Oven-Baked Nachos

Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 2 to 8
Easy tray-baked nachos
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)
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Store-bought tortilla chips from Vallarta are my go-to, but if you’re going the full supermarket experience, I love Calidad’s yellow corn chips. If you want to make the nachos vegetarian or vegan, substitute the beef with a couple of cans of your favorite beans or 2 pounds of Beyond Beef, then use vegetable stock and vegan cheeses and sour cream. This recipe makes enough for a party, and even though you could halve it to feed yourself and one other person, live a little and make the whole recipe — you’ll be glad you have leftovers the next day, trust me.

Seasoned Beef
Chips and Toppings

Make the seasoned beef: Crumble the beef into a large saucepan, then place over medium-high heat. Once the beef starts sizzling, continue cooking, stirring to break it up into small crumbles, until browned and almost all its moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Continue cooking until the beef starts sizzling and frying in its own fat, about 2 minutes more. Sprinkle the chili powder, flour, oregano and cumin over the beef and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and well combined with the beef, 1 to 2 minutes.


Pour in the broth and stir to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost all the moisture has evaporated and the beef is coated in a thick sauce, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper.


Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, then spread the chips out in an even layer. Using a Microplane, rain down the zest of ½ the lime over the chips (reserve the lime), then season with more salt. Spoon the seasoned beef evenly over the chips, then top with spoonfuls of the pico de gallo. Sprinkle both cheeses evenly over the chips, followed by the onions and chile. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is fully melted and the chips at the edges are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, zest the rest of the lime into a bowl, then juice the lime and add it to the zest. Spoon the sour cream into the bowl and stir to combine with the lime zest and juice (this should make the sour cream the drizzling consistency of crema).


Once the nachos come out of the oven, immediately shower with the shredded lettuce, then drizzle with the lime sour cream. Top with dollops of guacamole or diced avocado and serve the nachos straight from the baking sheet while hot.