Easy oven-baked beef nachos made with savory, seasoned ground beef and melty cheese layered over crunchy tortilla chips. Load up with your favorite nacho toppings for a quick and tasty meal or appetizer!
Why you’ll love it: Crunchy, cheesy, beefy homemade nachos are easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd on game day!
How long it takes: 20 minutes to prep, 10 to 12 minutes in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: a skillet, large sheet pan
Servings: 4 servings
Best Homemade Nachos With Ground Beef
On busy weeknights, nothing beats a tray of cheesy beef nachos served hot from the oven. These easy beef nachos are a fun family dinner or appetizer, loaded with savory seasoned ground beef and plenty of melty cheese. All it takes is about 10 minutes in the oven, and then you can get creative with toppings!
These nachos taste great topped with all the fixings: diced tomatoes and avocado, salsa, sour cream – anything you’d like. You’re going to love this simple yet super-flavorful recipe for the best homemade nachos.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Nachos Recipe
- Easy to make. This easy nachos recipe comes together in a flash. Simply sauté your taco beef in a skillet with some veggies, layer it over your tortilla chips, then bake.
- Fully loaded. You can be as creative as you’d like when it comes to topping your nachos. You can treat them like a taco, anything goes!
- Versatile. Whether you’re after a crowd-pleasing party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal, these savory ground beef nachos have you covered. They’re hearty enough as a main and shareable as a snack.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You’ll find a quick overview of the ingredients for homemade beef nachos below. Remember to scroll to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe instructions.
- Ground Beef – Hearty ground beef takes these homemade nachos from appetizer to main! I make my taco meat with lean ground beef (92%). Feel free to mix things up with half beef, half pork, or ground chicken or turkey. Keep reading for easy nachos variations.
- Onion and Green Pepper – To sauté with the beef for additional flavor. You’ll need one small onion and about half of a green pepper, diced up finely.
- Taco Seasoning – Use a package of your favorite store-bought seasoning, or make homemade taco seasoning. It’s super easy!
- Tortilla Chips – You’ll need one bag of your preferred brand of sturdy tortilla chips. Choose chips that are thick enough to hold up with the toppings. If you have time, make your own homemade tortilla chips in the air fryer!
- Cheese – I use a combination of grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. You can substitute another type of cheese or your own blend, see below.
What Cheese Is Best for Nachos?
The best types of cheese for nachos are freshly grated, melty varieties. I use a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar, but you can also try Pepper Jack, Colby, or a Mexican variety like queso blanco or Cotija cheese. The type of cheese and exact quantities you use on your nachos are flexible (cheese is an ingredient we measure with our hearts).
How to Make Beef Nachos in the Oven
While the oven preheats to a toasty 400ºF, line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. I also like to give the lined pan a quick coating of nonstick spray. Then, prepare a quick and easy ground beef mixture:
- Brown the beef. Add the beef to a large skillet with the diced pepper and onion. Saute the beef and veggies, stirring often, until the meat is browned and the onions are cooked through.
- Add seasoning. Next, stir in your taco seasoning and water. Most store-bought taco seasoning already contains thickeners. However, if you’re using homemade, sprinkle in a spoonful of flour at the same time as the seasoning to help thicken the beef mixture while it cooks.
- Cook. Continue to cook the beef until it’s well coated in seasoning, and the water is mostly absorbed or evaporated.
When your seasoned ground beef is cooked, you’re ready to layer and bake your beef nachos. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with tortilla chips. Take out your prepared baking pan and spread the tortilla chips over the pan in an even layer.
- Layer the cheese and beef. Next, sprinkle on half the shredded cheese, followed by the beef mixture, and more cheese.
- Bake. Pop your nachos into the oven at 400ºF and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Try not to overbake the nachos. All that’s left to do is to pile on your favorite nacho toppings (see below) and dig in.
What toppings do you put on nachos? The short answer: any toppings you like! I love these beef nachos garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, homemade salsa or pico de gallo, and dollops of sour cream. Plus, these easy ideas:
Tips for the Best Homemade Nachos
Keep these pro tips in mind for the best homemade nachos:
- Use the right tortilla chips. For best results, use thick-cut, sturdy tortilla chips when making nachos. Thin, crispy tortilla chips are more likely to break and become soggy under heavier toppings.
- Grate the cheese fresh and by hand. Storebought pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt nearly as smoothly as freshly grated cheese because of anti-caking additives.
- Use a different-sized pan. I use a jumbo 11 x 17 inch sheet pan, but you can bake these nachos on a 9 x 13 inch baking pan if that’s what you have on hand.
- Serve nachos right away. These beef nachos taste the best when they’re fresh and hot from the oven!
I like to use my “sandwich” method when layering nachos. It starts with a layer of tortilla chips topped with cheese, then beef, then more cheese. This ensures that every bite is the perfect amount of beefy and cheesy.
Nachos take approximately 10 to 12 minutes at 400ºF. Keep an eye on them while they bake and take them out once they’re browned at the edges and the cheese is bubbling.
It could be that you used thin tortilla chips, or it could also be that you didn’t let enough water evaporate from the beef mixture before assembling your nachos. Give the beef enough time to cook, and serve the nachos right after baking.
Make These Nachos Your Own
Looking for more ways to turn these baked nachos into a dish the whole family will love? Try these easy beef nachos variations:
- Make your own tortilla chips. It’s quick and easy in the air fryer (recipe linked in the ingredients earlier), or you can make baked tortilla chips while the oven is hot. All you need is corn tortillas and a little oil or oil spray.
- Give these beef nachos a spicy kick: Sprinkle hot sauce into the beef mixture. You could also use cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Or, trade Monterey Jack for Pepper Jack cheese.
- For heartier beef nachos, stir canned black beans or pinto beans into the beef mixture at the end of cooking. Remember to rinse and drain your canned beans beforehand.
- Make chicken nachos. For a leaner option, swap ground chicken for the ground beef. You could also top your nachos with leftover salsa chicken.
- Use Doritos in place of regular tortilla chips. Use any flavor you’d like to give your nachos a fun twist.
- For a vegetarian version, try my recipe for vegetarian nachos drizzled with creamy cilantro lime dressing.
What to Serve With Beef Nachos
Wondering what to have with your beef nachos? We love nachos as an easy appetizer served with a side of corn salsa or refried bean dip. A big tray of nachos makes the perfect starter on Game Day before I bring out a batch of my favorite beef chili and pub-style chili lime chicken wings with dipping sauce.
As a meal, nachos make a great addition to taco night. Serve next to healthy ground turkey tacos with a side of zesty Mexican rice. For a lighter option, try a taco salad. Of course, all this Tex-Mex energy pairs deliciously with a homemade pineapple margarita!
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
- Storing. Nachos are best served hot right from the oven. If you have leftovers, store them airtight in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 days. The chips will become soggier the longer they sit, though. To reheat, spread leftover nachos onto a baking sheet and warm them in the oven at 350ºF.
- Freezer/Make Ahead. While you can’t freeze baked nachos, you can prepare the ground beef mixture ahead and freeze it airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost the beef in the fridge before assembling the nachos as directed.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this nachos recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #33. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (92/8)
- ½ cup finely diced onion (1 small onion)
- ½ cup finely diced green pepper (about ½ of a bell pepper)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or 1.25 ounce package)
- ¼ cup water
- 8 to 10 ounces tortilla chips (one standard size bag)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, more if desired
- 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, more if desired
- Fresh cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapeños for serving
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a 11 x 17-inch sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, if desired, for easy clean up. Spray pan, foil, or parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion, and green pepper to the skillet. Cook, breaking up meat and stirring frequently, until meat is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in taco seasoning (see note) and ¼ cup water. Cook until most of the water has evaporated and meat is coated with seasoning.
- Spread the tortilla chips in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Top with half of cheese (either kind, or a mix of both), then the cooked beef mixture and then the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve immediately with desired toppings.
- For a spicier dish, add a few dashes of hot sauce to the beef mixture, or use pepper jack cheese instead of Monterey jack.
- For heartier nachos, stir a can (15 oz.) of rinsed and drained beans (black or pinto) into the beef mixture when it’s done cooking.
- If you use taco seasoning without a thickener, add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at the same time you add the taco seasoning.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.