Mission Blog

How to Make the Perfect Nachos

April 12, 2021

Nachos are the ultimate snack food. Salty, crunchy chips layered with flavored meat and melty cheese with refreshing fresh toppings and dips. What more could you want?

Here are some tips for making the perfect nachos! 

The Chips

The chips are the base of your nacho creation. The two important factors to keep in mind when selecting your chip are shape and durability. Our Rounds Tortilla Chips can make chalupa-style nachos while handling all your toppings without being loaded down. Try these Shrimp and Chorizo Nachos or Bacon Jalapeno Nachos on our round chips. 

Photo: Mission Foods via missionfoods.com

The Strips Tortilla Chips also lie flat and work well to create nacho casserole dishes like in this Coney Dog Nacho recipe, while their thin shape keeps the mess at a minimum. 

Our Organic Corn Tortilla Chips (yellow, white, or blue) are hearty enough to hold a decent amount of toppings without breaking. Try these Chips with Beef and Chipotle Yogurt Sauce.

Photo: Mission Foods via missionfoods.com

Thin and Crispy Tortilla Chips work well with lighter toppings as used in this Super Nachos with Beans and Cheese recipe. 

The Cheese

If the chips are the base, the cheese is the heart of your nachos. You want to select a cheese that melts well when heated like cheddar or monterey jack. It is best to shred your own cheese as pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives that inhibit melting. 

You can also use one of our Cheese Dips or Salsa Con Queso or create your own nacho cheese dip using one of our Queso Recipes.

No dairy in your diet? Not to worry! Use dairy-free cheese to make these Loaded Vegan Nachos.

The Meat

Nachos are a perfect way to use leftover meat. Shredded, ground or chopped chicken, beef, or pork all make excellent toppings. You may want to slowly reheat the meat first before adding it to your nachos. That will ensure the meat gets hot at the same time that your cheese melts without burning your chips. 

Photo: Mission Foods via missionfoods.com

Here are some of our favorite nachos with meat recipes to try: Meat Lovers Loaded Nachos, Barbecue Pork Recipe, Nachos with Mexican Ground Beef and Olives  or Carnitas Nachos

Hot Toppings

Beans can be added to your meat toppings or offer a meat-free protein option. Both refried and whole beans work well. Peppers including jalapenos can be added for extra flavor and heat. Corn, olives, and onions can also be added.

Photo: Mission Foods via missionfoods.com

Cold Toppings

Some toppings are best added at the end or served on the side such as sour cream, fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, or lettuce. In our opinion, no nacho plate is complete without a side of fresh guacamole. In fact, sometimes the guacamole is the star of your nacho show like in this Tequila Guacamole and Cheese Nacho recipe. 


Any cook will tell you that the real secret to good nachos is layering. No one wants to be late to the party and be left with the chips at the bottom that have zero toppings on them! Instead, put down a layer of chips and add your toppings making sure that no chip is left un-topped. Then place another layer of chips and add toppings to those as well. 

Check out a demonstration of this layering technique on our Youtube channel as we show you How to Make Loaded Nachos. 

Cooking Methods

Nachos only need a few minutes in the oven to heat up your toppings and melt the cheese. You can also make them in an air fryer using aluminum foil. 

If you are using a baking sheet, put down a layer of parchment paper or aluminum foil to avoid cheese burning on the pan and for an easy transfer to a plate. Oven safe plates can be put right into the oven and then served on a second plate or trivet. Just make sure to warn your guests of the hot top plate. The same method can be used with oven safe skillets or cast iron pans. 

Photo: Mission Foods via missionfoods.com

Looking for something more seasonal? Try our Autumn Nachos or Thanksgiving Leftover Nachos

Now you have the basics of how to make a perfect nacho snack! Plus all the recipes above to inspire your creativity. Found one you love or want to share your own favorite nacho making tip? Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram


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