Nacho Ordinary Snack: “Leftover nachos aren’t good so make sure there aren’t any.”-Andrew Knowlton

Unless you’re stationed in Antarctica or you’re the last person in the free world to not have cable, you and 97 million others will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday for one of the following reasons:

1.You’re a huge football fan. 2. You’re a football widow and never have access to the remote control. 3. Duh, it’s the Super Bowl! It would be, like, un-American not to. 4. You tune in for the half-time show, you know, in case of another “wardrobe malfunction.” 5. Don’t really care about the game…you just watch for the commercials.

For me, the Super Bowl’s all about the eats. This ain’t no time for fancy pinky up food. With all that testosterone kicking around, give us macho munchies we can dive in to! Messy, crunchy, cheesey, gooey, can’t-eat-just-one kind of nachos. But most “ultimate nachos” I’ve been served should receive a penalty for being unremarkable. Not only are they bland, but they’re usually greasy, overloaded with jalapenos, the cheese is usually cold and stringy – and all of this dumped on a mountain of boring chips. And what about all the remaining chips underneath that have zero toppings or cheese on them? Do we just sit there, reduced to eating dry, naked chips? Is it too much to ask that our nachos be flavorful, filled with spicy beef and creamy beans and loaded with cheese…in every bite? I think not.

My nachos have a kind of picadillo vibe with the beef, beans and olives. I threw in some sweet corn and red bell pepper, too – great tasting and good looking (always important). And cheese. Lots of cheese. Topped with some smoky roasted poblanos and served with a fresh, bright pico de gallo on the side. They’re amazing.

So, whether you’re rooting for the Ravens or the 49ers, get the home field advantage with this killer appetizer….everyone will be “bowled” over! High five!

Don’t worry if the recipe looks complicated with all those ingredients, but the steps are easy (you can do most of them in advance and then assemble before kick-off). It’s worth the effort for nachos this good!

Beefy Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Roasted Poblanos

Author: Cheryl Beverage Barnes
Recipe type: Nachos, Appetizers
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
Beefy Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Roasted Poblanos
Beefy Nachos with Pico de Gallo and Roasted Poblanos


  • For the roasted poblanos:
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • For the beef:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup beef stock or broth
  • For the refried beans:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic refried beans
  • ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • For the nachos:
  • tortilla chips, about 9 ounces
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed gourmet pitted olives, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or Pepper Jack)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. For the poblanos: Choose your method: Place a rack in the oven 6 inches from the heat source. Preheat broiler. Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until charred and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Or char the peppers on the burner of your gas stove or with a blow torch. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic; allow to steam for 15 minutes. Scrape off as much skin as possible using your knife. Remove the seeds and finely chop. Set aside. Make the salsa: In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the cilantro. Set aside.
  2. For the beef: In a skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and beef, season with more salt and pepper and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, breaking up the meat. Drain off the fat. Add in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander and red pepper flakes and cook for several minutes to toast the spices. Add in the beef broth and stir. Taste for salt and pepper.
  3. For the beans: Place the beans and cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until the cheese has melted. Stir in the sour cream and set aside.
  4. To assemble the nachos: Adjust the oven rack to the center and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread half of the chips on a large oven-safe platter (or individual servers or a large casserole dish). Dollop half the bean mixture over the chips. Scatter half of the beef over. Top with half of the corn, red pepper, olives, cheeses and poblanos. Repeat for the second layer. Bake until the cheese has melted on both layers, and the top layer is beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.


…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: Since I’m a lover of great base recipes, the beef filling is awesome in tacos and burritos, too. Add another ⅓ cup of beef broth and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture has thickened.

Product Purity: Run, don’t walk from those cans of pre-sliced black olives–unless you like tasteless little zeros. I like to use a mix of meaty garlic-studded green olives I get at my deli and colossal Dellalo black olives I slice myself. I use Kitchen Basics beef stock since it is free of added MSG and organic refried beans (many other brands are made with shortening or hydrogentated oils). Don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. Get good cheese and shred it yourself. Pretty please.

Presentation: You can’t serve nachos without sour cream and guacamole on the side. Serve it buffet style with mugs of ice cold beer. Or margaritas! Another fun presentation is to make individual nachos. Simply build the nachos in individual stacks on a rimmed backing sheet following the same layering instructions above.

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