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The Ultimate Nacho Generator

09/25/2013 05:00 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2013

Mix and match your way to a winning Super Bowl snack strategy with 10 takes on chips, cheese, and toppings
by Kelly Senyei

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Football Sundays are a snack lover's paradise. And while chicken wings and sliders are popular game-day favorites, when it comes to quarterbacking the buffet, there's one dish on the must-have list: nachos. This crowd-pleasing party dish is quick and easy to make, and with so many potential chip, cheese, and topping combinations, the field is wide open. Our mix-and-match nacho guide equips you with 10 classic and creative ways to make nachos the star of your Super Bowl bash, including pizza- and barbecue-inspired versions, gluten-free and vegan options, and sweetly crispy dessert nachos.

Game Plan:

  • Choose from our suggested matchups of chips, cheese, and toppings, or mix and match ingredients to your taste buds' desires.
  • Bake the nachos on the center rack in a 450°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Nachos are best served right out of the oven while the chips are still crisp and the toppings are hot.

Equipment:

  • Serve no-fuss nachos in the dish they are baked in. A 13-by-9-inch baking dish or a small baking sheet is best for crowds of six to eight.
  • Line your baking dish or baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup (and to ensure that the baking dish can be reused for multiple quarters of snacking).

The Lineup:

  • Create multiple layers of chips and toppings to maximize the flavor in every bite.
  • While it may be tempting to double down on your add-ons, keep in mind that not overloading the chips with toppings is what keeps this dish finger-friendly.
  • All of the toppings listed below should be added prior to baking, with the exception of shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and chopped fresh herbs, which should be put on once the nachos come out of the oven.

Best of Barbecue Nachos
Chips: scoop-style or thick-cut tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded Cheddar cheese
Topping: pulled pork or shredded rotisserie chicken, sautéed diced smoked sausage, pinto beans, barbecue sauce, sliced jalapeños, diced onions

Vegan Nachos
Chips: baked regular or blue corn tortilla chips
Cheese: vegan Pepper Jack cheese
Topping: black beans, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, dairy-free sour cream

Pizza Nachos
Chips: corn tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan
Topping: marinara sauce, diced pepperoni, sliced pitted black olives, diced green peppers, thinly sliced mushrooms, diced onions

Asian Nachos
Chips: deep-fried wonton wrappers (follow the steps for deep- frying wonton wrappers in our Chinese Chicken Salad recipe)
Cheese: no cheese, please!
Topping: seared diced ahi tuna, diced avocado, sliced scallions, Sriracha, wasabi mayo, sesame seeds

Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Nachos
Chips: a mix of blue corn and regular tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Colby cheese
Topping: refried beans, pulled pork, sautéed peppers and onions, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, fresh cilantro

Meat Lover's Nachos
Chips: scoop-style or thick-cut tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
Topping: sautéed chorizo, diced grilled steak (flank or hanger), sliced jalapeños, sour cream, fresh cilantro

Nachos en Fuego
Chips: scoop-style or thick-cut tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Topping: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, black beans, sliced serranos, diced avocado, crushed red pepper flakes, caramelized onions, fresh cilantro

Gluten-Free Nachos
Chips: gluten-free corn tortilla chips
Cheese: shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Topping: black beans, sautéed ground beef, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce

Greek Salad Nachos
Chips: pita chips
Cheese: crumbled feta
Topping: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced pitted black olives, chopped red onions, red wine vinaigrette

Dessert Nachos
Chips: unsalted flour tortilla chips tossed with cinnamon and sugar
Cheese: crème fraîche
Topping: chocolate chips, sweetened coconut flakes, berry salsa (diced berries mixed with chopped fresh mint), ice cream

See more from Epicurious:

The Best Beer for Watching Football
The Best Salsa You Can Buy