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Chili Cheese Nachos

5 from 5 votes
Time: 30 minutes
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This is the easiest and cheesiest Chili Cheese Nachos recipe you will ever make! They are piled high with crunchy tortilla chips, spicy chili, gooey cheese sauce, sour cream, and fresh vegetables.

Great for quick dinners, as a game day appetizer, or late night snacking!

For more hearty and cheesy appetizers, try my Cheesy Ground Beef Sliders, Pizza Dip with Pizza Dough Balls, Sloppy Joe Sliders, or Smoked Queso Dip! You may also like this Venison Goulash.

Baked loaded Chili Cheese Nachos on a large baking sheet.

There is nothing better than nachos, am I right?! They are versatile, easy, fun to eat, and so delicious. These Chili Cheese Nachos do not disappoint… you will love the addicting textures and flavors.

Why This Is The BEST Chili Cheese Nachos Recipe

  • Partially homemade for ease- This recipe is a balance between store-bought and fresh ingredients, along with added spices to make it easier than other recipes but still so delicious.
  • Make them your own by using your favorite tortilla chips and nacho toppings. The possibilities are endless and you are guaranteed to love them!
  • Create a Chili Cheese Nacho bar for parties and game day (details below on how to make it a success)!

Watch Me Make This Recipe In Under A Minute!

Ingredients In Chili Cheese Nachos

You’ll love how this recipe has “from scratch” taste with help from a few store-bought ingredients and delicious spices. Below is everything you need, plus a few notes and potential substitutions.

For the Chili:

  • Ground Beef: The leaner the ground beef, the better- I recommend 93/7 (7% fat content). You can also use ground turkey or ground chicken. No matter what you use, strain off the grease once the ground meat is browned.
  • Hot Dog Chili Sauce: I always buy Steve’s & Ed’s but feel free to use what you can find. Just make sure what you are using is hot dog chili sauce, there are a lot of sauces with chili in them but they are not created equally.
  • Chili Beans: I use Bush’s canned Kidney Chili Beans but any type of chili beans taste great (pintos, white beans, black beans, etc.) Again, just make sure they are labeled in mild chili sauce.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

For the Nachos:

  • Tortilla Chips: Corn tortilla chips work best because they are a stiffer chip that stands up to the moisture without becoming overly soggy.
  • Chili (prepared from above ingredients)
  • Queso Cheese Sauce: Queso tastes really great on these nachos. I use Pace brand but feel free to use your favorite liquid cheese sauce.
  • Sour Cream: This adds a creamy relief to the hearty chili cheese. Greek yogurt tastes great in it’s place.
  • Red Onion: Be sure the onion is diced into small bite sized pieces. You can also use green onion or white onion.
  • Jalapeno Slices: These are optional, but they do add a bright spicy note. If you want a less spicy option, try my Quick Pickled Jalapenos.
Ingredients. Tortilla chips, chili with ground beef, cheese sauce, jalapenos, sour cream, and red onion.

How to Make Chili Cheese Nachos

Here is a quick overview of how to make the Chili Cheese Nachos, the recipe card below will have more details.

  1. Make the Chili: Brown the ground beef, add the chili sauce, chili beans, and spices. Allow the chili to simmer and build flavor.
  2. Construct the Nachos: This is two layers of piled high deliciousness. Tortilla chips then chili and cheese sauce, more tortilla chips, more chili, and more cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Top with Toppings: Sour cream, red onion, and sliced jalapenos.
  4. Serve Immediately!

Make A Chili Cheese Nacho Bar For Game Day

One thing you’ll LOVE about these Chili Cheese Nachos is they can either be a weeknight dinner or an appetizer to feed a game day sized crowd. If you opt to make this recipe for a party, make a Chili Cheese Nacho Bar.

Place the cooked chili in one slow cooker and the cheese sauce in another small slow cooker on “keep warm” or “low” setting. In separate bowls have the tortilla chips, sour cream, red onion, and sliced jalapenos sitting out. This makes it easy for your guests to build their own Chili Cheese Nachos

If you want more nachos, try these BBQ nachos.

Fun Variations:

  • Use up leftover chili from soup night instead of making the chili.
  • Try other types of tortilla chips, or even homemade ones.
  • Add your favorite toppings- lettuce, diced tomato, bell peppers, and more.
Overhead view of a pan of Chili Cheese Nachos with more cheese sauce and jalapenos on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can I use shredded cheese?

Yes, of course. You may need to bake the nachos a few minutes longer so the cheese is melted and gooey. And keep in mind softer cheeses will be meltier than hard cheeses. I recommend using cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, or colby jack cheese.

How do I store leftover Chili Cheese Nachos?

I do not recommend storing leftovers, but if you need to make sure they are refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Just keep in mind the chips will get soggy from the moisture and become an unpleasant texture. Always eat these nachos hot out of the oven and immediately.

Close up of loaded nachos ready to eat.

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Loaded and baked Chili Cheese Nachos on a large baking sheet.

Chili Cheese Nachos

Elizabeth Swoish
These Chili Cheese Nachos are piled high with flavorful chili cheese deliciousness. You'll love how easy they are to make for dinner, as a snack, or a game day appetizer.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 6
Calories 472 kcal


For the Chili

For the Nachos

  • 1 bag corn tortilla chips
  • chili - from above ingredients
  • 1 cup queso cheese sauce - Pace Queso
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup red onion - diced in bite sized pieces
  • 1 jalapeno - sliced thinly


For the Chili

  • Heat saucepan over medium heat and add the ground beef. Stirring frequently, continue to cook the ground beef until browned, about 10 minutes.
    NOTE: If there is an excess of grease, strain it off prior to moving on.
  • Add the hot dog chili sauce, chili beans, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow the chili to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

For the Nachos

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scatter half the corn tortilla chips on the baking sheet. Top with half the chili and half the cheese sauce. Layer on the remaining chips, chili, and cheese as before.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until heated through.
  • Remove from oven and top with sour cream, red onion, and sliced jalapenos.
  • Serve immediately.



Make A Chili Cheese Nacho Bar For Game Day:

This makes it easy for your guests to build their own Chili Cheese Nachos
  • Place the cooked chili in one slow cooker and the cheese sauce in another small slow cooker on “keep warm” or “low” setting.
  • In separate bowls have the tortilla chips, sour cream, red onion, and sliced jalapenos sitting out. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on January 31st, 2023
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

5 thoughts on “Chili Cheese Nachos”

  1. 5 stars
    I have never looked for hot dog sauce and yep, it was at the store. The family loved everything about the nachos. This is a keeper recipe so I can make these again, but they will be perfect for parties.

  2. 5 stars
    What a super easy and amazing recipe! We all loved it and it is the perfect party pot-luck dish to bring, that is what we did, and everyone wanted the recipe. Crunch and delicious. Thank you


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