These smoked "chicken" nachos are a delicious twist on the classic dish and perfect for any occasion. They're packed with flavor and sure to satisfy your hunger. Plus, they're easy to make and guaranteed to please everyone at your next party or gathering.
🌟 Why this recipe works
When it comes to game-day snacks, nachos are always a hit. But why not take things up a notch by smoking the chips and cheese for an extra flavorful dish? This recipe for smoked nachos is sure to be a touchdown with your friends and family.
The flavor of these smokey nachos is unlike any nachos you will ever try! The pulled chicken, black olives, and jalapenos give these nachos a bold flavor, while the cheese and tomatoes provide a delicious, creamy contrast.
The chips are nice and crispy, and they hold up well to the toppings. Plus, the salsa and fresh cilantro are the perfect finishing touches.
Making chicken nachos in the smoker or pellet grill is incredibly easy and only requires a few simple ingredients. Just layer the ingredients stacked high and smoke them for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted - And that's it! Your smoked chicken nachos are now ready to enjoy.
There's no need for washing up with this recipe, as everything is cooked in the smoker. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your delicious smoked chicken nachos.
🍽 Key ingredients
Fire up those wood chips in your smoker and get ready for this super flavorful smoked nachos recipe made with leftover chicken and spicy jalapenos!
Shredded chicken - This recipe is perfect for using any leftover shredded chicken. The fork-tender pulled chicken work so much better than cooked chicken breast.
Black olives - The black olives add a delicious salty flavor to the nachos.
Tortilla chips - For this recipe, we recommend using a good quality tortilla chip that can withstand the weight of all the toppings.
Tex Mex cheese - The tex mex cheese gives these nachos a beautiful golden color and a delicious, creamy flavor.
Canned jalapenos - The canned jalapenos add the perfect amount of heat to the nachos.
Cherry tomatoes - The cherry tomatoes are a lovely contrast to the creamy cheese and provide a delicious sweetness.
Cilantro - Chopped cilantro adds a fresh citrus flavor to the nachos.
Salsa - The salsa gets spooned on at the end and is the perfect finishing touch to these nachos. It adds a fresh, zesty flavor and ties all the flavors together.
You want a good melting cheese with nachos with flavor, so a good substitute for a Tex Mex blend would be sharp cheddar cheese or even Monterey Jack.
Additional topping Options
- Sliced red or green onion
- Diced avocado
- Crumbled bacon
- Sour cream
🔪 How to make
This recipe for smoked nachos is such a delicious recipe! The smokey flavor infused into the nachos tastes so much better than ordinary oven-baked nachos - and it's easy to make by following my step-by-step instructions and cooking tips.
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
Coarsely chop the cilantro leaves.
Shred the leftover chicken into strips.
Start heating your smoker to 274 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees Celsius). Use wood chips or follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you're not sure which wood to use.
Place a large roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on a work surface and spread the tortilla chips on the bottom, making sure there are no gaps in between.
Top with the Tex Mex shredded cheese, followed by shredded chicken pieces.
Then add the black olives, and canned jalapenos.
Tip: this recipe is only for one layer, but if you want to add a second layer or third layer, just repeat the layer ingredients.
Place the nachos on the grill of your smoker and smoke for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling
Remove the tin from the smoker and top the smoked nachos with the fresh chopped cilantro, cherry tomato halves, and salsa.
Serve and ENJOY!
💭 Cooking tips
If you're catering to more than 4 people, it is best to make these nachos on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to layer the ingredients as the cheese will melt much quicker if it is spread out.
This smoked nachos recipe is truly amazing as it is, but if you want to mix things up a little, try some of these tasty variations using the same recipe.
Add ¼ cup of pineapple chunks on top of the shredded chicken for a delicious sweet and spicy twist.
Cheese lover nachos
Double the amount of cheese with one layer on the bottom to hold the nachos together and one layer on top until it's completely melted. You can use different types of cheese for this also, like mozzarella, pepper jack, or cheddar cheese.
Smoked nachos with black beans
Make your nachos extra hearty by spreading half a cup of washed and dried black beans over the chicken. This is a great option if you don't have olives, and it makes the recipe truly Mexican!
🥗 What to serve with
Smoked nachos are the perfect appetizer, side dish, or snacking food, but if you want to serve them with other tasty dishes, here are a few suggestions.
This instant pot enchilada soup is not just full of delicious Mexican flavors, but it is probably the quickest soup EVER!
You'll have this hearty soup on the table at the same time as the nacho recipe as they both take minutes and cook. It's perfect for a large family sharing dinner!
If you love guacamole, you'll enjoy this creamy avocado salad with cucumber, lime juice, and cilantro. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal, and these smoked tacos are a perfect match!
🙋 Frequently asked questions
What cheese melts the best for nachos?
A good melting cheese for nachos, tacos, and burritos is a Mexican shredded cheese blend like Tex Mex. Although cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, or smoked cheese like Gouda are good options.
Can I make these nachos ahead of time?
You can, but I wouldn't recommend it as the nachos will get soggy and the cheese won't be as melted and bubbly.
Can I bake these nachos instead of smoking them?
Yes, you can! Just bake the nachos in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Smoked nachos are best eaten straight from the smoker for best results, as the tortilla chips become soggy and the topping becomes dry afterward. Although, if you do have some leftovers, they can be stored and reheated.
Fridge - Once the nachos have cooled, you can store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 2 days.
Freezer - I don't recommend freezing cooked nachos because they will be soggy and horrible upon thawing.
Reheating - The best way to get your tortilla chips crispy is to preheat an air fryer and heat them with the toppings for 3 to 4 minutes. Alternatively, you can heat a little oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and place the nachos in the skillet for 5 minutes until they become warm.
🍳 Related Recipes
Try one of these fantastic smoker recipes for your next dinner meal. Including my easy smoked beef plate ribs recipe.
👪 Serving size
This smoked nachos servings size for this recipe is enough to feed 4 people, and it can easily be scaled if you add a second or third layer of ingredients to them.
These smoked chicken nachos are the perfect snack for all your food cravings! Same as my shredded chicken tacos it is made with just a few simple ingredients, packed with flavor, and sure to be a hit with everyone. So fire up the smoker and get ready to enjoy a delicious Mexican-inspired meal!
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Smoked "Chicken" Nachos
- 2 cups shredded leftover chicken - or pulled pork
- 1 cup black olives
- 6 cups tortilla chips
- 300 grams tex mex blended cheese
- 250 ml canned jalapenos - (old paso)
- cherry tomatoes - chopped for toppings
- cilantro - chopped for toppings
- tomato salsa - for toppings
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Coarsely chop the cilantro leaves.
- Shred the leftover chicken into strips.
- Start heating your smoker to 274 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees Celsius). Use wood chips or follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you're not sure which wood to use.
- Place a large roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on a work surface and spread the tortilla chips on the bottom, making sure there are no gaps in between.
- Top with the Tex Mex shredded cheese.
- Followed by shredded chicken pieces,black olives, and canned jalapenos.
- Place the nachos on the grill of your smoker and smoke for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling
- Remove the tin from the smoker and top the smoked nachos with the fresh chopped cilantro, cherry tomato halves, and salsa.
- Serve and ENJOY!