These Game Day Nachos are a must-try if you're looking to score big at your next game day party! Crispy tortilla chips are loaded with seasoned ground beef, hearty black beans, melty cheddar cheese, and all of your favorite toppings for an easy, 30-minute appetizer recipe that's sure to win your guests over.
While I'm not really a sports person, you can always count me in for your game day party. Let's just say, I am a big fan of party snacks.
And these award-winning nachos are truly the ultimate game day party appetizer.
With their winning combination of seasoned ground beef, black beans, cheddar cheese, and endless tasty toppings, they'll have your guests rushing to build their perfect nacho masterpiece.
Today, I’m walking you through how to make the best homemade nachos with ground beef, including the ingredients you should use, tips that will guarantee you make them successfully the first time, and some of my favorite topping ideas.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Perfect for Game Day- Hosting a game day party? Serve your guests a tray of these game-winning ground beef and black bean nachos! They're perfect for sharing and sure to score major points.
- Quick & Easy- Ready in just 30 minutes, this game day nacho recipe requires only a few simple steps and basic ingredients. It's a quick and easy snack that's ideal for any celebration.
- Flavorful- Seasoned ground beef, melty cheddar cheese, hearty black beans, and crunchy tortilla chips come together to make a deliciously flavorful and comforting snack. Plus, we can't forget about the endless topping possibilities!
- Customizable- The great thing about making homemade nachos is that you can truly make them any way you like! Load them up with your favorite toppings or set up a nacho bar and let guests customize their own nachos.
- Family-Friendly- Cheesy ground beef nachos are one snack the whole family can agree on. I also enjoy making nachos for a quick and easy weeknight meal when I don't really feel like cooking.
Here are some notes on the key ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Tortilla Chips- I like to use sturdy, traditional tortilla chips because they hold the toppings well. Round, bite-sized tortilla chips are a little easier to eat, but don't hold onto the toppings as well.
- Ground Beef- Opt for 85-90% lean ground beef for the best flavor.
- Black Beans- Choose low-sodium black beans, making sure to drain and rinse them before mixing them with the ground beef.
- Cheddar Cheese- For the best flavor and better melting, shred your own cheddar cheese from the block. Pre-shredded cheeses are usually coated with anti-caking agents that prevent them from melting as nicely.
- Taco Seasoning- A flavorful blend of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper is used to season the ground beef.
- Toppings- Use whichever toppings you like! If I'm feeling fancy, I like to make pico de gallo and guacamole for my sheet pan nachos.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this easy game day nachos recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Tortilla Chips- Swap traditional corn tortilla chips for flavored tortilla chips or pita chips for a unique twist on this recipe.
- Ground Beef- Substitute ground beef for ground turkey, ground chicken, plant-based ground meat alternatives, or an additional can of black beans.
- Black Beans- Try using pinto beans or kidney beans in place of black beans. Not a fan of beans? Use 2 pounds of ground beef instead.
- Cheddar Cheese- Pepper jack cheese, monterey jack cheese, colby jack cheese, or even dairy-free cheese can all be used in place of cheddar cheese.
- Taco Seasoning- Use a pre-mixed packet of taco seasoning for quicker preparation.
- Toppings- Customize the toppings based on your preferences and dietary restrictions.
- Gluten-Free- These game day nachos are naturally gluten-free. However, always double-check ingredient labels before consuming any new foods.
- Vegetarian- Swap the ground beef for a plant-based ground meat alternative or use more black beans instead of meat.
- Vegan- In addition to swapping out the ground beef, replace the cheddar cheese with dairy-free cheddar cheese.
- Extra Spicy- Add more cayenne pepper to the ground beef and top the nachos with jalapeños and your favorite hot sauce.
- BBQ- Swap the ground beef and black bean mixture for BBQ pulled pork, chicken, or beef brisket.
- Fruity- Top your nachos with ground chicken and pineapple mango salsa for a sweeter version of these game-winning nachos.
How to Make Game Day Nachos
Here is how to make nachos with ground beef.
Step 1: Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. A large cast iron skillet will work too.
Step 2: Cook the ground beef. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until it's browned. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Make sure to break up the beef into small pieces as it cooks.
Step 3: Prepare the seasoning mix. While the beef is cooking, mix together the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
Step 4: Season the ground beef. Once the beef is cooked, sprinkle the seasoning mixture over it. Stir everything together and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to let the flavors blend.
Step 5: Add black beans. Stir the drained and rinsed black beans in with the seasoned beef and remove the skillet from the heat.
Step 6: Assemble the nachos. Spread the tortilla chips out evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. Top the chips with the ground beef and black bean mixture, making sure to distribute it as evenly as possible.
Step 7: Add cheese. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the nachos.
Step 8: Bake the nachos. Put the baking sheet or skillet into the preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.
Step 9: Add toppings and serve. Once the nachos are out of the oven, it's time to add your favorite toppings! Choose from diced tomato, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, avocado, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or any other toppings you love. Get creative!
Tips for Success
Make these super bowl nachos successfully the first time using these tried and true tips.
- Use parchment paper. Make chowing down and clean up a breeze by lining your sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from sticking.
- Break the ground beef up. As the ground beef cooks, break it up into small pieces so it stays on the tortilla chips better and is easier to eat.
- Cook the taco seasoning. Cook the taco seasoning in the beef fat for a few minutes to enhance its flavor, resulting in even tastier ground beef.
- Distribute the cheese evenly. Spread the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the nachos. The melted cheese helps hold the ground beef and black beans in place.
- Get creative. Nachos are highly customizable so, don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations.
🏈 Hosting a Party for the Big Game? Set up a nacho bar with various toppings and sauces, allowing guests to customize their nachos for a fun, interactive experience.
What to Serve With Game Day Nachos
Whether you're tailgating or hosting a party at home, these game day nachos are one appetizer you won't want to leave out of your lineup.
For a classic nacho pairing, serve these ground beef nachos alongside your favorite salsa and dips. Homemade tomato salsa, cucumber pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro garlic sauce, and pineapple mango salsa are all tasty options.
Finally, if you're feeding a large and hungry crowd, consider serving homemade pizzas and calzones with these beef and black bean nachos. Serve up some parmesan garlic white pizza, buffalo chicken flatbread, mushroom pizza, or eggplant parmesan calzone.
Storage and Reheating
The best game day nachos are served hot and fresh from the oven. However, if you do find yourself with leftovers, here is everything you need to know about storing and reheating them.
How to Store
- Room Temperature- If you're serving these nachos at a party, keep in mind that they should only remain at room temperature for a maximum of 2 hours.
- Refrigerator- Store leftover game day nachos wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezer- I do not recommend freezing leftover nachos as the texture of the chips and toppings may become soggy and unpleasant after thawing.
How to Reheat
- Oven- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove any fresh toppings and arrange the leftover nachos in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the nachos for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chips are crispy.
- Air Fryer- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Remove any fresh toppings and place the leftover nachos in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry the nachos for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chips regain their crispness.
- Microwave- Remove any fresh toppings and transfer the leftover nachos to a microwave-safe plate. Microwave the nachos on HIGH for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the nachos are heated through.
Preparing the individual components of these super bowl nachos in advance can save you time and effort when you're ready to party.
- Beef and Bean Mixture- Cook the ground beef and black beans and store the mixture in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Shred the Cheese- If you're using block cheese, you can shred it up to one week in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container or a resealable bag.
- Prepare the Toppings- Chop and prepare the various toppings like diced tomatoes, jalapeños, red onions, and cilantro in advance. Store them separately in airtight containers or resealable bags in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional nacho toppings include diced tomatoes, jalapeños, red onion, cilantro, avocado, olives, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and queso cheese sauce. Some creative topping ideas include lime juice, pineapple chunks, shredded BBQ chicken, pickled red onions, mango salsa, roasted sweet potato, or crumbled queso fresco.
To keep nachos warm at a party, consider serving them in a buffet-style warming tray or chafing dish. Another option is to serve the nachos out of a slow cooker turned to the lowest setting. Finally, you can keep the nachos warm in a low-temperature oven and serve them in smaller batches.
To prevent the nachos from getting soggy, try to avoid overloading them with wet toppings or sauces. Layer the ingredients evenly, and consider serving the toppings separately if they might make the chips soggy.
Game Day Nachos
- 1 pound ground beef 85-90% lean
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 15.5-ounce can low-sodium black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 12-ounce bag tortilla chips
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- Toppings of choice diced tomato, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, avocado, black olives, roasted corn, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, hot sauce, etc.
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. A large cast iron skillet will work too.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until it's browned. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Make sure to break up the beef into small pieces as it cooks.1 pound ground beef
- While the beef is cooking, mix together the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Once the beef is cooked, sprinkle the seasoning mixture over it. Stir everything together and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to let the flavors blend.
- Stir the drained and rinsed black beans in with the seasoned beef and remove the skillet from the heat.1 15.5-ounce can low-sodium black beans
- Spread the tortilla chips out evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. Top the chips with the ground beef and black bean mixture, making sure to distribute it as evenly as possible.1 12-ounce bag tortilla chips
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the nachos. The cheese will melt and become gooey in the oven, holding all the delicious toppings together.2 cups cheddar cheese
- Put the baking sheet or skillet into the preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Keep a close eye on them to avoid burning.
- Once the nachos are out of the oven, it's time to add your favorite toppings! Choose from diced tomato, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, avocado, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or any other toppings you love. Get creative!Toppings of choice
- Serve the nachos immediately while they're still warm and gooey.
- Hosting a Party for the Big Game? Set up a nacho bar with various toppings and sauces, allowing guests to customize their nachos for a fun and interactive experience.
- Storage: While nachos are best enjoyed hot and fresh from the oven, you can store leftovers for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Make Ahead: Prepare the seasoning mix, cook the ground beef, shred the cheese, or pre-chop toppings in advance to save time on preparation.