This one ain’t pretty. My sister’s chicken salsa nachos are, to borrow a Chef Dave Chang term, “ugly delicious”. But they are ALSO a delish, fast, easy, and pretty healthy weeknight meal!
The exact ingredients and how you source them are pretty flexible, depending on what you have on-hand. This is the definition of a “pantry/freezer meal”. But I think this overall combination (corn, peppers, black beans, onions, and green chiles) works perfectly.
And because it’s even better when the flavors have melded and mellowed a bit, it makes a great make-ahead meal.
These were initially conceived as rotisserie chicken nachos (something my family tends to have around), since that’s the easiest and best option for flavorful, cooked chicken. But if you don’t have that you can also grill or bake chicken then finely chop or shred.
You can use either frozen or canned corn (drained) for this recipe. We prefer frozen, but either works fine. And I love to use my homemade taco seasoning rather than the preservative-laden store kind…it’s so easy to make, just as delicious, and much healthier!
If you’re using frozen corn (which I recommend), pour it into a colander and run lukewarm water over it for several seconds. Then leave to thaw for 10-15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
Finely dice the onion and pepper…and I definitely think it should be smaller than what you see here (especially the bell peppers).
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl—the chopped vegetables, chiles, black beans, and chicken, and add the taco seasoning, lime juice, and a little drizzle of olive oil.
I am a HUGE fan of making your own taco seasoning, to control the ingredients and flavors (and avoid weird preservatives, caking agents, etc). It’s insanely easy and you can make a big batch and use on it for a few months.
Stir to combine, then taste and ensure the balance is right.
One thing to note, the taco seasoning will be a bit intense at first…that’s normal so don’t get too worried. The overall flavors will mellow as they sit together (and more juices are released by the vegetables).
And that’s all it takes! Just a few minutes of chopping and combining, and you have a delicious, healthy meal on-hand for days.
You can use this chicken nachos mixture on top of tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese to make actual nachos, then melt in the microwave (or oven if you prefer). I love to top with avocado, you can also add cilantro and salsa.
Or you can go an even healthier route and throw it on top of rice for a chicken nacho “bowl”.
The chicken nacho mixture keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days easily—in fact it’s even better as leftovers, so is a perfect make-ahead meal. Make sure to stir before using, as the liquid drains to the bottom.
Adapted significantly from Tasty
Other super easy, kinda-messy dinner recipes you’ll love:
- Baked Whole Wheat Penne with Summer Veggies & Beef
- Pakistani Kima
- Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Tomato Salad & Tomato Vinaigrette
- Super Easy & Healthy “Loaded” Thai Chicken Salad
- Crockpot Balsamic Beef
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- CHICKEN NACHO MIXTURE
- 2 cups of chicken, cooked & shredded or finely chopped (see notes)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & finely chopped
- 1 can green chiles (drained slightly)
- Frozen or canned (drained) corn, a bit more than 1/2 pound (see notes)
- Black beans
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
- 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I use homemade)
- I put a little drizzle of olive oil in there
- FOR SERVING (all optional)
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Guacamole or avocado
- If using frozen corn, pour it into a colander and run lukewarm water over it for several seconds. Then leave to thaw for 15 minutes or more while you prep the other ingredients.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl---the chopped vegetables, chiles, black beans, and chicken, and add the taco seasoning, lime juice, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Taste and ensure the balance is right. One thing to note, the taco seasoning may be a bit intense at first...that's normal so don't get too worried. The overall flavors will mellow as they sit together (and more juices are released by the vegetables).
- Use this mixture on top of tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese, then melt in the microwave (or oven if you prefer). Top with anything you like, such as cilantro, avocado, or salsa.
- The chicken nacho mixture keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days easily. Make sure to stir before using, as the liquid drains to the bottom.
- Rotisserie chicken is the easiest & best option, but if you don't have that on-hand you can also grill or bake chicken then finely chop or shred.
- You can use either frozen or canned corn for this recipe. We prefer frozen from a flavor and texture standpoint.