BBQ Chicken Nachos Recipe

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BBQ Chicken Nachos are loaded with tender BBQ chicken bites, melted cheese, delicious tortilla chips, and it’s all topped off with crispy salty bacon.

This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ chicken and nachos are two of my favorite foods, and they combine perfectly to make this loaded nacho recipe.

The layers of tortilla chips, cheese, and BBQ chicken are truly mouth-watering.

Literally everyone will love these BBQ chicken nachos, I promise! I mean it when I say that I really think this is the best combination for nachos.

I’ve partnered up with Klarbrunn to bring you the best easy game day recipe. These nachos are truly restaurant style and they’re oh so delicious when you pair it with an ice cold can of their Peach Mango Sparkling Water! You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn here.

Chicken nachos next to a can of Klarbrunn sparkling water.

How Do You Make Nachos So They Don’t Get Soggy?

The trick to making nachos that aren’t soggy is to create a barrier between the chips and anything other than cheese.

That’s why you want to layer these double decker nachos in the order of chips, cheese, other fillings, cheese, chips, cheese. If you love crispy tortilla chips, this step makes such a difference!

Double decker BBQ chicken nachos drizzled with sour cream.

It’s also so important to not use too many wet ingredients. Things like onions and tomatoes release a lot of moisture, so it’s best to limit the amount that you use.

Also, be sure to use thick tortilla chips! You want chips that can really hold up to the toppings. Even though thin and crispy are my favorite chips for dipping in salsa, they’re not the right fit for this recipe.

Last but not least, serve any wet dips on the side (like sour cream and salsa). If you serve them on the nachos, the liquids will sink down as they sit, and the chips underneath them will get soggy.

Labeled spices and toppings for BBQ chicken nachos.

Is It Better To Bake Or Broil Nachos?

When it comes to nachos, baking is the way to go. This is especially true in double decker nachos, like the ones in this recipe. If you broil them, the bottom layer of toppings won’t get the chance to heat up and melt like they would if you baked them.

Seasoned chunks of chicken breast before and after cooking.

What Cheese Goes On Nachos?

The best nachos use a combination of a cheese that melts really well (like Monterey jack, pepper jack, or pizza mozzarella), with a smaller portion of cheddar cheese.

You wouldn’t want to use just cheddar cheese because it can get oily when it’s heated, so using too much of it wouldn’t create the best texture in nachos. Plus, you wouldn’t get those amazing stringy stretchy cheese pulls if you used just cheddar.

No matter which cheese you use, it’s so important to use freshly grated cheese. The pre-grated cheeses are coated in a starch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the packaging, but this also means that they don’t melt well.

Chunks of chicken breast in BBQ sauce before and after letting the sauce reduce.

What Type Of Chicken Should You Use?

With BBQ chicken, my favorite is a combination of chicken thighs and chicken breasts. To keep this recipe more affordable, I opted to only use boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Either way, I recommend using air chilled chicken. It’s more tender and releases less juices during cooking.

You could also use any leftover chicken you have, like rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or pulled slow cooker chicken.

Assembling the first layer of BBQ chicken nachos.

What Goes On BBQ Chicken Nachos?

The ingredients are garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, olive oil, bacon, chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, tortilla chips, pizza mozzarella, cheddar cheese, roma tomato, and red onion.

Assembling the layers of BBQ chicken nachos.

How To Make It

Start by sautéing the chicken bites in the seasoning. (See the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.)

Once the chicken is fully cooked, layer the nachos on a rimmed baking sheet and then bake them until the cheese is fully melted. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

BBQ chicken nachos before and after baking.

Optional Adaptations

These nachos are truly SO delicious as-is, but there are a few adaptations you could make if you’d like. My favorite option is to use waffle fries to make nacho fries. SO GOOD. Some other ideas are:

  • Try using potato chips instead of tortilla chips.
  • Add some black beans.
  • Top it with some chopped dill pickles and a drizzle of ranch (instead of sour cream).
  • Make some homemade queso and serve the nachos with it.
  • Use ground beef instead of chicken.
  • Try it with your leftover pulled pork.
BBQ chicken nachos on a blue napkin.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later!

Pinterest pin image with a picture of BBQ chicken nachos and title text at the top.

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Yield: 4 large or 8 small servings

BEST BBQ Chicken Nachos Recipe

The best BBQ chicken nachos recipe.

BBQ Chicken Nachos are loaded with tender BBQ chicken bites, melted cheese, delicious tortilla chips, and topped off with crispy salty bacon.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Chicken Nachos:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts)
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 10 oz tortilla chips (about 280 grams)
  • 2 cups freshly shredded Pizza Mozzarella**
  • 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese**
  • 1/2 medium roma tomato (diced)
  • 1/6 medium red onion (diced)
  • Diced fresh parsley (optional, for topping)
  • Sour cream (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the bacon into 1/4 inch slices. 
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan, discard the grease, and wipe the pan clean.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the chicken spice blend ingredients. Cut the chicken into 1/2” pieces, then toss in the oil and spice mixture to coat it.
  5. Heat the large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the seasoned chicken for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the BBQ sauce and mix. Continue to cook the chicken until the BBQ sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer.
  6. Using either a large cast iron skillet or a small rimmed baking sheet (approximately 8” x 12”), layer the nachos in this order. First layer: 1/2 the chips, 1/4 of the cheese, 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the bacon, 1/4 of the cheese. Second layer: 1/2 the chips, 1/4 of the cheese, 1/2 the chicken, the onion, the tomato, 1/2 the bacon, 1/4 of the cheese.
  7. Bake until the cheese is totally melted (approximately 15 minutes).
  8. Garnish and serve.

Notes

*This chili powder is a spice blend sold in the USA and Canada. It’s a mixture of spices that is not overly spicy. The chili powder sold in the UK and other parts of the world is pure ground chilis, and would be way too spicy if it was used here.

**It’s so important to use freshly grated cheese. The pre-grated cheeses are coated in a starch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the packaging, but this also means that they don’t melt well.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 23.4gCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2.4gSugar: 13.3gProtein: 26.9g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This makes 4 large or 8 small servings, nutrition was calculated assuming 8 small servings.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Make restaurant quality nachos at home with this easy BBQ chicken nacho recipe!

The best BBQ chicken nachos recipe.

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