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Cheese/ Finger Food/ Potato

Irish Potato Nachos

March 16, 2021 by Chris Collins

These nachos are made with crispy potato slices and doused in a Guinness cheese sauce. The ultimate indulgent finger food!

Alright, first things first. Why are potato nachos called Irish nachos? Honestly, it’s essentially just that. The fact you’re using potato instead of chips. Although many Irish folk will be waving their fists in the air over this post, the pubs have Christened this dish as such, and as a British pub enthusiast I have no choice but to conform. Some Irish nacho recipes use waffle fries, some top with corned beef, but today I’ll show you exactly how I like mine. Follow me…

potato nachos on large white plate with can of Guinness and pot of cheese sauce blurred in background

Potato Nachos

Best potato to use?

I recommend a baking potato like a Russet (US) or Maris Piper (UK). I don’t recommend using a waxy variety of potato because they retain too much moisture and won’t go as crispy. In all cases you want to keep the SKIN ON for extra flavour.

How thin to slice the potato?

A lot of recipes tend to slice the potato quite thin, but honestly by the time you’ve cooked and drenched them in cheese, the thinner they are the more likely they’ll go soggy. As such I recommend just over 1/4″ thick.

Soaking in cold water

I recommend soaking the slices in cold water to help remove starch. Starch is what makes potatoes go gloopy when they cook, so removing it will help the potatoes crisp up & go fluffy in the centre. Essential to thoroughly dry the potatoes after soaking though, just to remove as much moisture as possible.

Process shots: place potato on chopping board (photo 1), slice of ends (photo 2), slice into rounds (photo 3), soak in cold water (photo 4), drain and place on tea towel (photo 5), thoroughly dry (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to prepare potato nachos

How to cook Irish Nachos

When it comes to cooking the potatoes you’ve got a few different options:

  • Deep Frying – The most faff as it uses a lot of oil, but the potatoes do crisp up nicely. I usually only do this method if I’ve got leftover oil from something I’ve deep fried recently.
  • Shallow Frying – A happy medium between deep frying and baking. Still uses a fair bit of oil though.
  • Baking – This is great if you’ve got a giant sheet pan to cook all the slices at once and of course uses less oil.

In all cases you’ll want to season with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. If frying you’ll do this after they’re cooked, if baking you do it before. I tend to not add any other herbs etc because I find it distracting. They’re about to be smothered in cheese sauce anyway 😛

6 step by step photos showing how to cook potatoes for nachos

Guinness Cheese Sauce

Now you could grate cheese over the nachos and bake, but this just adds time. I also find that baking the potatoes even longer just turns them soft because they’re all piled on top of each other. As such, I recommend whipping up a quick cheese sauce.


Now, I’m personally not fan of drinking Guinness, but in this context it’s delightful. Adding Guinness to the cheese sauce not only injects some ‘Irish’ into the dish, but it also offers a really gorgeous deep flavour to the sauce. You can definitely taste it, but it’s not overpowering in any way.

What Cheese to use?

A classic nacho cheese sauce would use processed American cheese, but here I use cheddar because it goes best with the Guinness. Monterey Jack also works well!

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), whisk in flour (photo 2), whisk in Guinness (photo 3), whisk in milk (photo 4), add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and s& p (photo 5), stir in cheese (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make Guinness cheese sauce

Serving Irish Nachos

Feel free to go wild with your favourite nacho toppings! Here’s what I use:

Irish Nacho Toppings

  • Crispy Bacon
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Jalapeño

overhead shot of nachos on white plate with wooden backdrop

close up shot of fingers lifting up nacho off of white plate

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Fun Nacho Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these Irish potato nachos shall we?!

How to make Irish Nachos (Full Recipe & Video)

potato nachos on large white plate with can of Guinness and pot of cheese sauce blurred in background

Irish Potato Nachos

These nachos are made with crispy potato slices and doused in a Guinness cheese sauce. The ultimate indulgent finger food!
5 from 1 vote
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Servings (click & slide): 5
Course: Appetizer / Finger Food
Cuisine: American / Irish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Calories per serving: 632kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50


  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Bowl (for soaking)
  • Deep Pot, Ladle & Kitchen Thermometer (for deep frying)
  • Large Pan & Tongs (for shallow frying)
  • Large Baking Tray (for baking)
  • Medium Pan or Pot & Whisk (for sauce)
  • Large Plate (for serving)
  • Wire Rack
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):


  • 2lb / 1kg Maris Pipers or Russets, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 3-4 cups / 750ml-1litre Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Vegetable Oil (for shallow frying)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil (for baking)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, as needed

Guinness Cheese Sauce (makes big batch!)

  • 3-4 cups / 300-400g Cheese, see notes
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Milk, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml Guinness
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • few drops of Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Topping Ideas

  • Crispy Bacon, chopped
  • Red Onion, diced
  • Tomato, diced
  • Jalapeños, diced


Prep Potatoes

  • Soak potato slices in a large bowl of cold water for as long as you have time for (20mins minimum). This is important to remove starch, which will result in the fries having a fluffier centre. Drain water away and thoroughly dry with a tea towel. This is really important to remove as much moisture as possible to help them crisp up.

Guinness Cheese Sauce

  • Whilst the spuds are soaking, in a medium sized pot or pan over medium heat melt 3 tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 tbsp flour until a paste forms then slowly add in 1/2 cup Guinness, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Gradually pour in milk, again whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Once the sauce has thickened add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (optional) and salt & pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and start stirring in your cheese until thick and gloopy/cheesy. 4cups/400g will not only make the sauce more cheesy, but will make it slightly thicker. The sauce will thicken considerably as it rests.

Deep Fry (option 1)

  • Add 3-4cups oil in a suitably sized pot or deep pan and heat to 180C/350F. Fry the potatoes in batches until deep golden on the outside and soft through the inside, around 10-15mins. Rest on wire rack to drain off oil. Sprinkle both sides with a good pinch of salt and pepper as they rest. Try to keep the oil at a steady temp throughout and bring it back to 180C/350F between batches.

Shallow Fry (option 2)

  • Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large frying pan until sizzling, but not smoking (again, around 180C/350F works great). Place in potatoes and fry until deep golden on the outside and soft through the inside, turning once. Rest on wire rack to drain off oil. Sprinkle both sides with a good pinch of salt and pepper as they rest.

Bake (option 3)

  • Pre heat the oven to 200C/390F with the baking tray in there so it gets nice and hot. Coat potato slices in 2.5 tbsp olive oil and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Carefully space out the disks on the hot tray (try not to overlap, this will cause them to steam. They need direct contact with the pan) and place in the oven 30-40mins, or until golden and crunchy. I recommend taking out half way and flipping each potato. If they start charring at all before 20mins turn down the heat. Timings will depend on type and thickness of potatoes - just be vigilant.


  • Spread potato slices out on a large serving plate then drizzle with cheese sauce. Top with your favourite nacho toppings, then tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Can I make this with potato chips instead? - You sure can! Tortilla chips work great, or any kind of thick cut chip/crisp. 
b) Cheese - In reality you can use any melty cheese you fancy. I usually go for a classic Cheddar, but Monterey Jack/Pepper Jack works nicely. Stay away from pre grated stuff or the sauce will go grainy.
c) Guinness - This obviously gives these nachos an Irish touch, but it also adds a gorgeous deep flavour to the cheese sauce. I'm personally not a fan of drinking Guinness, but actually really like it in this context. You can definitely taste it, but it's not completely overpowering.
d) Calories - based on baking the potatoes and no toppings. Shared between 5.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Irish Potato Nachos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 632 Calories from Fat 358
% Daily Value*
Fat 39.78g61%
Saturated Fat 20.111g101%
Trans Fat 0.988g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.168g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.354g
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 603mg25%
Potassium 946mg27%
Carbohydrates 41.99g14%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 5.18g6%
Protein 26.18g52%
Vitamin A 1071IU21%
Vitamin C 10.6mg13%
Calcium 652mg65%
Iron 2.11mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Ben | Havocinthekitchen
    March 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    5 stars
    I’m not a fan of traditional nachos (No kidding!), but this potato variation is right up my alley. And this rich and buttery Guinness cheese sauce? Perfection!