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Skillet Beef Nachos

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If you’re craving something different for dinner or need a new game day recipe that EVERYONE will love, you’ve got to make these Skillet Beef Nachos! These ground beef nachos hit the spot every time, with the crispy toasted chips and the flavorful cheesy nacho toppings.

This is a great gluten-free dinner or appetizer! I also include tips for making this healthier or vegetarian, if you prefer.

nacho skillet topped with garnish

We typically eat somewhat healthy, but sometimes a dinner of cheesy beef nachos just hits the spot like nothing else can. This easy nacho recipe with ground beef is great for a casual family dinner, with everyone piling crispy cheesy beef nachos onto their plates and enjoying a change in routine.

This also makes a great game day appetizer that everyone loves! It comes together in just under a half hour if you get all your ingredients out quickly and read the recipe all the way through before beginning.

Related recipe: Taco burgers with salsa

Ready to make these? Grab your ingredients!

ingredients for beef nachos with doritos

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1.5 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1.5 tsp Cajun seasoning (I absolutely love this one, but this one from Badia is good too)
  • ½ cup canned tomato puree or tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup shredded yellow or white cheddar cheese (or more, if you like things cheesy!)
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 large bag corn chips (such as Doritos or Tostitos)
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

You’ll also need:

How to make this in one skillet

Here’s the game plan to make this in one skillet: You cook some of the onion and the ground beef in the skillet with the Cajun seasoning and tomato sauce. Then you set that aside onto a plate and layer the nachos and the beef and shredded cheese, then you bake.

Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? Get one here! They’re fairly inexpensive and last literally forever. Or you can make these nachos by cooking the ground beef in a regular skillet and then transferring the ground beef to a 9×13 baking dish lined with nachos and following the instructions below.

How to make skillet nachos:

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1: In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil on high heat.  Add ⅔ of the chopped white onion and sauté for few minutes until the onion turn golden brown. 

sautéing onion in a skillet

Step 2: Add the ground beef, corn starch, and Cajun seasoning to the pan. Continue to stir fry until the beef is fully cooked, using a spatula to break up the ground beef. 

cooking ground beef in a skillet

Step 3: Add the tomato puree and cook for another 2-3 minutes, make sure to coat the beef with tomato sauce completely. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove the ground beef onto a large plate or a heat-proof bowl, and carefully wipe the skillet with a damp paper towel to clean it a little (it doesn’t have to be clean).

adding tomato sauce to ground beef in a skillet

Step 4: Place the corn chips in in the pan in 1 layer, followed by half of the cooked ground beef mixture.

tortilla chips topped with cooked ground beef in a skilet

Then add half of the shredded cheddar cheese. 

tortilla chips, ground beef, onions, and cheese in a cast iron skillet

Layer the remaining beef and cheese on top.

ground beef nacho skillet ready to bake

Step 5: Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top melts completely.

Step 6: Take the pan out of the oven, garnish with remaining chopped onion, fresh cilantro, and sliced jalapeno. Add more chips around the pan, if desired. Serve immediately, scooping up the cheesy ground beef mixture with chips.

hand scooping up beef nachos on a chip

Variation ideas:

→ Make it a little healthier with ground turkey or ground chicken.

→ Make it vegetarian by using a vegan meat alternative, such as Beyond Meat or Pure Farmland crumbles

Sides for beef nachos

If we’re going for a whole Tex-Mex nacho theme, I like to make a quick salsa to have a veggie or two with dinner. This way we can dip some of the nachos into the salsa too!

However you choose to serve up these skillet nachos, I hope your family enjoys them as much as we did! If you end up making these, please take a picture and tag me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!

Other delightful cheesy dippy recipes to try:

Other comfort food Mexican-inspired recipes:

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

nacho skillet topped with garnish
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Skillet Beef Nachos

Out of dinner ideas? Need an amazing entertaining recipe everyone will love? Make these Skillet Beef Nachos! See recipe notes for tips for making this healthier or vegetarian, if you prefer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex
Servings: 4 small dinner portions (or 6-8 appetizer portions)
Author: Kate
Cost: $3 per serving

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ½ medium white onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1.5 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1.5 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • ½ cup canned tomato sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese yellow or white. Use more if you like things cheesy!
  • 1 small bell pepper seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño sliced, seeds removed for less spice
  • 10 oz bag corn chips such as Doritos or Tostitos
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil on high heat, add ⅔o f the chopped white onion and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, until the onion turn golden brown.
  • Add the ground beef, corn starch, and Cajun seasoning to the pan. Stir fry the beef until it is fully cooked, using a spatula to break up the ground beef.
  • Add the tomato sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes, making sure to coat the beef with tomato sauce completely. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove the ground beef onto a large plate or a heat-proof bowl, and carefully wipe the skillet with a damp paper towel to clean it a little (it doesn't have to be clean).
  • Place the corn chips in 1 layer on the pan, followed by half of the cooked ground beef mixture. Then add half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Layer the remaining beef and cheese on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top melts completely.
  • Take the pan out of the oven, garnish with remaining chopped onion, fresh cilantro, and sliced jalapeño. Add more corn chips around the pan, if desired. Serve immediately, scooping up the cheesy ground beef mixture with the remaining chips.

Notes

  • If you don't have a cast-iron skillet or another large oven-safe skillet, you can cook the ground beef in a skillet and then layer the nachos in a casserole pan to bake
  • We love making this recipe with Doritos for extra cheesy and salty goodness, but you can use any corn chips or tortilla chips that you like such as Tostitos (try the lime ones!) 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Skillet Beef Nachos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 634 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 19g95%
Cholesterol 110mg37%
Sodium 562mg23%
Potassium 529mg15%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 785IU16%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 290mg29%
Iron 4mg22%
* The nutritional information shown here is just an estimate and not meant to be used as dietary/nutritional advice. Please consult a nutritionist for exact nutritional information based on the exact ingredients you use.

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