3581IU | Vitamin C: 163mg | Calcium: 840mg | Iron: 7mg

Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Did you try this recipe?Leave me a comment and rating below or Tag @DutchOvenDaddy on Instagram to show us your photos!

This post has been updated from its original May 2, 2017 publishing with new photographs, content, and updated recipe card. This recipe was inspired by and adapted from I Wash, You Dry.

Skillet nachos originally published in May 2017
Originally published May 2, 2017 photo of Easy Skillet Nachos
28 replies
  1. John Morgan
    John Morgan says:

    I just discovered this blog and love it!

    This nachos dish looks incredibly delicious! My wife thinks so too so I’m hoping we’ll be trying it very soon. I’m a terrible cook but with these detailed instructions and illustrations I may try it myself if my wife doesn’t do so soon.

    We’re pretty new at cast iron cooking so I’m wondering about preheating the skillet in the oven. How long do you pre heat the skillet? How do you know when it’s at the right temperature?

    I don’t know if questions can be asked on this venue and this is the first time I’ve ever commented on a blog but thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask just in case.


    • Ned Adams
      Ned Adams says:

      Thank you so much for discovering DutchOvenDaddy.com! These nachos are one of my family’s favorite and are so versatile because you can alter the toppings. This recipe does not require preheating the skillet in the oven. Just layer it up and you will be set. Happy to help answer any questions you may have along your cast iron journey!

  2. Phil Maynard
    Phil Maynard says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made these 3 or 4 times so far this year and going to make them again this week. I don’t fix anything I don’t like more than once. I use a #14 skillet.

  3. Dana
    Dana says:

    5 stars
    We absolutely LOVED these nachos! They’re beautifully loaded with all the right toppings/textures/flavors. Better than any nacho platter I’ve had at a restaurant, where they seem to be lacking. Will totally be making this over the weekend for game day!

  4. Ieva
    Ieva says:

    5 stars
    It’s like you read my mind and put all my favourite things on top of those tortilla chips! Delicious is an understatement!

  5. Gina
    Gina says:

    5 stars
    I can’t even tell you how fast my husband and I ate these nachos up! I’m going to be making this nacho recipe often!

  6. Gianne
    Gianne says:

    5 stars
    They are the perfect snack or meal for any occasion. The combination of gooey cheese, crunchy chips, and flavorful toppings is simply irresistible. Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make!


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