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Sassy, saucy, and delicious Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos combine all of your favorites into an easy family-friendly dinner recipe or a party appetizer to share with friends. Not only are they absolutely mouthwatering and customizable, but they are so fast to make. Plus these barbecue nachos are gluten free!
The Best BBQ Chicken Nachos
Truthfully, though, BBQ Chicken Tostadas are one of my most popular recipes. Everyone loves my Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos made the more traditional Tex Mex way. And you really can’t go wrong with Barbecue Chicken Pizza. So I combined all three.
Start with leftover or grocery store rotisserie chicken and your favorite barbecue sauce, then just pile everything on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven. You get the best of all worlds – sassy, saucy goodness, plenty of crunch, and lots of cheese!
Cuisine Inspiration: American and Tex Mex
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Nut-free
Skill Level: Easy
Why BBQ Nachos?
I mean, why not? They are so easy to make, especially when you use chicken that’s already cooked and toss it in your favorite sauce. Just layer everything up, and pop it in the oven. Then you can get creative with all of your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Here’s why you’ll love them:
- Flavor. Use a barbecue sauce you love, since that is the main star. It can be sweet, spicy, or smoky. Then all of the other toppings add a perfect balance to that saucy chicken with the sweetness of pineapple, the bite of onion, and of course plenty of cheese. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro is also a great addition.
- Texture. Tender chicken, melty cheese, creamy and crisp toppings, and of course those crunchy chips.
- Simplicity. This is a fast recipe that requires little effort since you can use leftover, pre-cooked, or rotisserie chicken. Piling it all on a baking sheet means little cleanup. And it needs just a few minutes in the oven.
BBQ Chicken Nachos Ingredients
You’ll need to make your nachos, and then the best part is loading them up with toppings you love. Here’s a list of the essentials, plus some toppings ideas to get you started. The full amounts are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken. You’ll need cooked and shredded chicken. You can use any leftovers you have, like from Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken, or grab a grocery store or Costco rotisserie chicken.
- Barbecue sauce. This might be the most important ingredient, so make sure to use one you love. I’m partial to Stubb’s Original.
- Tortilla chips. A good, sturdy chip is essential for nachos. You don’t want them to get soggy when you add the toppings or fall apart when you try to pick them up.
- Cheese. I like a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack. Cheddar adds a flavorful sharpness and jack cheese gets nice and creamy. If you want an extra kick, try some pepper Jack.
- Jalapeno or sweet mini bell pepper. Thinly sliced. It’s your choice depending on how much heat you want.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Chopped pineapple. Either fresh or canned will work.
- Red onion. Thinly sliced. Scallions or a sweet onion would be a good option too.
How to Make BBQ Nachos
This is just a brief summary of what you’ll need to do. The recipe card contains detailed instructions.
- Get things ready. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scatter the tortilla chips on a sheet pan.
- Prepare the chicken. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the barbecue sauce until thoroughly coated.
- Assemble and bake. Sprinkle with some of the cheddar cheese, then spread the chicken evenly over nachos. Top with all of the peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, and finally the rest of the cheese. Bake the nachos for 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Garnish and enjoy. Top your nachos with extra barbecue sauce, cilantro, a drizzle of sour cream, or any other toppings you love, starting with some of the ideas listed above.
Tips for the Best BBQ Nachos
- Change it up. You can make these nachos with leftover BBQ Pulled Pork or even Chili Lime Steak Bites instead of the chicken.
- Use two layers of cheese. If you want cheesy goodness in every but but also a nice golden layer on top, make sure you sprinkle some directly on the chips, then more on top of the chicken and other toppings.
- Enjoy right away. You don’t want to make your nachos too far in advance because they will get soggy.
- Make nacho packets. Instead of using a baking sheet, split everything up into foil packs so everyone can customize their own individual nacho packets with their favorite toppings.
Frequently Asked Questions
The nachos that you get in restaurants might not be gluten free. By making them at home, it’s easy to enjoy gluten free nachos. Many brands of corn tortilla chips are gluten free, such as Tostitos. But do beware of multigrain chips that may contain gluten. Ingredients like chicken, cheese, and the veggie toppings are gluten free. Just be sure to check the labels on your barbecue sauce.
It really does make preparation and cleanup super easy. Plus you can spread the chips out a lot so that each one gets plenty of toppings. There is nothing worse than a pile of nachos on a plate, but the chips are the bottom are dry and have no cheese. However, you can use any kind of oven-safe baking dish or even aluminum foil.
I do not recommend making them ahead of time. Whether you just layer everything ahead of time of try to bake in advance, because of the sauce and toppings, the chips are likely to get soggy.
But you can combine the chicken and barbecue sauce in advance and have the toppings prepared. Then just layer everything on the baking sheet while you preheat the oven.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Nachos
BBQ nachos make a great party snack or fun family meal. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Serve a BBQ feast. Serve your nachos with Instant Pot Ribs, a scoop of Apple Coleslaw, and some Easy Banana Pudding for dessert.
- Make it a tailgate. No game day party is complete without Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos and a platter of Greek Yogurt Deviled Eggs.
- Have a kid-favorite dinner. These barbecue chicken nachos are so good when served with Tropical Broccoli Salad and some tender Chili Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos
For the Nachos:
- 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 1/4 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce, divided
- one 11-13 oz. bag of tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 jalapeno or sweet mini bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- Avocado Lime Cream (see below) or guacamole, if desired
- Cilantro for garnish, if desired
For the Avocado Lime Cream:
- one avocado
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper
For the Nachos:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a bowl, toss the chicken with 1 cup of the barbecue sauce until thoroughly coated.
- Scatter the tortilla chips on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with ½ cup cheddar cheese and spread the chicken evenly over the chips.
- Evenly sprinkle with the peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, and all of the remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Bake the nachos for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately with desired toppings. Drizzle with the last ¼ cup of barbecue sauce, sprinkle cilantro, and serve with Avocado Lime Crema or guacamole.
For the Avocado Lime Cream:
- Cut the avocado in half and scrape out the flesh into a small blender, food processor, or bowl. Add the Greek yogurt or sour cream and lime juice.