Satisfying. That’s the word for these nachos. Basic, yes; merely four ingredients make up the basis of this dish; but endlessly versatile and oh-so satisfying.

We’ve all had our share of nachos – they’ve practically become as American as hot dogs and apple pie. They are the easy bar food that everyone can agree upon; the post-soccer fuel that you shovel in with abandon; the football-watching crowd favorite. But how often have you had really good nachos? The kind with a perfect ratio of chip to bean to cheese? The kind with warm, flavorful beans, crunchy chips, tangy sharp cheddar cheese and all of your favorite fixings? The kind that make you moan with every bite, demolish an entire platter in an embarrassingly short amount of time, and contemplate running out to the market in the middle of a snowstorm for more cheese so you can make another batch? These are that kind of nachos.

Here’s a suggestion: don’t skimp on the ingredients. Don’t think “it’s only nachos” and buy the cheapo generic tortilla chips, Velveeta-esque cheese food and refried beans-in-a-can. You can get that at any corner bar. Use your best ‘gourmet’ fiery salsa. Pickled peppers that you scored at the farmer’s market or put up yourself. Pastured, small farm, organic sharp cheddar and homemade frijoles refritos made with heirloom beans. Treat your nachos with love and they will return the favor. Trust me – it’s worth it.

Adapted from Nachos by Elise at Simply Recipes




For serving

  • salsa or pico de gallo
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped cilantro
  • guacomole
  • sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Choose a dish that is oven-to-table ready. I chose a deep-dish 10-inch pie dish; the amounts above reflect this dish, but your amounts will vary depending on the size baker you use.
  3. Line the bottom of your dish with tortilla chips in a layer that is 2 chips deep. Dollop refried beans over the chips, spreading with the back of a spoon so that the layer of chips is reasonably evenly covered. Generously dash Tabasco on top of the bean layer. Add another layer of chips that is 1 chip deep. Top this layer with grated cheese, then top the cheese with sliced, pickled jalapenos.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are warmed through, the cheese is just beginning to brown, and the smell is so heavenly you think you can’t stand it for one more minute.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve hot, in the hot dish (which helps to keep the refried beans warm), alongside your favorite accompaniments. Try to wait at least 10 minutes before you decide to make the next batch.

Serves 2. (Just keeping it real).


  1. This is a basic nacho recipe that can be adapted ad infinitum.  Sliced black olives or browned ground beef are classic additions. I think roasted peppers and corn would be fantastic on these nachos. You could even skip the refried beans and go with lightly mashed black beans. Go crazy. It’s your stomach.
  2. These could be 100% local with homemade tortilla chips and Cayuga Organics beans.


Don’t. The chips will get soggy, the beans will get cold.. eww.  Make smallish portions and assemble and bake more if you need ’em.


Year round.



  1. I’m just making a ‘version’ of these now for the big Giants game 😉 I’ve been fantasizing about this photo/these nachos ever since you first posted it! I didn’t have all of the ingredients in the house, but I’m trying to copy them as best I can. Thanks for inspiring me! Yum!

    • It’s hard to go wrong with nachos: just throw any ole’ think you like on there. It’s sure to be good. As a New Yorker, I suppose I’ll have to root for the Giants. But as a born-and-bred New Englander, I’ll have to assume that whoever wins the Giants game will eventually be crushed by the Pats. 🙂 Enjoy the game!

  2. Oh my goodness, I want to eat the picture 🙂 The microwave popcorn I am currently eating is not cutting it. Thanks for the motivation to head back to the kitchen and do it properly. Happy cooking, Cheryl

Leave a Reply to katie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: