These Nachos are made with a homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce and topped with an easy Black Bean Salsa. They’re great to prep ahead of time and perfect to feed a crowd!
Black Bean Salsa
There’s a fair few things that go nicely with nachos – ground beef, chicken and pulled pork to name a few. To keep in line with the ‘easy’ aspect of these nachos I love whipping up a quick and easy black bean salsa. Salsa already goes hand in hand with nachos, but by adding the black beans you bulk it out and make the salsa more hearty. It elevates the salsa from being a side to being the main event!
Good Quality Tomatoes
The tomatoes make up a good chunk of the salsa, and as such it’s important to really invest in some quality tomatoes. Here I use vine-ripened tomatoes. Plum tomatoes also work nicely. The difference between old/cheap and fresh/quality tomatoes is huge! Especially in this context as they’re not cooked.
Again, we want this salsa to shine, so it’s important to use fresh ingredients. That means fresh jalapeños over pickled, fresh coriander/cilantro over dried, fresh lime juice over bottled and fresh garlic over jarred. Canned black beans however are fine, that’s my limit 😂
Make Ahead: Tightly cover in the fridge until needed. I recommend leaving out the salt and lime juice and adding just before serving, otherwise it’ll extract the moisture from the tomatoes and leave it soupy.
Nacho Cheese Sauce
Now here’s where the fun begins. Because we’re not baking the nachos we don’t want to use fresh cheese, for the obvious reason it won’t melt. And the thought of un-melted grated cheese on nachos is making me queasy. So, we’re gonna whip up some homemade cheese sauce.
How do you make Nacho Cheese Sauce?
It’s actually incredibly easy, all you need to do is make a roux. Put simply, this is a sauce made from butter, flour and milk. By stirring flour into melted butter and whisking in milk you create a thickened sauce which is a great base for many dishes. From there just stir through your cheese and Bob’s your uncle!
What cheese to use for Nacho Cheese Sauce?
In reality you can use any cheese you fancy. Traditionally it’s processed American style cheese that is used, but cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack and Mexican style cheese all work great. Just stay away from mozzarella or it’ll go stringy instead of nice and oozy. Also stay away from pre grated cheese, it’ll make the sauce go grainy.
Make Ahead: Allow to completely cool, then tightly cover and store in the fridge. It will thicken quite considerably as it cools.
Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), stir in flour (photo 2), gradually whisk in milk and add seasoning (photo 3) stir in cheese (photo 4).
How to make Nachos
Alrighty, now the easy part. To stack nachos I hope it goes without saying they’ve gotta be double decker. Hey, I don’t make the rules. When choosing what tortilla chips to use just make sure they’re quite chunky/sturdy or they’ll go mushy.
What to serve with nachos?
For these I usually go for a pot of sour cream on the side. Guac if I’m feeling wild.
Can I prep these ahead of time?
Absolutely! Because you don’t need an oven these are perfect for trips away, scorching hot days when you don’t want the oven on and even things like camping! As I mentioned earlier you can make the salsa and cheese sauce ahead of time, so you just need to stack before serving. The cheese sauce will need heating up either on the stove or in the microwave (more on that in the recipe notes).
Process shots: spread tortilla chips (photo 1), drizzle with cheese sauce (photo 2), top with salsa and more chips (photo 3), pour over more sauce (photo 4), top with the rest of the salsa (photo 5), tuck in! (photo 6).
And there we have it! All my top tips for the perfect no bake nachos.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these no bake nachos shall we?!
How to make Nachos (Full Recipe & Video)
Delicious No Bake Nachos
- Large Serving Plate/Dish
- Medium Sized Pan/Pot & Whisk (for cheese sauce)
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Spatula (for salsa)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Cheese Grater
Ingredients (check list):
- 7oz / 200g Tortilla Chips, or as needed
Black Bean Salsa
- 1x 14oz/400g can of Black Beans, drained & rinsed
- 10.5oz / 300g Good Quality Tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 medium Onion, finely diced
- 1 small bunch of Coriander/Cilantro, finely diced (or to taste)
- 1-4 Jalapeños, finely diced (depending on spice preference)
- 1-2 Fresh Limes
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
- 3/4 tsp Cumin
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 3-4 cups / 300-400g Cheese (see notes)
- 2 cups / 480ml Milk, at room temp
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Hot Sauce, or to taste (optional)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all of your ingredients apart from the Jalapeños and 1 lime. Taste test for seasoning, then little by little add in your preferred amount of Jalapeño, 1 being fairly mild and 4 being spicy. Add more lime juice to taste.
- Melt 3 tbsp butter into a pan over medium heat, then whisk in 3 tbsp flour until a paste forms. Very gradually begin pouring in the milk, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Once the sauce has thickened, season to taste and add hot sauce (optional). 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.
- Spread half the tortilla chips, top with cheese sauce then sprinkle over salsa. Repeat a second layer then tuck in!
Quick 1 min demo!
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