Though the average student is likely to pile as many nachos onto their plate as possible to pass it off as a cheap dinner, nachos are far better enjoyed as a side dish rather than the main event of a meal.
How you like to serve your nachos and the type of toppings that you prefer to use will influence the type of dishes that will work best with your nachos. Not sure which culinary direction you should head?
Don’t worry, we have plenty of options for you.
7 Dishes to Serve with Nachos
Though there are countless toppings you can use for your nachos, at their base, they comprise of crunchy tortilla chips and plenty of cheese in either the form of grated cheese or a creamy cheese sauce.
A range of meats, vegetables, and condiments such as ground beef or guacamole are popular nacho toppings, but no matter what flavour you prefer, the dishes below will work great alongside nachos:
1) Chilli (Con Carne)
Simply known as chili in the US, chilli con carne is a delicious, filling and often cheap dish by itself. Paired with nachos, you will have the perfect Mexican inspired comfort meal.
Chilli con carne can easily be served as its own meal because of how filling it can be. However, if you want to make the chilli last longer, then the spicy, flavourful stew can be great as a nacho topping.
The tomato and meat base for the stew, while savoury, will still taste great with plenty of cheese so you don’t have to miss out on that when using the chilli as a nacho topping.
If you don’t want to serve the chilli con carne on top of the nachos for fear of the nachos turning soggy, you can always serve the nachos as a side dish to the chilli.
You can then dip the cheese loaded nachos into the stew like you would garlic bread.
As far as nacho toppings go, guacamole is one of the most popular, right next to melted cheese.
Instead of dolloping a few spoonfuls of guacamole on top of your nachos, serve it in a bowl as a dip to accompany your nachos. This will make the nachos seem more filling and you won’t be limited by how much guacamole can fit on top of your nacho filled plate.
Guacamole is a very common condiment or dip of choice within Mexican and South American cuisine so you will have no issues pairing the slightly sweet, buttery mixture with your crunchy loaded nachos.
In fact, guacamole can be the ideal texture contrast to the nachos.
3) Mexican Street Corn
Another option to help you really bask in the Mexican cuisine is Mexican street corn. Mexico is well known for its varied, speedy, but great tasting street food, one of the most well-known dishes being Mexican street corn.
Like with the guacamole, you can make some Mexican street corn with some off the cob corn and serve it as a rough dip to dip your nachos into.
Or you can go with the more traditional Mexican street corn on the cob which makes for a perfect side dish to a range of Mexican main meals. The sweet juiciness of the corn can be just the break you need between bites of crunchy nachos.
Similarly to how French fries are the instant go-to accompaniment for burgers or hot dogs, nachos can act the same for well-loved Mexican dishes too like tacos.
There tends to be a lot of cross over between taco and nacho toppings, with plenty of cheese, fresh veggies, and typical Mexican condiments adding as much flavour to the dishes as possible.
However, if you prefer your nachos plain with just a generous helping of melted cheese on top, then tacos can offer that much needed burst of flavour without interfering with the flavour or texture of the nacho themselves.
5) Spanish Rice
Most of the dishes on this list assume that you will be serving nachos as a side dish. But loaded tacos with all the works can be a filling and delicious entree. Still, nachos only have as much flavour as you add to them.
Using a side dish like Spanish rice that perfectly embodies Mexican flavours such as cumin and garlic can help ensure that you have a great tasting dish no matter how much effort you want to go with your nachos.
Better yet, you can save any leftover Spanish rice you might have and serve it the next day with a whole range of dishes.
6) Cheese Quesadilla
Nachos work so great as a meal because of how cheap and easy they are to make. Though depending on how many tortillas you have to hand and how many suitable toppings you have, they may not make the most filling meal.
You can bulk out your cheap nachos by making an equally cheap accompanying dish of cheesy quesadillas.
Like the nachos, quesadillas can be filled with pretty much anything you want, so long as there is plenty of cheese in there to melt and make for a comforting dish. Cheese quesadillas are also very filling because of the flour tortillas they use, so you can be sure of a filling but cheap meal.
7) Fried Chicken
Adding some protein to the dish is an easy way to instantly ensure your nachos keep you full for longer.
Fried chicken flavoured however you want is not only simple to make but is also one of the most versatile ways to prepare chicken so you can use any leftovers for your next few meals, too.
For a full burst of flavour, add your fried chicken to your nachos before you start loading them with toppings so that the chicken can benefit from that extra flavour, too.
Nacho Accompaniments FAQs
Do you still have questions about what to serve alongside nachos? Then these FAQs might help you out:
Nachos are the perfect vessel for various sauces including salsa roja, guacamole, sour cream and chive, tomatillo salsa, chilli mayo or aioli.
When picking a cheese, you want something salty and something that melts well. A good cheddar is the go-to option. If you don’t need it to melt then crumbled feta or cotija are perfect.
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Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.