Why This Recipe Works

Who doesn't like nachos? A heaping pile of warm tortilla chips loaded with flavorful, spicy beef and gooey cheese holds undeniable appeal. But all too often, just a few minutes after emerging from the oven the chips end up soggy, the beef is cold, and the cheese is congealed. For nachos that could hold their hot-out-of-the-oven appeal until the very last chip is snagged, we moved this happy-hour favorite to the cast-iron skillet. While it may not be traditional, it turned out to be the perfect vessel for nachos; not only did it mean we could use fewer dishes (you can both cook the beef and serve the nachos in the same skillet), but cast iron also holds onto heat longer than aluminum or stainless steel, so the nachos stay warmer longer after you take them out of the oven. To ensure that every bite was loaded with toppings, we layered the nachos in the skillet, so even the chips on the bottom had an even coating of warm cheese and spicy beef. Serve with fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and lime wedges.


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2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
8 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
teaspoon salt
½ cup chicken broth
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces tortilla chips
¼ cup jarred jalapeños, chopped
2 scallions, sliced thin
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 6)

  • Calories 644
  • Cholesterol 99 mg
  • Fat 45 g
  • Sodium 681 mg
  • Saturated 18 g
  • Carbs 30 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Monounsaturated 16 g
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated 5 g
  • Protein 28 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 6 to 8

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and stir in 1 cup Monterey Jack and 1 cup cheddar.

3. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Spread half of tortilla chips evenly in now-empty skillet. Sprinkle 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and 1/2 cup cheddar over chips, then top with half of beef mixture, followed by half of jalapeños. Repeat layering with remaining chips, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack, 1/2 cup cheddar, beef mixture, and jalapeños. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.