Nachos with guacamole and salsa in a huge bowl in the middle of a party spread will always be a winner. They’re a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and knowing how to make each element from scratch is both delicious and impressive. No Super Bowl Party should be without them!
It’s just three days until Super Bowl Sunday is here! And this is my last recipe to go live in my big Super Bowl Party round-up! If you don’t care a dot for the Super Bowl, I’m sorry! Pretend this is for the FA Cup or having mates round for Wimbledon! These recipes are also VERY likely to form a big part of my summer BBQ party festivities – the two days of sunshine we get in the UK this year will CERTAINLY be spent over some hot coals for me!
Some of my Super Bowl recipes are a bit niche and wild (British Banger Beer Corn Dogs, wut?), and some aren’t please-all (try giving BBQ Chicken Wings to a vegetarian…). But Nachos with guacamole and salsa are. In fact they are quite possibly the biggest crowd-pleaser I know.
Nachos with guacamole and salsa have spread across the world like wildfire – and rightly so! They’ve been around in the UK for some time now, but I’m increasingly finding them being served in even the smallest corners of the world. I’m guessing it’s a mixture of being gorgeous, and really easy to make. It’s proper sharing party food – even a small plate can serve 4-6 people (albeit really stingy).
There is a slight omission from my nattering up above – sour cream. And ladles of it. I adore sour cream, but I’ve not really sp0ken of it as it’s just an additional dip with no preparation. Don’t think it’s not in my final product though! Lashings of it!
Many UK pubs love to load all the guacamole, salsa, and sour cream on top of the tortilla chips along with the cheese. I’m not a fan of this, as I like to separate my foods so I can mix and match the flavours exactly how I please. Plus it makes the bottom chips really soggy, which isn’t cool. I serve my dips in separate bowls (unless I’m taking photos of it for a blog ;)), while my local pub serves them on a big iceberg lettuce leaf, which is cute.
The jalapenos are entirely your own call. I don’t find them very hot, so I’m happy to have a few wedges in there. But they’re so easy to avoid, I can’t see a good argument in not having them on there, unless no one likes them.
Nachos with Guacamole Salsa and Cheese
- 1 Large bag of tortilla chips approx. 200-300g
- 1 Avocado very ripe and soft
- 1/2 Red Onion very finely diced
- 2 Large tomatoes very ripe
- 1 Tbsp Coriander chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 Red chilli finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Passata optional
- 50-100 g Cheddar cheese grated
- Sour cream to serve
- 1-2 Jalapenos thickly sliced into rings (optional)
- To make the guacamole, remove the flesh from the avocado into a bowl, including the stone (this stops the avocado from discolouring)
- Mix into the avocado half of the onion, a quarter of the tomato, half the coriander, and half the lime juice
- Mash together with a fork, taste, and season with either salt, coriander, and lime juice if needed (if it tastes slightly bland)
- To make the salsa, mix the remaining red onion, tomato, coriander, and lime juice with the red chilli and passata (if using). Taste, and season with either salt, coriander, and lime juice if needed.
- Place the nachos across a large plate and sprinkle generously with the grated cheese across all layers
- Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted
- Serve with the guacamole, salsa, and sour cream (+ jalapenos, if using)
There is very little actual cooking going on here, so not an awful lot to question.
Why microwave the tortilla chips? Can we bake them instead? Sure, but baking will start to dry that cheese out as it’s a slow, relatively dry heat. This isn’t altogether a bad thing, but it very much depends on your choice of cheese and how you like it melted. Microwaving gets heat right through the cheese quickly, although slightly unevenly. This is due to the way the microwaves bounce around the internal compartment, and because they can only penetrate a short amount of food (it doesn’t cook ‘from inside out’ like most people think). The microwave is also prone to over-cooking some off the cheese quite quickly. I really like this burnt cheese, but be aware of it in case you don’t fancy it.
An alternative, and rather delicious looking method of cheesing the nachos is to melt a bunch of cheese in a glass dish over a saucepan of boiling water (bain-marie). This gives you total control of the melting cheese, allows you to stop the melting before the oil starts to separate, and also allows you to combine a whole load of different cheeses for various textures and flavours (I love gouda + vintage cheddar + comte as it’s stringy, nutty, and very rich). This cheese won’t stick to the nachos perfectly though, and will remain extremely thick in places.
There’s a lot of ingredients and flavours being used together here – how do they work so well with each other? Smart Mexicans I’d say! They share a lot of ingredients, so always have a familiar tone running through them all. The coriander and lime juice are essentially seasonings, with the bold flavours being red pepper, avocado, and tomato. These three have an affinity with each other, so everything else is complimenting this affinity. And tortilla chips go with almost anything!
So can I add other dips into the mix? Sure, but be aware that if they’re not sharing ingredients that have an affinity with red onion, avocado and tomato, it might taste wonky altogether. Hummus, for instance, wouldn’t be the worst dip to have with tortilla chips, but hummus is rank when eaten with avocado. I’ve recently came back from Costa Rica, where the Ticos love to have a black bean mulch kind of dip with their nachos. It’s a subtle, easy going flavour that sits well with most foods, so an easy addition. However they seem to enjoy FAR too much of it, and slap it on like no one’s business.
Why do the avocado and tomatoes need to be very ripe? This is essential for the avocado, so it is super soft and can be mashed. I’ve made this guacamole with slightly unripe avocados and it’s rubbish. Surprisingly rubbish. So I either buy the avocados about a week in advance, or I go to the store and give every single avocado a squeeze to get the softest one they have. The tomatoes are less essential, but we want the softest fruit with the most juice. I add in some passata to my salsa anyway, so keeping things chunky won’t be as criminal.