Nothing screams Game Day like a skillet full of my Easy Carne Asada Nachos, piled high with deeply flavorful bits of steak, hearty black beans, melty cheese, spicy jalapeños and – the pièce de résistance – creamy homemade guacamole.

Inspired by one of my favorite tacos, these delightfully adorned chips are a far cry from the neon orange “nasty nachos” of my youth. (Just to be clear, I still love nasty nachos. These are just better in every way imaginable.)

small parchment square with a few pieces of easy carne asada nachos with a bowl of homemade guacamole and more chips in the background.

Nachos, how I love thee, let me count the ways… You’re crunchy, salty, spicy, cheesy, filling, and intended to be eaten by hand. In short, you are the perfect meal for my rowdy group of football-loving hooligans, especially when you’re topped with my favorite recipe for quick and easy carne asada.

About This Recipe

When it comes to Sundays at Casa de Marquez-Sharpnack, we are all about noshing on tasty snacks and watching our favorite teams work their way up and down the gridiron. One of our favorite Game Day snack-meals is without a doubt nachos. I mean, what is better than crispy, crunchy tortilla chips loaded up with tasty toppings? NOTHING. That’s what.

The best part about making your own nachos at home is that you can do serious quality control. (Read: no more stale chips or cold, coagulated nacho “cheese” here!) And while I love nachos of all sorts – including those concession stand atrocities – these carne asada nachos take the proverbial cake.

Not only are they prettier and healthier than the ungodly orange numbers my cousin Erika and I used to devour on Friday nights, they’re also SUPER easy to pull off. Once the meat is cooked and ready to go, these yummy carne asada nachos can be made and plated during halftime. That’s right – you don’t even have to miss watching the game!

While you are free to get ready cooked carne asada from your local carneceria, making your own marinated Mexican meat is also a piece of cake. My speedy carne asada recipe requires just 30 minutes of marinating time and is cooked on the grill, which means almost no dishes need to be cleaned. 

No grill? No problem! Try a cast iron grill pan.

After the meat is prepped and ready to go, all that is left to do is shred some cheese, chop a few veggies, do some strategic layering and pop everything in the oven. It honestly couldn’t be simpler. So let’s get to the kitchen, shall we?

Ingredients & Equipment

Making homemade nachos is a snap, and as an added bonus, you get to customize them exactly to your liking. Here is everything I need to make the perfect platter of carne asada nachos:

  • Tortilla Chips: Homemade tortilla chips are a nice touch, but not necessary. For ease of use, feel free to pick your favorite bagged variety at the store.
  • Black Beans: Again, if you have some homemade black beans left in the fridge, feel free to use them! Canned beans will do just as well, and you can absolutely swap in pinto beans if you prefer.
  • Grilled Carne Asada: Do yourself a favor and make a double recipe of this super easy carne asada; you’ll want to put it on everything from pizza and fries to quesadillas, skewers, enchiladas, and of course these nachos.
  • Shredded Cheese: Any melty variety will do. I prefer Oaxaca, Quesadilla, or Monterey Jack cheese, but you do you. As a side note, I should mention that pre-grated cheese will work here, but grating your own will result in better cheese pulls.
  • Onion, Tomato, and Jalapeños: This trio makes for a sort of deconstructed pico de gallo. Feel free to swap in a fresh, chunky salsa, or use pickled jalapeños, and pickled red onions instead.

In terms of equipment, you don’t need much. Just grab a sharp chef’s knife, cutting board, and cast iron skillet or baking sheet (depending on how many people you’re serving).

carne asada flank steak cooking on the grill.

How To Make

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place your tortilla chips across the bottom of your cast iron skillet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add beans evenly across the chips; sprinkle the grilled carne asada, shredded cheese, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeño slices across the chips evenly. For the best results, I suggest using equal parts cheese, chips, and meat/beans.

whole tomatoes, sliced meat, sliced onions, jalapeños and a whole avocado on a cutting board with a chef's knife.

Repeat to build layers if you’re feeding a crowd. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and veggies are warm, about 15 minutes for a single layer or 20 minutes for multiple layers.

While the nachos are baking, make the guacamole

molcajete filled with homemade guacamole and a halved avocado and lime to the side.

When the nachos are nice and melty, pull them out of the oven, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Optional Variations

Homemade nachos come in about a gazillion different ways, which is yet another reason to love them! Feel free to change out the ingredients at will to make your perfect plate. Here are a few ideas:

For even more homemade nacho inspiration, check out some of my other favorite recipes:

If you come up with a particularly amazing plate of nachos, be sure to tag me in your Instagram so I can see (and cheer) your creativity!

overhead shot of carne asada nachos in a cast iron skillet with a bowl of homemade guacamole and chips to the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these ahead of time?

*Sort of.* Nachos are best served hot from the oven, and don’t really make for great leftovers. That said, you can do ALL of the prep work ahead of time – cooking the carne asada, chopping and grating the remaining ingredients – so all you have to do is layer and bake.

Why are my nachos dry?

Oops, sounds like you broke the cardinal rule: don’t overcrowd your nachos. Be sure that you are working with a single layer of chips, and don’t be stingy with the toppings. The perfect ratio in my book is composed of equal parts chips, cheese, and meat/beans by weight.

If you have a large crowd to serve, build the nachos in layers. This is a bit more time consuming – you’ll need to remove the nachos from the oven every 3-5 minutes to keep adding more layers – but the results will be well worth it.

Also, be sure to serve creamy dips like sour cream and guacamole, plus salsas or hot sauce on the side. If you end up with any naked chips (gasp!), these powerhouses will solve the problem for you.

What is the best way to cook nachos?

I am personally fond of using the oven – the heat is even, and my cookie sheet fits. In a pinch, you can microwave a plate of nachos if you’re only serving yourself, but this is not a recommended method.

More Game Day Recipes

If you tried this recipe for my Easy Homemade Carne Asada Nachos, please be sure to rate and review it below!

close up of carne asada nachos in a skillet with fresh chopped tomatoes, jalapeños and tomatoes as garnish.

Carne Asada Nachos with Guacamole

5 (1 rating)
These nachos are made with black beans, carne asada, fresh toppings and a luscious mountain of homemade guacamole. These show-stopping nachos are a hit and perfecto for your Super Bowl party.

Ingredients

  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 ½ cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Grilled carne asada, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Oaxaca, Quesadilla, or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, sliced

Topping Options:

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place your tortilla chips across the bottom of your cast iron skillet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add beans evenly across the chips; sprinkle the grilled carne asada, shredded cheese, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeño slices across the chips evenly.
  • Repeat to build layers if you’re feeding a crowd. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and veggies are warm, about 15 minutes for a single layer or 20 minutes for multiple layers. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings and don’t forget the guacamole.
  • Add the garlic, onion, jalapeño (optional), salt, and tomato (optional). Squeeze the lime juice over all the ingredients and give everything a gentle stir, but don’t overdo it.

Notes

If you are having a party serve these along with some hot wingsmini-tamale pieschile con queso, and Mexican-style pizzas.
Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 397mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 95IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography by Jeanine Thurston
Originally published: January 2013.