Chicken Nachos

I’ve been making this dish for as long as I’ve been making chicken stock. I like to throw a couple of chicken thighs (with bone and skin) into my stock to give it that real chicken flavor, and after several hours of gently simmering, the succulent, tender meat is falling off the bone. What to do with it? Make nachos of course!

Although some of you might think of nachos more as an appetizer or party food, for us this is a fun family dinner. We always look forward to nacho night!

I have two options for this dish – beans, and no beans. I used to always make it with beans, until I finally acknowledged that beans don’t agree with my tummy 🙁 So I experimented with substituting vegetables for the beans (this is the version in the photo), and found it works just as well.

Chicken Nachos

1-2 tablespoons oil (butter/coconut oil)
4-5 green onions, sliced (separate white parts and green tops)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups (approx.) cooked shredded chicken (I prefer dark meat)
1 cup cooked pinto beans OR 1.5 cups chopped vegetables (I used red pepper, zucchini, corn, mushrooms)
1 jar tomato-based salsa or equivalent homemade salsa
Couple shakes hot chili sauce (optional)
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
16oz bag tortilla chips (lightly salted, preferably organic to avoid GMO)
18-20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Grated cheese
Cilantro (approx. 2/3 cup), coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Saute the garlic and white parts of the onions until tender.
3. Lightly mash the beans with a fork. Add the chicken and beans (or vegetables) to the pan.
4. Stir in the salsa and hot sauce. Optional: add a couple dollops of tomato paste if a richer tomato flavor is preferred.
5. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
6. Spread a thick layer of tortilla chips in a large pyrex baking dish (you might not need to use the entire bag).
7. Spoon the chicken mixture over the tortilla chips. Top with the tomato halves, and then grated cheese.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and scatter the chopped cilantro and green parts of the onion over the nachos.

Here’s the finished product, ready to serve!

Serve with guacamole and sour cream. Yum!

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