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10 Nacho Toppings You Haven’t Thought of Yet

These are nach-o average tortilla chip toppers

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Skillet nachosTaste of Home

We’re not sure what the best thing is about nachos—the gooey, cheesiness factor or the fact that you eat them with your hands. Either way, there is a nacho variety out there for everyone, and maybe one of the following inventive toppings will become your new go-to.

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Fresh shrimp and avocado nachosTaste of Home

Shrimp and avocado


If you feel like revving up your nacho game, try topping them with grilled shrimp, doused in lime juice and some chipotle chili powder. Add grated Monterey Jack, sliced avocado, some seeded and sliced jalapenos and queso fresco to top it off.

Check out the recipe for the full scoop.

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Spicy Mexican chicken with nachos and fresh herbs drizzled with cream and served in a rustic skillet in a close up viewShutterstock / stockcreations

BBQ chicken and pineapple


You don’t have to narrow yourself to only Mexican flavors when it comes to nachos. You can grab some inspiration from Hawaii, for instance. Grilled pineapple has a sweet, smoky flavor, perfect to top salty tortilla chips. Add your favorite barbeque-sauce-slathered shredded chicken—this grilled Huli Huli chicken comes from Hawaii—and some cheese (we love Monterey Jack here!).

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Fruit salsa with cinnamon chipsTaste of Home

Fruity nachos


If you’re looking something more sweet than savory, you’ll love this fruit salsa and cinnamon chips combo. The salsa involves fresh strawberries, oranges, kiwi and pineapple—and there’s no rule that says you have to serve it as a dip. Spread out the cinnamon chips on a platter, top with the fruit salsa (well drained so isn’t watery) and you could even add a light drizzle of melted white chocolate to imitate the cheese or use a tasty fruit dip!

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Traditional Mexican Mexico Breakfast of Chilequilas, Eggs, BreadShutterstock / Inspired By Maps

Eggs and bacon

Top your favorite tortilla chip with eggs (any way you take them) and chopped veggies. Finish with fresh zucchini pico de gallo, shredded cheddar and, of course, oodles of bacon.

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Homemade Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos with Cilantro Lime Tomato and OnionShutterstock / Brent Hofacker

All the veggies


A surefire way to get your kids to eat their veggies is to slather them in melted cheese. This veggie nacho recipe calls for topping your nachos with the less traditional veggie options—broccoli and cauliflower to start—but you can add on to that. There’s no reason you can’t add zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, shredded carrots or artichoke hearts.

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Fried chicken stripsTaste of Home

Fried chicken


Yes, you read that right. Fried chicken. On your nachos. Shredded chicken has had the spotlight for long enough—it’s fried chicken’s turn. Try these fried chicken strips, chop them up, and add them to your favorite tortilla chips with some melted nacho cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. No one will protest this for dinner.

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Homemade cilantro pesto in jars on wooden backgroundShutterstock / Karaidel

Cilantro pesto


You’re either staunchly on Team Cilantro or not, we get it. For those who do love this flavorful herb and want even more of its flavor on their nachos, consider whipping up this cilantro pesto and using it as a nacho topper. Then, go wild—chicken, shrimp, ground turkey, or just some cheese and chopped peppers would be a great addition. There’s cheese in the pesto, but we won’t blame you for adding more.

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Healthy Homemade banana Plantain Chips on black plateShutterstock / Larisa Blinova

Plantains


Alright, so this isn’t technically a topping, but rather, the topping holder. A slightly healthier hack on nachos is to swap your traditional corn chips for plantain chips, which are lower in sodium and offer fiber and vitamins A and C. The combo of sweet and salty is amazing for nacho toppings, like seasoned ground turkey, shredded cheese and guacamole.

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Nacho totsTaste of Home

Tater tots


Who says nachos have to be on chips at all? Tater tots are perfectly acceptable vehicles for which to transport spicy chorizo, black beans and melted cheese to your mouth.

See our nacho tots for all the cheesy instructions.

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Beer and brats nachosTaste of Home

Beer and brats


We’re all about tasty food mashups (just check out these comfort food combos), so why not combine your favorite grilling season ingredients with your favorite nachos? Boil some brats in beer, sautee some peppers and toss them over tortilla chips with plenty of cheese. Get the full recipe here.

Amanda Kippert
Amanda Kippert has been an award-winning freelance journalist for nearly two decades. She is based in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in food, health, fitness, parenting and humor, as well as social issues. She is the content editor of the domestic violence nonprofit DomesticShelters.org.

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