Hot nachos, cold beer. A big platter of nachos placed in front of a crowd of hungry chowhounds brings so much pure chomping joy. And these smoked pulled pork nachos prove that pulled pork, plenty of melty cheese, salt, lime, and crunch is such a great combination.
Nachos were invented in 1940 in the border town of Piedras Negras, Mexico when Victory Club employee Ignacio Anaya was inspired to serve a new snack to a regular customer. "Nacho" being a nickname for Ignacio, the term stuck to the dish like melted cheese to tortilla chips. One of the crunchier and most-satisfying ways to use that delicious pork you spent all that time making, leftover pulled pork nachos are perfect for game day, a party, or even just movie night.
Pulled Pork Nachos Toppings
Nacho toppings are endless, but they can be as simple as chips, pulled pork
- Chips - The foundation of nachos. And the type of chips you use does make a big difference. The best chips to use... corn tortilla chips that are thick enough to stand up to the strain of being piled on. The freshly fried ones you can buy at the grocery are the best for nachos. Chips that are thin will become soggy quite quickly.
- Pulled Pork - Make your own smoked pulled pork, or in a slow cooker or the oven. You can also source from your local BBQ restaurant or grocery store.
- Cheese - The best cheese to use: Go with a combination of cheddar and Monterey jack and buy them by the block and grate it yourself with a coarse grater, not a fine grater. Pre-shredded cheese is not optimal and you don't have control over the size of the grate.
- BBQ Sauce - The pop of your favorite BBQ sauce balances the salty and savory.
- Optional Toppings - Avocado or guacamole, black beans, fresh cilantro, sour cream, sliced jalapenos (fresh or pickled), tomatoes or salsa.
How to Make Pulled Pork Nachos
Between the topping and layers, it's all about creating a balance between texture and flavors. You want every bite to have a little something special.
- Preheat your oven to 400° F.
- Prep all the ingredients and toppings while the oven heats. Grab a quarter sheet pan, a 13x9 baking dish or a large cast iron skillet. Place a piece of parchment on the bottom to prevent sticking and make clean up easy.
- Assemble the nachos - Start layering first with chips, then cheese, pulled pork, green onions and a drizzle of BBQ sauce over all of it. Then do another layer of the same and top with some sliced jalapenos.
- Bake until the cheese is melted, around 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your cheese.
- Serve 'em hot.
Tip: Prep the ingredients ahead of time for quick and easy assembly.
Variations and Customizations
You can combine certain ingredients into a kind of theme, like heavy avocado, grilled corn, and lime for kind of a Baja vibe; or BBQ sauce, beans and sour cream for more of a Tex-Mex feel. Have fun with it! You really can't go wrong.
For a beverage, a cold Mexican-style lager is perfect. Or a margarita always goes down well, as does another margarita. Sangria is also a good choice.
More Pulled Pork Recipes to Try
- Pulled Pork Chili
- Pulled Pork Ragu
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Check out all the Leftover Pulled Pork Recipe ideas
Pulled Pork Nachos Recipe
- 2 cups pulled pork (about 10oz)
- 10 oz corn tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar and jack cheese (about 8 oz)
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- ¼ cup sliced jalapenos (pickled or fresh)
- sour cream
- avocado or guacamole
- lime slices
- salsa or fresh tomatoes
- Preheat your oven to 400° F with the rack placed in the middle.
- Prep all the ingredients and toppings while your oven preheats so it is easy to assemble. Warm the pulled pork in a cast iron skillet to make it crispy, or even in the microwave.
- Line a sheet pan, a 13x9 baking dish or even a large cast iron skillet with parchment paper or foil, but parchment works best.
- Layer half of the chips, half the pulled pork, half of the cheese, half the green onions and a drizzle of bbq sauce. Sprinkle a little salt on each layer.
- Continue with a second layer and then top with some jalapenos if using.
- Bake just until the cheese is all melted, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add your favorite toppings and serve immediately.
- The recipe can easily be scaled up or down. Just use this as a guide. will make enough for 6 to 8 people as an appetizer.
- Any pulled pork will work great. Make it in the smoker, slow cooker or oven. You can use store-bought or from a restaurant as well.
- You can add sauce to the pulled pork and mix as it heats, or just crisp it in a skillet and drizzle a little on top.
- Add your bbq sauce and sour cream to squeeze bottles for easy application to the nacho layers and a cool presentation.
- Black or refried beans can be added to the mix to make the nachos even more filling.
- Nachos are also great with leftover smoked brisket.
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