These ultimate air fryer nachos are loaded with meat, beans, cheese and tons of amazing, customizable toppings! They are quick and easy and make a great snack or fun dinner!
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The air fryer is life, friends. Ever since getting my Cosori 12 in 1 Air Fryer about a year ago, I have used the oven maybeeeee……4 times! It’s TOTALLY replaced my oven for day-to-day cooking!
You can cook simple cheese nachos (chips, cheese, toppings) in the air fryer in about 5 minutes flat! However, I am taking these nachos up a level and making them ULTIMATE nachos that are loaded with meat, beans, gooey cheese, and loads of toppings of your choice!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Very little clean up! Enjoy them right out of the air fryer tray or basket!
- No need to turn on the oven, especially in the summer heat!
- Customize them however you like with different meats, cheeses, and toppings.
- Can suit a wide range of diets including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan.
- It’s NACHOS!!!!!! Nachos can literally make any night into a fun “party!”
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these amazing air fryer nachos:
Tortilla Chips: ANY tortilla chips will work but I really love using the thick, more “authentic” style chips. These nachos are loaded, so we don’t want a flimsy chip!
Cheese: Hand-grated Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar are the two best, meltiest cheeses and perfect for nachos! Grating your own cheese cheese at home vs. buying pre shredded cheese leads to better melting! However, pre shredded will definitely work!
Beans: Both pinto beans or black beans work great! Some people love refried beans too! Just be sure a thin them out with a little water when heating them up to make them spreadable over the chips!
Meat/Protein: Customize the protein/meat however you like — ground beef, turkey, chicken and leftover steak are all perfect! Or omit the meat all together!
Salsa: Your favorite salsa totally works here but I highly suggest making my easy pico de gallo to spoon on top!
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER NACHOS: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook ground beef in a skillet and season with taco seasoning. Add beans and mash together with a potato masher (key piece of equipment!!).
Step 2: Line air fryer tray or basket with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up!). These parchment paper liners are fantastic for the air fryer! Then, layer chips in an even layer, some overlapping is just fine!
Step 3: Top chips with an even layer of meat and bean mixture.
Step 4: Add a generous layer of cheese and air fry at 375 for 6 to 7 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Step 5 & 6: Top nachos with desired toppings and enjoy right away!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You sure can! It just takes a bit longer. Place nachos on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I have first hand experience with two air fryers and they are both awesome! When purchasing an air fryer, if you can spare the counter space, bigger is better! I am not a fan of the smaller ones unless you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people or just don’t have to counter space. Air frying is supposed to be quick and easy and having to batch-cook things takes away from that!
The two air fryers I recommend are the Cosori 12 in 1 Air Fryer or the Ninja Foodie 6 in 1 DualZone. Both have plenty of room to cook meals for 4 people without having to do multiple batches.
Yes, you can! However, keep in mind if you have put sour cream or avocado on your nachos, this will not reheat well. Otherwise, pop them in the air fryer at 350 for 2-3 minutes.
There are soooo many choices! Here are just a few: salsa/pico de gallo (here is my easy pico de gallo recipe) I avocado/guacamole, onions, olives, jalapeños, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro.
Swap out the meat with a meat alternative or another type of beans. Vegan cheese like the 360 Brand from Whole Foods works perfectly in place of regular cheese.
The air fryer easily takes care of this! These nachos will not be soggy! Cook at a high heat (375 degrees) and don’t leave the nachos in too long (6-7 minutes is perfect). Using thicker chips helps too!
If you have a basket-style air fryer, line the bottom with foil or parchment paper that is bigger than the basket. When the nachos are done, you can pull the foil right out of the basket and enjoy them right away!
If you have a tray-style air fryer, line the tray with foil or parchment paper. The tray makes the perfect serving “dish” and clean up is a cinch. People can eat right off the tray or use a spatula and serve themselves onto separate plates.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Be sure to line your air fryer tray or basket with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend using parchment paper liners every time you use your air fryer! It makes clean up so easy!
- Use a potato masher for the meat and beans!! This is such a great hack–the potato masher is so great at crumbling the meat into small bits. Mashing the beans into the meat gives a great texture to your nachos, too!
- If you follow the recipe exactly and use one can of beans and 1 lb. of ground meat, you will have a little meat/bean mixture leftover….which is great! The mixture is perfect for tacos, burritos or in a quesadilla the next day!
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Ultimate Air Fryer Nachos
- 1 lb ground beef any ground meat works, See Note 1
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 tbsp taco seasoning
- 6 cups thick tortilla chips
- 3 cups cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Toppings: pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, olives, scallions, avocado pick and choose your favorite toppings!
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown beef for about one minute. Use a potato masher to begin breaking up the meat.
- Add in black beans and taco seasoning and continue to mash the meat and bean mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes until beef is browned and cooked through.
- Preheat air fryer to 375. If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat setting, just turn it to 375 and give it a couple of minutes to come to temperature.
- Line your air fryer tray with foil or parchment paper . If you are using a "drawer" or basket-type air fryer, use foil or parchment paper that is a little bigger than your air fryer basket. When cooked, you will be able to easily pull out the nachos.
- Spread chips onto tray or basket–some overlapping is fine! Then, top chips with beef and bean mixture (See Note 2).
- Add cheese, then air fry for 6-7 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes. Then add the rest of your topping and dig in!