Backyard BBQ Nachos

I was flipping through some photos the other day and came across a few from my friends annual blogger summer camp. It's a really weird feeling how it simultaneously made me sad that I couldn't be around them right now, and happy knowing that these times existed and will exist again. I think we are all craving some summertime fun right now, not only cause winter is lingering around outside, but also because we are all stuck indoors. Since I can't have my friends over for a premature grilling party where we all bundle up and pretend its a few degrees warmer, I decided to put some of these summer BBQ flavors into nachos. It's a little thing and doesn't quite satisfy the true craving, but it definitely helped! I am 100 percent firing up the grill tomorrow and I think that will help even more. It's all about the little things right now.

For the recipe, I cooked the chips with lots of cheese, pulled BBQ chicken, and charred corn, and after they came out of the oven I topped them with pasta salad to really bring home that backyard BBQ flavor. Not just any pasta salad though. I made it by mixing cooked pasta with pico de gallo and sour cream, so it had familiar nacho topping flavors with a twist.
I have been making nachos on 1/4 sheet trays lately and I am never looking back. They are perfect for chip and topping distribution, are the perfect size for a snack, and perform great under the broiler. I like to start with a little cheese, then add the toppings, then finish with a little more cheese. Juicy shredded chicken with BBQ sauce and some spices. It’s important to have a gentle hand when topping your nachos to not overwhelm the chips. Pop this under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the pasta with the pico and sour cream. This might be my new pasta salad for the upcoming season honestly. I made the pico but you could do this with store bought to make it easy! These nachos were so good! They were a nice mix of backyard bbq flavors and classic nacho flavors! The pasta salad on top seemed like a weird idea at first but actually worked so well.

Backyard BBQ Nachos

  • shredded chicken
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 2 tablespoons Red Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • pico pasta salad
  • 1/2 pound Elbow Pasta cooked
  • 1 overflowing cup Pico de Gallo homemade or store bought
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • nachos
  • 45 Tortilla Chips or however many you need
  • 6 ounces Shredded Jack Cheese
  • 1/4 cup charred corn


  1. Make the chicken - Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to a hot frying pan with vegetable oil. Cook about 3-5 minutes per side to brown.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Add the vinegar, cumin, paprika, bbq sauce, and water. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping the chicken once in the middle. Add a little water if the sauce evaporates too much.
  3. Remove from heat and pour the chicken and sauce into a bowl. Shred the chicken with forks and set aside.
  4. Make the pasta salad - In a large bowl mix the pasta with the pico and sour cream. Taste and add salt/pepper as needed.
  5. Make the nachos - Preheat broiler to high.
  6. Put the chips on a 1/4 sheet pan. Top with half the cheese.
  7. Top with about 1/2 cup of the chicken. (Save the rest and make a taco or something later) Add on the corn. Make sure the toppings are equally distributed among the chips.
  8. Add the remaining cheese and broil for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and you start to see some browning.
  9. Remove from heat and top evenly with about 1 cup of the pasta salad. Serve.