Psst… I have a food secret. Want to know what it is? I am a down and dirty lover of nachos! A crunchy layer of crispy corn chips, piled with fresh salsa, refried beans, and lots & lots of melted cheese. Throw some grilled meat on there, and maybe some ripe avocado… and I’m one happy camper! So this year, when my boys asked me to make an easy nacho recipe for The Big Game, I gleefully said “yes”! But, of course, these aren’t just any nachos: I created a steak & black bean nacho recipe with big bold flavors, lots of hearty nacho ingredients, like seasoned black beans, and a fajita-spice marinated skirt steak. Say hello to your next big party recipe, and find out How To Make The Perfect Steak And Black Bean Nachos!
Steak Nachos Recipe Ingredients
My steak nacho recipe are a classic Tex-Mex appetizer or main course. A great starter to serve before the Big Game, or really, in my opinion, any occasion! I loved whipping up this meal, because sometimes I just want something quick & satisfying to make for dinner! Whether for a special event, or even a busy weeknight, this homemade nachos recipe hits the spot!
Preparing nachos at home is a ton of fun, because you can put your own twist on this dish! They’re so easy to make, and require only a few simple ingredients. However, easy doesn’t mean bland! You can use a variety of toppings like cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeños pieces, or even leftover steak. Punch up the flavor of this steak nachos recipe with my citrus fajita spice marinate! Grab your favorite preprepared salsa, or whip up a tasty fresh version!
- Corn tortilla chips
- Cheddar cheese
- Fresh salsa
- Skirt Steak
- Seasoned black beans
- Charred Poblano Crema
The Best Cut of Meat for Loaded Steak Nachos
I prefer to use a relatively lean cut of beef, such as a flank steak or skirt steak. Although not as tender as some other choices, these steaks are full of flavor when treated properly! When choosing a steak for this recipe, opt for something with some marbling to it. But honestly, when it comes to the best steak for steak nachos – any steak will do! This dish is all about the combination of crunchy tortilla chips, melted cheese and the best-tasting salsa. If beef isn’t your jam, you could easily substitute chicken, or even tempeh, with the same basic marinade. It’s just as easy to prepare!
What are the Different Types of Marinades for Steak?
For this recipe, I like to marinate my meat overnight, but you can also do it in just a couple of hours. The longer you let the steak sit in the fajita spice marinade, the more flavor will be absorbed. There are many different marinades that can be used, each with its own unique flavor and texture. If a wet marinade isn’t your preference, you can always whip up a dry marinade of salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin and other spices to create a dry rub for the steak. Coat the beef in the dry rub, and then refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag or covered bowl.
How to Make Black Beans for Layered Nachos
We’ve been focusing a lot of attention on the marinated grilled steak, but the unsung hero of this recipe is the creamy, beautifully seasoned, black beans! I like to make things simple, and use canned organic black beans for this recipe. After rinsing well with cold water, they are set to simmer with some beef or vegetable broth, peeled garlic, and a little bit of onion powder. Once the beans are cooked, you can adjust the spices and liquids to make them as thick or thin as you want. I could eat a whole tray of these nachos with just these beans and cheese as toppings as a vegetarian option!
The Best Cheese for Your Nachos
This is a hotly debated subject, mostly because there are so many delicious cheeses that work well with this fun recipe! Mild Monterey Jack cheese melts beautifully, and becomes so creamy and delicious. Queso Fresco is amazing when generously sprinkled over the corn chips and seasoned black beans. But for me, I prefer a good old-fashioned yellow cheddar on my nachos! The most important thing about picking a cheese is how well the cheese melts. We want a lusciously gooey cheese-pull, and as a rule, shredded cheese works best!
Do you put Meat or Cheese First on Nachos?
Unlike the chicken-and-the-egg joke, there’s no wrong way to add cheese to nachos… buuuuuut, I do prefer to top the chips with cheese and the cooked black beans FIRST. I pop the large tray of chips & cheese into a hot oven to melt. Once melted, I’ll then start to add spoonfuls of salsa and strips of grilled steak before doing a quick broil. My motto – Bake first, Broil second!
Toppings for the Best Nachos Ever!
The sky is the limit when it comes to toppings for your layered nachos! Everyone can enjoy these homemade nachos by putting their own touches to the flavor profile! Bold flavor choices like bright chimichurri sauce, fresh pico de gallo and creamy guacamole are sure to please everyone! Nachos will be a party or dinner favorite for years to come! These are a few of my favorite topping combinations! Get creative with your ingredients and you’ll be sure to be a hit at your next tailgating or nacho party!
- Fresh salsa
- Jalapeño slices
- Grilled proteins
- Ripe avocado slices
- Homemade sour cream crema
- Refried Beans
How to Make a Crema?
It’s actually much easier than you think! The secret is in using the best fresh ingredients possible! I’ve made a a lovely smoky & slightly spicy sauce, all starting with a fresh poblano pepper charred on the grill. Poblanos are a mild Mexican pepper, that works beautifully with fresh lime and cilantro. These ingredients are blended together with sour cream until smooth, making a creamy sauce that is perfect for topping nachos, tacos, or even as a salad dressing!
How do you Assemble Nachos?
To arrange your nachos, first spread the chips in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Next, generously sprinkle your cheddar cheese and add dollops of spicy black beans. Bake in a preheated oven for 5-7minutes or until the cheese has started to melt. Remove the chips from oven, and top with the sliced steak & pico de gallo. Return to the hot oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted. What could be easier than a sheet pan of chips, cheese, and steak, covered with nachos toppings, like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream?!
Looking for a Steak Nacho Recipe Variation?
– Buffalo Chicken Nachos
This ground chicken version makes a great dinner option! Add a generous sprinkling of buffalo chicken seasoning to the crispy tortilla chips. Then, layer on spiced cooked ground chicken, seasoned with cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper for a spicy kick. Finish it off by adding your favorite cheese (like Monterey Jack) and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream!
More Big Game Day Recipes!
Browse through some of my best recipes for The Big Game and party foods!
The Perfect Steak And Black Bean Nachos Recipe
- 2 cookie sheets
- 2 pieces parchment paper
For the Marinated Steak (or chicken)
- 1 batch of Fajita Spice Marinade found here recommended 8-12 hour marinating time
- 12 oz piece of Marinated Flat Iron Steak or Two Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, grilled & sliced
For the Charred Poblano Crema
- 1 large poblano pepper roasted on the grill
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 clove of fresh garlic peeled
- Handful of fresh cilantro
- Juice of ½ a fresh lime
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
For the Seasoned Black Beans
- 1 (15 oz) can of organic black beans, drained & rinsed well
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic peeled
- 1 cup of beef or vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
For the Fresh Salsa
- 3 large fresh ripe tomatoes seeded & diced
- ½ a large red onion diced
- 1 large jalapeno pepper seeded & minced
- Juice of ½ a fresh lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Handful of fresh cilantro washed & chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
To Finish the Nachos
- 1 large bag of your favorite corn tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 ripe avocados
- Sliced fresh jalapenos
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
- For the Steak; Prepare the marinade linked above, and marinate your steak or chicken for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from the marinade and cook thoroughly on the grill or in an oiled hot cast iron pan. Reserve.
- For the Poblano Crema; On the hot grill, quickly char your poblano pepper. Place over the flames and rotate every 30 seconds until the pepper skin starts to blister & color. Allow to cool. Next with a paper towel, gently rub off the skin as best as you can. Using a sharp knife, cut the sides of the pepper away from the seeds. In a blender; add the seeded charred pepper, sour cream, garlic clove, cilantro, lime juice, salt and onion powder. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle or bowl, cover and chill until needed.
- For the Black Beans; Rinse the canned beans well under cold running water. Place in a small saucepan with two cloves of peeled fresh garlic, 1 cup (or enough broth to just cover the beans) beef stock, onion powder, and salt & pepper. Place over medium-high heat and let come to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and while mixing occasionally, boil off the broth until the beans become creamy & the garlic has softened. About 30 minutes. If the beans need more time, add a splash more of the beef broth and continue simmering. Adjust salt & pepper to taste. Reserve.
- For the Fresh Salsa; Add the chopped tomatoes, red onion, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and seasonings to a medium sized bowl. Stir well. Reserve.
- To Assemble the Nachos; Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the bagged tortilla chips, making sure not to use the broken pieces. Next, spread the shredded cheese evenly across the chips. Now, add generous spoonfuls of the seasoned black beans. Pop into the oven for 5 minutes, or just until the cheese has started to melt. After 5 minutes, remove from the oven to a cooling rack and begin to layer on the sliced steak (or chicken breast) & fresh salsa. Place back into the hot oven for 5-7 minutes.
- To Finish; Remove the nachos from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Add slices of fresh avocado & cilantro. Add dollops of sour cream and sliced jalapenos. Using a squirt bottle or large spoon, generously drizzle on your poblano crema over the nachos.
- Any lean cut of beef will work perfectly for this recipe.
- Marinating your proteins overnight will amplify the flavors.
- You can make a vegetarian version of this nacho recipe, by substituting the beef broth in the beans for vegetable broth, and replacing the steak with tempeh.
- Add additional toppings like fresh lettuce, red onions, pickled radishes, and bacon to create your own unique recipe.