This tasty cast iron Skillet Nachos recipe is a quick way to get a restaurant style dinner or appetizer on the table in about 30 minutes! This recipe comes together in one pan for easy clean-up! Perfect for your next get together or anytime you're craving something full of Tex Mex flavor!
If you're looking for another delicious meal made with ground beef, check out my cheesy ground beef rice casserole!
Table of contents
Why It’s Awesome
It's quick and easy! You only need about 30 minutes to get this fun dish on the table for your hungry friends and family. Whether you're hosting a gathering or just trying to get dinner on the table, you'll love that this nachos dish comes together so fast. And what's even better is that you can make this in one pan for the fastest clean-up ever.
It's made with easy to find supermarket and panty ingredients. Chances are that you may already have most of these ingredients already. Why not toss them together to make these yummy nachos? You only need 7 ingredients for this recipe, and just a couple more of your favorite garnishes like Blender Salsa, avocado, jalepeño, and sour cream.
It's a tasty Tex Mex dish that tastes like you're eating out at a restaurant. Skip the wait and the crowds and eat at home! Sometimes we just crave a meal that delights the taste buds, and I promise you that these nachos will have them doing a happy dance! From the crunch of tortilla chips, the spice of the taco meat, to the melty goodness of the cheese, this is a dish you'll want to make over and over again.
Ground beef - I prefer to use 85% or 90% lean ground beef for these cast iron skillet nachos. It isn’t too fatty, but has plenty of beefy flavor. Of course ground turkey or chicken can work too. Leave the meat out for a vegetarian version.
Taco seasoning - You can use store bought taco seasoning or homemade. If you’d like to try my taco seasoning recipe from scratch you can find it here.
Corn - Either frozen or canned corn will work for this recipe. If fresh corn is in season, then by all means use it! Fresh summer corn is delicious!
Black beans - Canned black beans add some nice flavor and protein. You can make your own from dried beans, or substitute with pinto beans, chikpeas, or what ever bean you like best.
Tortilla chips - You can use your preferred type of tortilla chips. I like to use round Tostitos because they’re great bite size chips that work well in the cast iron skillet.
Cheddar cheese - Shredded cheddar cheese works well for these cast iron nachos or Monterey Jack or a mixture of the two works well too.
Toppings - You can top this nachos recipe with jalapeños, cilantro, avocado and diced tomatoes for a beautiful colorful and delicious dish!
Gather your ingredients. Position an oven rack to the top third of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400º. In a 9 inch oven proof skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add beef and chopped garlic and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add store bought taco seasoning, or try my homemade Easy Taco Seasoning. Mix well until beef is evenly coated. Remove meat to a plate or bowl that been lined with a couple layers of paper towels to drain some of the fat.
In the same oven proof skillet, add a layer of chips on the bottom (no need to clean the skillet first-yay!). I used about 2 handfuls. They should overlap some. Then layer on half the meat mixture.
Continue layering by adding half the black beans and half the corn.
Top with half the cheese. Place skillet in oven and bake until cheese is just melted, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet and repeat layers starting with chips and ending with cheese. Bake again until cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Top with your nachos with your favorite Tex Mex toppings like cilantro leaves, diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, and fresh or pickled jalapeños.
Use a cast iron skillet or any oven proof pan. A cast iron skillet is a kitchen essential that every cook should own. If you don't have one that's ok, just be sure you use a pan that can withstand a 400º F oven temperature. If you're unsure about the handle of the pan, wrap in in heavy duty foil.
Bake nachos on a sheet pan or baking dish instead of a skillet. Simply layer the ingredients in the same order. However, you won't need to repeat the layers unless you're doubling or tripling the recipe.
This is a versatile recipe with lots of options. Use your favorite ingredients or whatever you have on hand. Try ground turkey instead of beef, pinto beans instead of black beans, or pepper jack instead of cheddar.
Vegetarian or Vegan nachos - You can make these skillet nachos vegetarian by forgoing meat altogether and doubling the amount of beans. For Vegan nachos, replace the meat with 2 cans of drained beans such as pinto, black bean, or garbanzo beans. Add some chopped onions and one red and green bell pepper, and the corn. Cook this vegetable mixture with a tablespoon of olive oil and taco seasoning until softened. Layer this mixture over the chips finishing with vegan cheese.
Using refried beans may make the nachos soggy, so I find that whole beans work best.
Recipes to serve with nachos
Taco seasoning is made up of common seasonings you’ll probably have in your pantry. It includes chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Find the full recipe here.
Be sure your toppings are well drained and patted dry with paper towels. If not, the extra moisture can make the chips soggy. It’s also important not to crowd the nacho ingredients and to layer them.
It depends on the exact ingredients in the nachos. This recipe uses gluten free ingredients, but if you have this dietary requirement, it’s always best to check all the labels of the ingredients you are using.
Fun fact: nachos came from Northern Mexico and according to Wikipedia, they were invented by Ignacio “El Nacho” Anaya in 1940. The simple dish consisted of fried tortilla chips, melted cheese or a cheese sauce, and sliced jalapeños.
More Tex Mex Recipes
Find all my Mexican inspired recipes right here!
Cast Iron Nachos
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 package store bought taco seasoning or 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
- 1 cup fresh frozen or canned corn
- 1 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 10 ounce bag corn tortilla chips you’ll only need about 4-5 cups
- 2 cups shredded cheese cheddar monterey jack or a mixture of the two
- Position rack in top third of oven. Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Heat oil in a 9 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add beef and garlic. Cook until meat is no longer pink.
- Add taco seasoning, mixing to combine. Remove beef from skillet, set aside.
- Spread about 2 cups of chips on the bottom of the cast iron skillet, overlapping them. Top chips with half the beef mixture, half the beans, half the corn, and half the cheese. Bake for 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Repeat layers starting with chips and ending with cheese.
- Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Top with cilantro, avocado, sliced jalepeños, diced tomatoes and serve immediately.