Super easy and loaded with goodies, this sheet pan pulled pork nachos is a perfect way to use up leftover pulled pork AND feed a crowd while watching the big game or your favorite movie. Find more leftover pulled pork recipes here.
Ever since we mastered our kamado grill, we make the best smoked pulled pork. Even my dad, after living in Houston for 35 years, is convinced that our smoked brisket is just as good as what he enjoyed in Texas.
My poor kids get no sympathy from their friends when they complain that we have 6-pound of smoked pork at home. Again. Yeah, first world problems in my house. With all of that smoked pulled pork, we end up with a lot of leftover pulled pork. And that’s where the fun begins for me!
Why you MUST try this recipe
Did you know that nachos is a Tex-Mex dish? It originated from a small town in Mexico in 1943, just past the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. Originally created as a snack for his American patrons, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya served up fried triangles of tortillas topped with cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeño peppers.
Well, nachos has evolved a bit since then. But whether you like them in their original simpler form or more loaded with more textures and flavors, it all starts with the base: the chip.
For these pulled pork nachos, you want a crispy chip that can be baked and hold the weight of a lot of fixings without turning soggy. There are many varieties of tortilla chips, so choose the variety that you like. I prefer white flour tortilla chips, but we sometimes use corn, too.
And for more other fun chip choices, you can use Frito’s scoops (corn chips) or even flavored chips like Dorito’s.
The beauty of nachos is that you can customize them to whatever you have on hand. For the meat, nothing beats smoked pulled pork. But of course, if you have leftover pulled pork made in the slow cooker, that works just as well.
You can also use other kind of meat options, too like carne asada, shredded chicken, even leftover chili!
And for the rest of the nacho toppings? For me, the best flavor comes from fresh ingredients.
Ingredients you need
- Tortilla chips: Use whatever chip base you prefer. Some options include flour tortilla chips, corn tortilla chips and large Frito’s. You can also go fancy and use blue corn tortilla chips or make your own tortilla chips.
- Shredded cheese: I used shredded Mexican blend cheese, but you can also use cheddar, Monterey jack or pepper jack.
- Shredded pulled pork: Use whatever shredded pulled pork you have available whether it was smoked or cooked in a slow-cooker or oven.
- Beans: Use black beans, pinto beans, refried beans or omit altogether.
- Cherry tomatoes: I love the sweet flavor from cherry tomatoes. You can also use grape tomatoes or any variety you have available.
- Red onions: You can also use yellow or white onions.
- Jalapeño: These are mild peppers, but if you can’t handle the heat, you can omit them. You can also go hotter and try serrano chiles. If you don’t have fresh peppers, you can use canned or jarred varieties instead.
- Avocado: Nachos need guacamole, but you can omit this if you don’t like it.
- Garlic: I like to add fresh garlic to my guacamole. You can substitute with garlic powder or omit if you prefer.
- Fresh cilantro: This is a must for Mexican food. You can use dried cilantro, but the flavor is not the same as fresh.
- Sour cream: Again, if you prefer not to use it, you can omit it or serve on the side.
- Lime: I like to serve nachos with lime wedges, for my sour lovers. Again, totally optional.
1. Lightly coat baking sheet with with nonstick spray or line with silicone baking mat and place half of the chips on top.
2. Top chips with half of the cheese, pulled pork and beans.
3. Place another layer of chips, cheese, pork and beans. Cut half of the jalapeño into thin slices and arrange over top of nachos. Dice the remaining jalapeño and discard seeds. Reserve.
Bake nachos at 350ºF until cheese is melted, about 20-25 minutes.
4. While nachos are baking, make the guacamole and pico de gallo. For guacamole, scoop out avocado flesh, place in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add cilantro, garlic, diced jalapeños and lime juice. Set aside.
For something really special, try my smoky guacamole with bacon, or if you are short on time, you can also use store bought guacamole.
5. For the pico de gallo, dice tomatoes and mix in a bowl with chopped red onions, cilantro, lime juice and diced jalapeños. Set aside. You can also use store bought pico de gallo or salsa.
6. When nachos are done, top with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, remaining cilantro. Serve with remaining lime wedges.
Recipe tips and FAQs
Again, nachos are easy to adapt to what you have available and what your family prefers. Feel free to add even more nacho toppings like:
- Bell peppers
- Black beans, pinto beans or refried beans
- Corn kernels
- Black olives
- Pico de gallo
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh green onions
There are also two camps in the nacho world: shredded cheese and liquid cheese. If you prefer a liquid consistency, then you just need to heat up your queso and pour it over the chips. I have a great 2-ingredient white queso recipe if you prefer this route.
For the shredded cheese option, you want a cheese that melts well and doesn’t turn rubbery. Monterey Jack works very well. I personally prefer to use a Mexican cheese blend. It usually contains Monterey Jack, Asadero, Cheddar and Queso Quesadilla.
When I am making a large batch of nachos for a crowd, I like to bake them on a baking sheet. This recipe fits a quarter sheet baking pan. This feeds 4-8 people, depending on how large the appetites you are feeding.
You can double the recipe to fit a larger half sheet pan. When you are making leftover pulled pork nachos in a baking sheet, the best way to melt the cheese is in the oven. I bake at 350ºF/177ºC for about 10-20 minutes, until all the layers of the cheese is melty and gooey.
You can also make nachos in the microwave. If I am making a batch of nachos for one or two people, then I assemble everything on a microwave safe plate. Heat on high for 60-90 seconds or until the cheese is melted.
This party food is best served warm and just out of the oven. Unfortunately, nachos do not reheat well. So if you have any leftovers, if you do try to reheat them, they will turn out soggy. It’s one of those carpe diem types of foods. Enjoy pulled pork nachos in the moment and fresh out of the oven!
For me, the best flavor comes from fresh ingredients. I like to add a meat of some kind, like carne asada or pulled pork. I also use Mexican blend shredded cheese. For toppings I like to add chopped tomatoes, salsa, bell peppers, jalapeños, red onions, beans (black beans, pinto beans or refried beans), corn kernels, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, avocados, pico de gallo, salsa, fresh cilantro, fresh green onions, radishes and/or lime wedges.
- 4 oz tortilla chips
- 1 lb shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 8-10 oz shredded pulled pork
- ½ cup black beans
- 5 oz cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped red onions
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 avocado
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat baking sheet with with nonstick spray or line with silicone baking mat.
- Place half of the chips on the baking sheet and top with half of the cheese, pulled pork and beans.
- Place another layer of chips, cheese, pork and beans.
- Cut half of the jalapeño into thin slices and arrange over top of nachos. Dice the remaining jalapeño and discard seeds. Reserve.
- Bake nachos until cheese is melted, about 20-25 minutes.
- While nachos are baking, make the guacamole and pico de gallo.
- For guacamole, cut avocado in half and remove seed. Scoop of avocado flesh, place in a bowl and mash with a fork.
- Mix in with the avocados 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro, crushed garlic and 1 TBS lime juice. Add half of reserved diced jalapeño and set aside.
- For the pico de gallo, dice tomatoes and mix in a bowl with chopped red onions, 1 TBS chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon lime juice and remaining diced jalapeños. Set aside.
- When nachos are done, top with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, remaining cilantro.
- Serve with remaining lime wedges.
Other nacho toppings you can use: corn kernels, chopped green onions, barbecue sauce, chopped red bell peppers or slices of black olives.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 435mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 20g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!