If you’ve ever been disappointed by restaurant nachos, you should definitely make your own at home. These BBQ chicken nachos are loaded with tender chicken, BBQ sauce, and a super simple homemade cheese sauce. I use several shortcuts like rotisserie chicken and store-bought sauce so they’re easy to make. You’ll never order nachos at a restaurant again!
I don’t tend to throw stones when other people cook for me (I usually err on the side of gratefulness), but when those other people are employed by a restaurant charging higher than necessary prices I tend to look around for some figurative rocks when my expectations aren’t meant. Case in point: nachos. There is nothing more disappointing than poorly executed nachos and, unfortunately, I’ve had some bad nacho experiences.
Partially melted cheese, thoughtlessly assembled layers, cold toppings that are supposed to be hot, and stale chips are only a few offenses I’ve encountered. When you can’t pull a single chip from the pile because the cheese has melded a bunch of chips into one rubbery mess that’s when you lose me. I’m sure there are many reasons for these issues (stressed staff, busy kitchens, and too much time under a heat lamp are probably a few) and all of those reasons are reason enough to make your own nachos at home. In this case, BBQ Chicken Nachos, with all the toppings.
These easy chicken nachos are a super-sized appetizer, snack or even dinner that are perfectly layered and fully loaded with tender chicken, BBQ sauce, creamy cheese sauce, and shredded cheese. And (bonus!) they are not complicated to make. Make them for game-day, make them for a party or make them for a random Friday night. You’ll never go out for nachos again.
The Easiest Way to Make BBQ Chicken Nachos
There are a few things that make these chicken nachos a breeze to make: rotisserie chicken, store-bought BBQ sauce, and a super-easy cheddar cheese sauce that takes about five minutes to make. Short-cuts are our friends!
What I love about rotisserie chicken nachos like this one I’m sharing today is you get flavorful, tender chicken all for the price of picking up a rotisserie chicken at the store and shredding it at home.
Even though you buy one hot, you can pop your rotisserie chicken in the fridge (keep it wrapped or in an airtight container) and it will keep for three to four days.
When you’re ready to make the nachos just pull the meat off the bones, discard the skin and shred the chicken with your hands. If your chicken is hot use two forks to shred it.
Store-Bought BBQ Sauce
If you have an old family recipe for the best ever BBQ sauce, by all means, make a batch for these nachos. Also, will you send me the recipe?
For the rest of us, use your favorite store-bought sauce. My go-to favorite is Stubb’s Original, but use what you like.
Super Easy Cheddar Cheese Sauce
The only cooking we’re doing (besides popping the assembled chicken nachos in the oven) is this creamy white cheddar cheese sauce. You need four ingredients and less than five minutes to make it…
- In a small saucepan, combine shredded white cheddar cheese with one teaspoon of cornstarch. The cornstarch helps the cheese melt smoothly so it doesn’t end up with a gritty or stringy texture. If you don’t feel like shredding cheese, use pre-shredded. I’ve tested it and it works great in this sauce.
- Add some heavy cream and salt and place the pan over medium heat. As the sauce warms up the cheese will melt, so stit until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
- The cheese sauce will be pretty thin at first. Take it off the heat and, as it stands, it will thicken up.
More Toppings for Chicken Nachos
Once you have your tortilla chips, shredded rotisserie chicken, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese sauce prep the rest of the toppings:
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Diced jalapeno
- Finely chopped red onion
Assemble the BBQ Chicken Nachos
Now for the fun part: assembling the BBQ chicken nachos. With all the drizzling it helps to channel your inner Jackson Pollack 🎨
Grab a large sheet pan, line it with foil and you’re ready to go. It’s not rocket science, but here’s how I layer my nachos so every chip has a little bit of all the toppings…
- Start by spreading half of the tortilla chips in an even layer and top them with half of the shredded chicken. Drizzle half of the BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken.
- Drizzle half of the cheddar cheese sauce over the top of the BBQ sauce.
- Sprinkle half of the jalapeno and red onion over the top of the sauce.
- Spread half of the shredded cheddar cheese over the top to finish the first layer.
One more time for the cheap sheets!
- For the second layer, spread the rest of the chips over the top of the first layer in an even layer.
- Top the chips with the rest of the chicken and drizzle more BBQ sauce and cheese sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle the rest of the jalapeno and red onion on top.
- Top with the rest of the shredded cheddar.
Bake the nachos: Pop the sheet pan nachos into a 375°F oven and bake them for about 10 minutes or so. Check on them and once the shredded cheese has melted and the top layer of chips are toasty they’re ready to serve. I like to squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top along with some chopped parsley.
How to Reheat Nachos
These nachos are best hot from the oven, but if for some reason you have leftovers you can reheat nachos in a 300°F oven until the chips crisp up a bit and the cheese is warmed up.
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More Snacks and Appetizers
If you’re like me and more into the food than the game at game-day get-togethers you might like to try these other snacks and appetizers, too.
- Garlic Parmesan Fries
- Sweet and Spicy Meatball Bites
- Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- Crispy Baked Chicken Sliders
These BBQ chicken nachos are loaded with tender chicken, BBQ sauce, and a super simple homemade cheese sauce. I use several shortcuts like rotisserie chicken and store-bought sauce so they’re easy to make. These nachos are great for parties, game-days, or just your average Friday night 🙂
For the Cheese Sauce
- 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Nachos
- 1 (11-ounce) bag tortilla chips
- 10 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken (see note)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (I use Stubb’s Original)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large jalapeno, stem, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
- Make the cheese sauce: Place the white cheddar cheese in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the top and toss to coat the cheese evenly. Add the cream and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese has melted. Turn the heat to low. The cheese sauce will be very thin, but will thicken as it stands.
- Assemble the nachos: Spread half of the tortilla chips in an even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle half of the shredded chicken over the top. Drizzle half of the BBQ sauce over the top followed by half of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese, jalapeno, and onion evenly over the top. Spread the rest of the chips over the top, followed by the rest of the BBQ sauce, cheese sauce, jalapeno, onion and shredded cheddar.
- Bake the nachos for ten minutes or until they are warmed through and the shredded cheese is melted. Squeeze the lime juice over the top of the nachos followed by the chopped parsley. Serve hot.
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/8
- Calories: 591
- Sugar: 15.7g
- Sodium: 870.6mg
- Fat: 35g
- Saturated Fat: 16.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.8g
- Carbohydrates: 46.2g
- Fiber: 2.5g
- Protein: 23.5g
- Cholesterol: 106mg
Keywords: BBQ chicken nachos, chicken nachos recipe, BBQ nachos
The nutrition information in this recipe is an estimate only and was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.