Summer Sheet Pan Nachos

 
 

This is nacho typical shared dish (or pan, if you will).

Especially during summertime, when outdoor distractions and activities present themselves at a rapid pace, and the longer hours of sunshine leave us lost in a summer daze, I find it's the simplest dishes that are often the best. Hence, my summer sheet pan nachos require minimal prep, only one pan, and an instant sense of informal community.

Last Saturday morning at my neighborhood farmers market, I grabbed a couple ears of sweet white and yellow corn, as well as fresh cilantro and jalapeños for vibrant notes of spice. A local Mexican restaurant sells their acclaimed homemade tortilla chips and guacamole at the market (which I gladly sampled upon walking by the booth), thus inspiring my nacho concept.

These nachos can be nestled in the middle of a Mexican fiesta buffet or plopped on the poolside concrete for a family-friendly afternoon snack. They pair pretty perfectly with a frozen margarita, as well—Margarita Monday, anyone? The layered bites invoke immediate satisfaction, whether enjoyed by kids, neighbors, or colleagues.

Though my current combination features shredded roasted chicken, your preferences can vary from flank steak to caramelized onions and mushrooms (for a vegetarian version). And if you have a picky eater in your crew, the beauty of nachos is that you can pick around the undesirable ingredients!

Upon layering the toppings for last weekend’s pool party appetizer, my nostalgia brought me back to after-school snacks in grade school, during which I’d pop a plate of tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds. This recipe’s version, while much more complex and creative, proves that all ages and all occasions will appreciate the dish’s foundation. These nachos are cheesy, charming, and a guaranteed gathering point.

Enjoy your nacho noshing amidst this addictive summer heatwave.

 

Makes 4-6 servings

2 cups tortilla chips
1/2 cup queso fresco
1/4 cup cotija cheese
2 large chicken breasts, skin removed and shredded
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt + pepper
1 ear corn kernels, cooked
1 fresh jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 handful torn cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cover baking sheet with layer of tortilla chips. Then, layer queso fresco cheese with corn and chicken so they evenly melt together. Sprinkle chili powder, salt and pepper over top.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.* Remove and immediately top with avocado, radish, jalapeño and cotija. Serve immediately.

*Feel free to turn your oven settings to a high broil, at this point, and leave the nachos for an extra two minutes to bubble and crisp.