If you're looking for a fun main dish, something to serve on game day or a great appetizer for when you're hosting, sheet pan chicken fajita nachos are it! Crispy tortilla chips are topped with lots of cheese, perfectly sautéed fajita vegetables and juicy chicken for a sure-fire friend and family favorite recipe.
Get ready to eat the best nachos ever!
I know that's a bold statement.
But I stand by it.
And so we've had a lot of different nachos (even apple ones!) over the years.
But the first time I made this chicken fajita nachos recipe, we both agreed that it was the best one so far.
And if you don't believe me, I guess you'll just have to try them for yourself...
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast- If you'd prefer, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
- Avocado Oil- For cooking the fajita mixture. I prefer to use avocado oil as it has a higher smoke point, but olive oil or another cooking oil can be used if needed.
- Seasonings- I like to keep it simple with a blend of cumin, paprika, salt and garlic powder. If you have some homemade fajita seasoning or taco seasoning on hand, you can use a tablespoon of that instead. You can also use 2 teaspoons of chili powder (the spice mix- not ground chilies) and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Lime Juice- Brings the flavors of the fajita mixture together. If you don't have any on hand, it can be skipped.
- Yellow Onion- Chopped red onion or white onion can also be used.
- Bell Peppers- Any color of sweet bell peppers will work. I like to use a combination such as half red bell peppers and half green bell peppers for esthetics.
- Corn Tortilla Chips
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese- Feel free to substitute another favorite such as Monterey jack cheese or smoked cheddar (my favorite!). Whatever kind you choose, be sure that you shred it yourself for best results.
1. Cook chicken. Combine the spices in a small bowl. Add ½ tablespoon of oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat allow to heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken breast and sprinkle half of the seasonings overtop. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip and add remaining seasonings. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until cooked through to 165 °F. Remove the chicken to a plate.
2. Cook vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan as well as the bell peppers and onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Once the vegetables are cooked, slice the chicken into strips and place back into the skillet.
Add ½ tablespoon squeeze of fresh lime juice and stir everything together. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Assemble nachos. On a large baking sheet, spread nacho chips in a single layer, overlapping slightly.
Spoon half of chicken fajita mixture over top (about 1.5 cups).
And then half of the shredded cheese.
Top with a second layer of corn chips and the second amount of toppings and cheese.
4. Bake sheet pan nachos. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes until the cheese melts and is slightly golden brown.
5. Serve! Garnish with your favorite toppings.
Leftovers and Storage
Make Ahead: Cook the chicken fajita mixture up to 2 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To Store: Cool leftover loaded chicken fajita nachos on a wire rack completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To Reheat: While they aren't quite the same the next day, you can reheat nachos in the oven or toaster oven at 300 F for 15-20 minutes. Spread them out into a single layer for best results. See this post for microwave, air fryer and stove top reheating methods plus tips.
Smaller Batch: If you know that you won't eat a full tray of nachos, I recommend assembling a smaller portion and storing the leftover chicken mixture and cheese in separate containers in the refrigerator (up to 2 days) to make later so that you can have them fresh rather than reheating leftovers and risking having soggy nachos.
Make it Your Own
Repurpose Leftover Cooked Chicken- If you have some leftover, mildly seasoned chicken on hand from another recipe (such as a roast chicken), you can slice it up (you need about 1 and ¼ cups) and skip right to the step of cooking the peppers. Then simply add the already cooked chicken into the peppers at the last step.
Use a Different Protein- Love a different type of fajitas? Try using sliced beef, pork, shrimp or a can of black beans in place of the chicken.
Make them Spicy- Add some heat by including a jalapeno (or two) in the fajita mixture or add some ground cayenne pepper (about ¼ teaspoon to start) to the spice mixture.
Make a Bigger Batch- If you're serving a big group, you can double the recipe and assemble it in three layers on a very large baking sheet.
Skillet Nachos- If you would like, you can assemble the nachos in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet. Divide the chips and toppings into 3 layers instead of 2. You may want to reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and increase the baking time by a couple of minutes to ensure even melting of all of the layers.
Load these nachos up with all of your favorite toppings and sides! Some ideas:
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Diced fresh tomatoes or Pico de Gallo
- Corn and Black Bean Salsa or my favorite Easy Salsa
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Sliced green onions or fresh cilantro
- Sliced jalapenos
Tips For the Best Chicken Nachos
- Ensure Well Melted Cheese- My number one tip for making THE BEST homemade chicken fajita nachos is shredding your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated to prevent it from caking together which prevents it from melting as well.
- Take the Time to Layer Properly- Taking the time to lay out the chips rather than dumping the bag ensures even toppings and cheese. If you want to make great nachos, take the extra couple of minutes to assemble them well.
- Make Clean Up Easy- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner to make clean up easier.
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And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like:
Chicken Fajita Nachos
- 1 and ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 1 medium
- 2 bell peppers thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 lime
- 6 oz tortilla chips
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
Cook the Fajita Mixture:
- Combine the spices in a small bowl. Add ½ tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat allow to heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken breast and sprinkle half of the seasonings overtop. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip and add remaining seasonings. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until cooked through to 165 °F. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan as well as the bell peppers and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, slice the chicken into strips and back into the skillet. Add ½ tablespoon squeeze of fresh lime juice and stir everything together.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- On a baking sheet, spread nacho chips in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Spoon half of fajita mixture over top (about 1.5 cups) followed by half of the shredded cheese.
- Top with a second layer of tortilla chips and the second amount of toppings and cheese.
- Bake at 400 °F for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.Serve with your favorite garnishes.