NACHOS FOR DINNER: Surprising Sheet Pan Meals the Whole Family Will Love

Dan Whalen

Workman Publishing
December 21, 2021
$22.95/Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781523510481

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Dan Whalen is the culinary mad-genius creator of the popular recipe blog The Food in my Beard and the author of S’mores and Tots!. Since starting his website in 2008, he has published more than 1,000 recipes that have been viewed over 6 million times, and has produced numerous viral videos including a Quesadilla-Bun Burger video that has racked up 24 million views. His work has been featured in Saveur, Bon Appétit, Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, Boston.com, MSNBC, and Huffington Post, among others. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Crispy Base + Melty Sauce + Flavorful Topping = Nachos make a perfect sheet pan dinner!

It’s like a dream come true! First, because you now have an invitation to eat a plate of nachos as a real meal, and second, because here are dozens and dozens of recipes and ideas to transform this beloved snack into a nourishing sheet pan dinner. Plus dessert.

Written by the irrepressible Dan Whalen, Nachos for Dinner combines the mad-genius spirit of his previous books, ‘Smores and Tots!, with the practical brilliance of Sheet Pan Suppers. First Whalen breaks down the nacho’s

intrinsic appeal to its three essential components—a crispy base, a melty sauce, and a flavorful topper. And then he gives you the three flavor profiles—a lot of umami, a little heat, and something bright-tasting, whether pickled or fresh. From there the world is your nacho plate.

Of course there’s the chips-and-cheese classic, but then the nachos veer decidedly into dinner, with favorites from every part of the meal from French Onion Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Nachos, and Cobb Salad Nachos to Fish Taco Nachos, Banh Mi Nachos, and Shrimp and Grits Nachos. And there are plenty of not-chos (that is, nachos that use other ingredients for the chips)—like Lasagnachos, Scallion Pancake Nachos, and Pretzel and Brat’chos. Even Apple Pie Nachos for dessert.

Plantain Nachos with Carnitas and Black Beans

Makes 4 servings for dinner, or 8 as an appetizer

Takes about 15 minutes

Fried plantains really give these nachos a unique yet familiar flavor. These are some of the heartiest and most filling nachos I have had. A store near me sells sturdy plantain strips that are nice and long, making them perfect vehicles for nacho toppings. (The round kind are generally too small to hold all the ingredients, resulting in an unbalanced bite.) If you can’t find long plantain strips at a store near you, I suggest looking online.

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) plantain strips (about 80 strips)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups carnitas
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Chihuahua cheese
  • 1/2 cup Lime Crema
  • 1/4 cup Habanana Sauce
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, quartered and sliced into small wedges

 

Preheat the broiler to low with a rack about 4 inches from the heat.

Arrange the plaintain chips evenly on a sheet pan, overlapping them as little as possible.

Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on the chips, distributing it evenly. Next add the carnitas, then the beans, and top with the Chihuahua cheese.

Broil until the cheese has melted and the chips are starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. (Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn.) Remove from the oven.

Drizzle the crema and hot sauce on the nachos and top with the avocado and lime wedges. Serve hot.


Cheesesteak Nachos

Makes 4 servings for dinner, or 8 as an appetizer

Takes about 1 hour

Cheesesteak flavors lend themselves to nachos really well. The cheese can be a hot topic to cheesesteak purists—some say Cheez Whiz, others say provolone; some say mushrooms or peppers are acceptable, others absolutely not—so I tried to tread carefully with this recipe. We start with cheddar as a base and top the nachos with drippy Cheez Whiz to honor what some would argue adds that true Philly flavor (if you like, you can use the Nacho Cheese Sauce on page 7 instead). Caramelized onions are necessary for me in a cheesesteak, but I also love to add pickled peppers for a little brightness.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound shaved steak
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup Cheez Whiz
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) tortilla chips (about 90 chips)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pickled peppers slices

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter.

Cook the onions, adjusting the heat as needed—up if they aren’t browning enough or down if onion bits start to burn on the bottom of the pan—until they are a deep brown and reduced in size, about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and
set aside.

Turn the heat up to high and add the steak to the pan (with the vegetable oil if needed). Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often and using 2 spatulas to break up the meat, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the broiler to high with a rack about 4 inches from the heat.

Meanwhile, gently warm the Cheez Whiz in a small saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave in 10-second increments.

Arrange the tortilla chips evenly on a sheet pan, overlapping them as little as possible.

Sprinkle the cheese on the chips, distributing it evenly. Next add the steak, followed by the onions and then the pickled peppers. Drizzle the Cheez Whiz over all.

Broil until the cheese has melted and the chips are starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. (Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn.) Remove from the oven. Serve hot.


Excerpted from Nachos for Dinner: Surprising Sheet Pan Meals the Whole Family Will Love! by Dan Whalen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Penny De Los Santos.

Contact: Diana Griffin (she/her)

 diana@workman.com

212-614-7775


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