Barbeque Chicken Nachos

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Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos are a saucy way to combine two favorites into one family-friendly easy dinner recipe or a party appetizer to share with friends. And the best part is that they are so fast to make. Just start with leftover or grocery store rotisserie chicken and your favorite barbecue sauce. Pile everything on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven!

spatula slid under barbeque chicken nachos on a sheet pan

Why BBQ Chicken Nachos?

I mean, why not?

Truthfully, though, BBQ Chicken Tostadas are one of my most popular recipes. Everyone is loving the 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. You get the best of all worlds.

  • Flavor – use a barbecue sauce you love, since that it the main star. It can be sweet, spicy, or smoky. But 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. No need to fuss with pizza crust.
nachos topped with chicken, cheese, red onions, and avocado cream

Quick and Easy BBQ Chicken Nachos

The best barbecue chicken nachos are so easy to make. Use chicken that’s already cooked and toss it in your favorite sauce. Layer everything up, and pop it in the oven. Then just add even more of your favorite toppings. Get creative and enjoy!

Main Ingredients

  • Chicken – you’ll need cooked and shredded chicken. You can use any leftovers you have 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.

Other toppings

  • 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 – fresh or canned
  • Red onion – thinly sliced. Scallions or a sweet onion would be a good option too.
  • Garnishes – more BBQ sauce, chopped cilantro, and the Avocado Cream in the recipe card are all great options to add after you bake your nachos.
barbeque chicken nachos cooked on a baking sheet

Making BBQ Chicken Nachos

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scatter the tortilla chips on a sheet pan.
  2. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the barbecue sauce until thoroughly coated. Place chicken evenly over nachos.
  3. Sprinkle with some of the cheddar cheese, all of the pepper, tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, and finally all of the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake nachos for 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

How to Serve BBQ Chicken Nachos

You’ll want to serve the nachos immediately. Customize them with your favorite garnishes and dips:

  • More barbecue sauce
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Avocado cream (see recipe card) or guacamole
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Fruit salsa
  • Green onions

Or anything you like!

hand picking up one of the barbecue chicken nachos

Frequently Asked Questions

Are barbecue chicken nachos gluten free?

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.

Do you have to make them on a sheet pan?

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, another option is to split everything up into foil packs so everyone can make their own individual nacho packets with their favorite toppings. 

Can you make nachos in advance?

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. The just layer everything on the baking sheet while you preheat the oven.

tortilla chips covered with chicken, bbq sauce, cheese, and toppings on a blue plate

Make it a Meal – What to serve with BBQ Chicken Nachos

Side dishes

Other party snacks

spatula picking up some of the nachos on a sheet pan
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More Barbecue Sauce recipes

spatula picking up some of the nachos on a sheet pan

Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

Combine two favorites into one fun and easy dinner, or serve it as game day snacks. Family and friends will love big pile of this cheesy, saucy deliciousness.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Servings: 6 -12 people

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.
  • Place chicken evenly over nachos.
  • Evenly sprinkle with ½ cup cheddar cheese, pepper, tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, and all of the remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Bake nachos for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve immediately with desired toppings. Try the last ¼ cup of barbecue sauce, cilantro, and 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.

Notes

Tip: Split everything up into foil packs so everyone can make their own individual nacho packets with their favorite toppings. Or pile everything on baked sweet potato fries.
Nutrition Facts
Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (assuming 6 dinner-size servings))
Calories 490 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 1006mg42%
Potassium 357mg10%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 491IU10%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 339mg34%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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