Nachos are one of our favorite snacks — you can't beat the cheesy, meaty, crunchy layers of goodness. So when we hear about breakfast nachos, we couldn't wait to dig in. And trust us, this is one breakfast dish that's worthy of getting out of bed early for! Imagine nachos upgraded with eggs and bacon, and for real delicious twist, you can pile it all on tater tots or even waffle fries instead of chips if you'd like. Sounds good, doesn't it? Keep reading for tips on how to make breakfast nachos and two recipes that deliver easy deliciousness.
What are breakfast nachos?
Classic breakfast nachos feature layers of tortilla chips, cheese, scrambled or fried eggs, sautéed bell peppers and sausage or bacon that are baked and finished with fresh topping like tomatoes and cilantro. That said, the dish is easy to customize by swapping in your favorite ingredients. We love using tater tots or waffle fries for a base instead of tortilla chips to make the dish extra hearty, and it's also a great way to use up last bits of leftovers like pulled pork or clear out the fridge of extra veggies.
How to layer breakfast nachos for crunchy results
Rather than randomly piling on ingredients, dietitian Amber Dixon, RD, suggests this layering order to prevent mushy nachos:
Arrange tortilla chips, tater tots or waffle fries in a single layer on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. (Note: If using tater tots or waffle fries, make sure they're cooked and crispy before placing the ingredients on top.)
Top the chip or potato base with protein such as scrambled eggs and/or meat. (If using a fried egg, make it a saute pan, then add at end with cold ingredients.)
Add vegetables of your choices like roasted bell peppers, sautéed onions or diced tomatoes.
Spoon any sauces or drained beans on top of veggies.
Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese.
Bake until golden brown.
Finish with cold ingredients like plain yogurt, salsa or guacamole.
Bonus secret to extra-cheesy breakfast nachos
Along with the crunchy base and tender toppings, we love nachos for that stretchy cheese pull that happens when take a piece. Luckily, it's easy to create this effect. The secret? Use two kinds of cheeses. "A mix of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack gives a great flavor and melt," Dixon says. That's because the cheddar adds delicious sharpness that's perfectly balanced by the mild creaminess of the Monterey Jack.
2 yummy breakfast nachos recipes
Here are two recipes for breakfast nachos: one classic and another with a twist. Give them a go the next time you're looking for a hearty dish to enjoy in the morning or any time of the day!
Classic Breakfast Nachos
This recipe comes from Dixon, who notes you can use regular chips — but suggests whole-grain tortilla chips for a healthier spin. "Opt for whole grain tortilla chips to add fiber and keep you feeling full," she says. "They also hold up well under the weight of toppings."
Whole-grain or regular tortilla chips
4 large eggs, beaten
½ cup bell peppers, diced
½ cup onions, diced
½ cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup shredded cheese (½ cup each cheddar and Monterey Jack)
Optional toppings: avocado slices, green onions, salsa and/or Greek yogurt
Total time: 30 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Spread layer of tortilla chips on small baking sheet.
In pan, scramble eggs. Season to taste and set aside. Sauté the bell peppers and onions until tender. Scatter cooked eggs, veggies and diced tomatoes over chips, then sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Add desired toppings and serve immediately.
Southwestern Beef Breakfast Nachos
If you have a little more time to spare, try this recipe from Dagan Lynn, executive chef at the company Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. "This easy-to-make recipe uses tater tots instead of tortilla chips and is topped with beef bites, scrambled eggs, red pepper, Monterey Jack and enchilada sauce," he says. Yum!
12 oz. cooked beef (such as steak or pot roast), cut into bite-size pieces or shredded
3 cups frozen tater tots
1 cup green enchilada sauce
2 eggs, scrambled
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or equal parts Monterey Jack and cheddar)
Optional toppings: chopped green onions or parsley
Total time: 55 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Place tater tots in single layer on greased or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake according to package directions or until browned and crisped. Once baked, remove from oven and push potatoes close together in single layer so edges touch slightly.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F, unless already heated to temperature.
Evenly layer tater tots with cooked beef, eggs, bell pepper, enchilada sauce and cheese.
Return baking sheet to oven 12 to 15 minutes or until ingredients are heated through and cheese is melted. Garnish with green onions or parsley, if desired. Serve.
5 flavor ideas for breakfast nachos
For more ways to transform leftover ingredients into breakfast nachos, try these flavor suggestions.
1. BBQ Breakfast Nachos
Just before baking the nachos, top them with brisket, pulled pork or BBQ chicken. Once cooked, add more sweet and smoky flavors by drizzling the nachos with BBQ sauce.
2. Pizza Breakfast Nachos
When layering the nachos, use pizza sauce, pepperoni or cooked sausage and vegetables of your choice for pizza-inspired breakfast nachos.
3. Chili Cheese Breakfast Nachos
Spoon dollops of chili over the chips or tater tots prior to baking, and then sprinkle the cooked nachos with more cheese and chopped onions.
4. Spicy Breakfast Nachos
If you want breakfast nachos with a kick, top them with pickled jalapeños, spicy salsa or a few dashes of hot sauce before serving.
5. Tofu Scramble Breakfast Nachos
Swap scrambled eggs for this Tofu Scramble recipe to produce lighter and protein-filled breakfast nachos.
Click through for more inspired breakfast recipes: