Doctored-up BBQ sauce takes these BBQ Chicken Nachos to a whole new level. They're crispy, crunchy, cheesy, sweet, spicy, and 100% fan-favorite comfort food.
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Table of contents
- Doctored-up BBQ sauce takes these BBQ Chicken Nachos to a whole new level. They're crispy, crunchy, cheesy, sweet, spicy, and 100% fan-favorite comfort food.
- Save this BBQ nachos recipe for later on Pinterest:
- Why you'll love these loaded BBQ chicken nachos:
- BBQ chicken ingredients:
- BBQ pulled chicken nachos ingredients:
- How to make BBQ chicken nachos:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Making this recipe with Instant Pot barbecue chicken:
- Recipe variations:
- How to make these barbecue chicken nachos ahead of time:
- Serving suggestions:
- Dietary adaptations:
- Storage and reheating directions:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More easy appetizer recipes:
If there's anything I love more than getting together with friends and family, it's getting together with friends and family around great food!
A tasty spread elevates any gathering to the next level -- leaving both our hearts and bellies satisfied. And these barbecue chicken nachos definitely satisfy from the inside out!
With a saucy and sweet glaze, the bbq chicken is the perfect complement to salty and crunchy tortilla chips. Melted cheese makes these chicken nachos extra satisfying and comforting. Pile on some sweet pickled jalapenos for a sweet kick, sprinkle on some cilantro and black olives, and you have sheet pan nachos that are sure to satisfy almost any crowd!
Save this BBQ nachos recipe for later on Pinterest:
Why you'll love these loaded BBQ chicken nachos:
- Zesty - extra spices, honey, and Worcestershire sauce add an extra zip to these nachos, making them dimensional and one-of-a-kind!
- Hearty - because there's no such thing as too much BBQ, we generously pile the shredded chicken onto these nachos!
- Versatile - these nachos with chicken are enthusiastically welcomed to almost any gathering or meal you want to serve them at.
- Perfect for a crowd - and a hungry one at that! This recipe can serve up to 16 people as an appetizer, or 8 people as a main dish.
BBQ chicken ingredients:
With a few pantry staples, we take shredded chicken for nachos to a new stratosphere:
- Shredded chicken - baked or steamed chicken, rotisserie chicken, or even leftover grilled chicken all work great in this recipe.
- BBQ sauce - use your favorite brand and/or flavor of sauce. I prefer a honey-based one.
- Honey - for a bit of natural sweetness.
- Worcestershire sauce - contributes an addictive tang to these barbecue chicken nachos.
- Apple cider vinegar - adds a sweet and light kick to the saucy chicken.
- Seasonings - smoked paprika, mustard powder, onion powder, and garlic powder take the bottled barbecue sauce to a whole new flavor dimension.
BBQ pulled chicken nachos ingredients:
Assembling these barbecue nachos is easy! All you'll need is:
- Tortilla chips - all you need are classic corn chips. Restaurant-style or lime-seasoned chips will also work.
- Sharp cheddar cheese - for the best-melted cheese, shred your own sharp cheddar.
- Red onion - just a sprinkling of the sweet onion adds a bit of spice.
- Pickled sweet jalapenos - I often purchase these at Trader Joe's, though I've found other brands of them at Safeway and Wal-Mart, too.
- Sliced black olives - or, halved black olives.
- Cilantro - if this herb tastes like soap to you, you can omit it.
How to make BBQ chicken nachos:
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large-rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Step 2: In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Step 3: Bring the BBQ sauce mixture to a simmer over medium-low or medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: Add the shredded chicken to the saucepan with the BBQ sauce and gently toss until covered.
Step 5: Scatter the tortilla chips on the baking sheet. Scatter the bbq chicken over the tortilla chips, spreading out the chicken with a fork or your fingers.
Step 6: Sprinkle the chicken with red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced olives, and sweet pickled jalapenos.
Step 7: Bake the sheet pan nachos for 13-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just starting to bubble around the edges. Sprinkle the nachos with cilantro and serve with your favorite nacho fixings!
- To save on clean-up, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Use a rimmed baking sheet to prevent any of the chicken sheet pan nachos from sliding off.
- If your crowd isn't large enough to eat all 12-16 servings of this BBQ nachos recipe, just cut the recipe in half.
- Add some heat to your bbq chicken by stirring ⅛ - ½ teaspoon ground red pepper into the barbecue sauce with the other seasonings.
Making this recipe with Instant Pot barbecue chicken:
I originally made this recipe with my popular Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe. If you have an Instant Pot (or another pressure cooker), it's seriously so easy (and quick!) to make shredded barbecue chicken in it.
Just make the Instant Pot chicken as directed and substitute it for the chicken in this recipe.
There are so many different ways you can mix up this recipe. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Substitute pulled BBQ pork for the barbecue chicken. You can even buy premade pulled barbecue pork for a super easy option.
- Try out different barbecue sauces. I usually go with a classic or honey-based barbecue sauce, but a spicy, sriracha, coffee, or other flavored BBQ sauce would all be delicious in this recipe.
- Change up the cheese. Shredded sharp cheddar is tasty in this recipe, but Monterey jack, white cheddar, or a Mexican cheese blend would also be lip-smackin'!
How to make these barbecue chicken nachos ahead of time:
These nachos are a great make-ahead appetizer. Here's how:
- Prep the chicken. Cover and store the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Prep the toppings. This can be done up to 2 hours ahead of time. Slice the olives, chop the onions, shred the cheese (if not using pre-shredded), and spoon nacho toppings and garnishes into small serving bowls. Cover the bowls and refrigerate the toppings for up to 3 hours, or until serving. Note: cilantro is best chopped and added to the nachos right before serving.
- Assemble and bake the nachos according to the recipe directions.
Load these nachos up with all your favorite bbq nachos toppings and garnishes. Some of our favorites:
- Sour cream
- Avocado or guacamole
- Green onions
Serve these BBQ nachos at your next game day party, potluck, summer barbecue, baby shower, or Friday night family dinner. I'm not sure there are many people who won't be stoked about diving into these sheet pan chicken nachos!
To make gluten-free nachos with this recipe, use 100% corn tortilla chips.
To make this recipe dairy-free, use vegan cheddar cheese (I prefer Violife's Just Like Cheddar shreds).
To make this recipe vegan, substitute shredded jackfruit or seitan for the chicken and vegan cheddar cheese for the traditional cheese.
Storage and reheating directions:
Leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. They do not freeze well.
For best results, reheat leftover nachos in an oven or air fryer preheated to 300 degrees for 4-8 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. You will likely need less time to reheat in the air fryer than you will in the oven.
Though you can grill nachos as well, I prefer to bake them as the heat is more even and easier to control in the oven. The nachos also won't be as prone to drying out as they are on the grill.
Layer the nachos from bottom to top accordingly: tortilla chips, meat (or meat substitute), cheese, and additional toppings. I recommend sprinkling the cheese over the chips and meat as it will help to bind the chips and meat together as it melts.
The longer the chicken sits on tortilla chips before being added to the oven, the more the chips will become soggy. So, to make nachos that aren't soggy, layer the barbecue chicken and other toppings onto the tortilla chips immediately before adding them to the oven.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Mixing bowl
- Sauce pan
- Silicone spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rimmed large cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Serving spatula
More easy appetizer recipes:
- Dairy-free Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Cheesy Refried Bean Dip
- Cheesy Asparagus Tarts
- BBQ Chicken Flatbreads
- Healthy Deviled Eggs
- Spiced Sweet Potato Fritters
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!