Ultimate Nachos

Nachos are the BEST! You can enjoy them as an appetizer, snack, serve them up for game day, or even eat them for dinner! They are good anytime of the day (we even make breakfast nachos) and they are always a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love nachos…

Nachos are the BEST! You can enjoy them as an appetizer, snack, serve them up for game day, or even eat them for dinner! They are good anytime of the day (we even make breakfast nachos) and they are always a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love nachos? When we make nachos, we go ALL out,…

Jalapeño Cheddar cornbread

In 1964, Frank X. Tolbert, the Dallas Morning News columnist who was passionate about chili and other Texan dishes involving peppers, shared a recipe for jalapeño cornbread. He wrote: “It’s…
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In 1964, Frank X. Tolbert, the Dallas Morning News columnist who was passionate about chili and other Texan dishes involving peppers, shared a recipe for jalapeño cornbread. He wrote: “It’s...

Source

What’s the Difference Between Parmigiano Reggiano & Parmesan?

Picture this: You’re in the grocery store, picking out a cheese to sprinkle over your bowl (or blate) of onion-buttered noodles or rigatoni with vodka sauce. You spot the section of the cheese aisle that could be described, loosely speaking, as “Italia…

Picture this: You’re in the grocery store, picking out a cheese to sprinkle over your bowl (or blate) of onion-buttered noodles or rigatoni with vodka sauce. You spot the section of the cheese aisle that could be described, loosely speaking, as “Italian.” You scan each row and see several options that could fit the bill—craggy hunks labeled “Parmigiano Reggiano,” neat isosceles triangles that read “Parmesan,” and a whole host of pre-grated tubs sporting either one name or the other. Are these actually different products? Are they interchangeable? It’s a reasonable question, though the answer can be a little bit confusing. While the cheeses share similarities, Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan are not the same thing.

Parmigiano Reggiano hails from Italy, specifically from the Emilia-Romagna region (including the provinces of Parma and Emilia Reggio, giving the cheese its name) in the northern part of the country. As a legally-protected product—the cheese holds DOP (denominazione d'origine protetta) status—Parmigiano Reggiano must be produced in these designated areas, which align with its historical provenance. So, when you grab a hunk of parm at the store and see ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ imprinted onto the rind or on the label, know that you’re getting the real thing.

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Chicken Nachos

This is THE BEST chicken nacho recipe! What’s not to love about crispy corn chips loaded with succulent chicken breast and melted cheese?

The post Chicken Nachos appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sometimes you just need the crunchy, salty, cheesy goodness of chicken nachos. Am I right??? What’s not to love about crispy corn chips loaded with succulent chicken breast and dripping with tangy melted cheese and sour cream? They’re even better with earthy cilantro, creamy avocado, and the gentle heat from fresh jalapeno. Sigh. This is THE BEST chicken nacho recipe! It’s a perfect marriage of texture and umami bombs.

Overhead shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.

What Should I Put On My Nachos?

I’m going ’88 Bobby Brown here and saying that when it comes to ingredients for nachos, it’s your prerogative. (If you’re not familiar with My Prerogative, please enjoy three minutes of 80’s perfection.) This recipe uses chicken, fresh jalapeño, cilantro, green onions, and avocado. Some other excellent choices are:

What Cheese Is Best For Nachos?

Not all cheeses melt well. So if you’re looking for an ooey-gooey cheese pull, opt for any combination of cheeses listed below. And if you can, shred your own. The additives in pre-shredded cheeses can prevent them from softening when heated.

  • Cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Pepper Jack
  • Mozzarella
  • Queso Asadero
  • Queso de Oaxaca
  • Queso Quesadilla
  • Queso Chihuahua

All that being said, I still love a sprinkle of Queso Fresco all over my nachos. It doesn’t melt, but it is sooo YUMMY.

Forty five degree angle shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.

What Sauces Go On Nachos?

You can use a simple salsa with nachos or go for something a little more complex. Drizzle it on top of your nachos or serve it on the side in a wide-mouth bowl for easy dunking. I chose a tangy Salsa Verde for this recipe, but a spicy Salsa Roja is just as good. You can also use any of these easy Budget Bytes recipes:

How To Make Perfect Chicken Nachos

  1. Choose a sturdy corn chip. Thicker chips can hold the weight of all of your toppings. A thin chip will break faster than a drama queen on The Bachelor.
  2. Line Your Sheet Pan. Use parchment or aluminum to make clean-up a breeze. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your night scrubbing burnt cheese.
  3. Layer your nachos. Put toppings on the first layer and then repeat. That way, you lessen the chance of getting a naked chip, i.e., the biggest nacho foul ever.
  4. Pre-cook your meat. Nachos should only be in the oven long enough to melt the cheese, which isn’t long enough to cook raw meat. Cook chicken ahead of time or opt for pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.
  5. Chop toppings into small dice. You want to get a bite with all of your carefully selected flavors. That will only happen with small chunks of meat and veggies. 
Close up of a chicken nacho chip with a touch of sour cream.
Overhead shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.
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Chicken Nachos

This is THE BEST chicken nacho recipe! What's not to love about crispy corn chips loaded with succulent chicken breast and melted cheese?
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Total Cost ($12.68 recipe / $1.58 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp taco seasoning $0.21
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast $2.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 15 oz corn tortilla chips (1 large bag) $3.69
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded $2.15
  • 1 jalapeño $0.24
  • 2 green onions $0.23
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro $0.23
  • 1 avocado $1.50
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced $0.60
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.50
  • 2 Tbsp queso fresco, crumbled $0.25

Instructions

  • Add a rack to the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. Pound the chicken breast an inch thick with a heavy skillet. Sprinkle liberally on both sides with taco seasoning.
  • Add cooking oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken breast for 5 minutes, then flip it and cook for a few minutes more, or until a thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Slice the jalapeño and two green onions. Chop the cilantro. Dice the avocado and drizzle lime juice over it to keep it from browning.
  • When your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, remove it from the pan and let it rest for five minutes. Chop it into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Add half a bag of corn chips to the pan. Top with half of the shredded cheese and half of the chopped chicken.
  • Repeat the layering process with the remaining chips, cheese, and chicken. Bake at 400°F until the cheese melts, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the nachos with the avocado, jalapeño, green onion, lime zest, and chopped cilantro. Finish with dollops of sour cream and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Overhead shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.

How to Make Chicken Nachos – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of a chicken breast covered in plastic wrap ready to be flattened by a cast iron pan.

Add a rack to the center of your oven and preheat it to 400°F. To ensure your chicken cooks evenly, cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap, and pound it an inch thick with a heavy skillet. Season your breast liberally with 3 teaspoons of taco seasoning.

Overhead shot of a blackened chicken breast in a stainless steel skillet.

Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add the breast. Cook for 5 minutes without moving it to create a thick sear. Then flip it and cook for a few minutes more, or until a thermometer reads 165°F.

Overhead shot of chopped toppings on a white cutting board.

Chop your fresh ingredients: slice one jalapeño, two green onions, a 1/2 cup of cilantro, and dice an avocado. As soon as you dice the avocado, drizzle it with the lime juice to prevent it from turning brown.

Overhead shot of chopped chicken breast on a white cutting board.

When your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, remove it from the pan and let it rest for five minutes before chopping it into 1/2-inch pieces.

Overhead shot of a hand putting chicken on the first layer of chicken nachos on a sheet pan..

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Then, add half a bag of corn chips to the pan. Next, top with 1 cup of shredded cheese. (If you prefer cheesier nachos, double the amount asked for in the recipe.) Sprinkle the chips with half of the chopped chicken breast.

Overhead shot of baked chicken nachos on a sheet pan.

Next, repeat the layering process with the remaining chips, cheese, and chicken. Bake at 400°F until the cheese melts, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Overhead shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.

Sprinkle the nachos with the diced avocado, sliced jalapeño, 2 sliced green onions, lime zest, and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Finish with dollops of the 1/2 cup of sour cream and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of crumbled queso fresco. Finally, serve the whole sheet pan of nachos like a party platter and snack on! Ugh. I’m jealous. I want to have these again right now!

The post Chicken Nachos appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

This Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake is in my top 5 favorite meals of all time and my family loves it too, even my kids! You HAVE to try it. I know it will become a favorite at your house too. It is always a crowd pleaser. You get all of the delicious…

This Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake is in my top 5 favorite meals of all time and my family loves it too, even my kids! You HAVE to try it. I know it will become a favorite at your house too. It is always a crowd pleaser. You get all of the delicious flavors of…

Queso Fundido

If you’re looking for a smash hit appetizer that’s easy to make and feeds loads of people, you definitely need to try this simple recipe for unctuous Queso Fundido.

The post Queso Fundido appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’re looking for a smash hit appetizer that’s easy to make and feeds loads of people, try this recipe for unctuous Queso Fundido. This simple Mexican melted cheese and sausage dip can silence even the rowdiest table because everyone’s too busy stuffing their face to do much more than grunt in approval.

Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan  with a hand dipping a chip into it.

What’s The Difference Between Queso and Queso Fundido?

Though the name of this traditional Mexican comfort food translates to “melted cheese,” don’t confuse it with its Tex-Mex cousin, Queso. In their simplest forms, Queso is just a bowl of melted yellow cheese, while Queso Fundido is white cheese melted over a second major component: chorizo.

Ingredients for Queso fundido

You only need two ingredients to make a traditional Queso Fundido: Mexican Chorizo and white Mexican melting cheese. Then, garnish it with green onions, tomatoes, or cilantro. Serve it with soft tortillas or thick tortilla chips. If you’re not a fan of Mexican Chorizo, you can substitute it with any other sausage. You can even make this dish vegetarian by using soy-based chorizo.

What cheese can I use to make Queso Fundido?

The best cheeses for this dish are Queso Asadero, Queso de Oaxaca, Queso Quesadilla, or Queso Chihuahua AKA Menonita. You can also use shredded Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, or Mozzarella. Steer clear of Queso Fresco, Cotija, or Ranchero, which don’t melt well.

Side shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan with a hand dipping a chip into it.

How to Store Leftover Queso Fundido

Place any leftovers in an air-tight container. Make sure there is a little breathing room left in the container, and press a sheet of plastic on the surface of the dip before sealing it. This helps prevent a thick skin from forming. Refrigerate for up to three days. Freeze for up to three months.

How To Reheat Queso Fundido

If reheating from frozen, thaw the Queso Fundido overnight in the fridge. To reheat, place the Queso Fundido in a non-stick pan and set it over medium heat. Stir until the cheese warms and loosens. It might separate, with a pool of water forming at the top of the dip. That’s ok. Just keep stirring. If the consistency is too thick, you can thin it with a few tablespoons of heavy cream or whole milk.

Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan.
Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan with a hand dipping a chip into it.
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Queso Fundido

If you're looking for a smash hit appetizer that's easy to make and feeds loads of people, you definitely need to try this simple recipe for unctuous Queso Fundido.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Total Cost ($10.60 recipe / $1.33 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 441kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. Mexican chorizo, beef or pork $4.58
  • 20 oz. queso quesadilla, shredded $5.98

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove the chorizo from its casing (if any) and grate the cheese on the largest holes of a box grater.
  • Set an oven-safe skillet over medium heat, and add the tablespoon of oil. Cook the chorizo for 7 to 8 minutes, until the fat renders and the sausage is bubbly.
  • Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving 3 tablespoons of chorizo for garnish. If it's very greasy, place it on top of paper towels to get as much fat off of it as possible before putting it back in the pan. Top the chorizo with the grated cheese.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Place the skillet on a heat-proof surface, garnish with reserved chorizo, and serve immediately.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 1038mg
Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan with a hand dipping a chip into it.

How to Make Queso Fundido – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of chorizo and cheese in their [packaging on a counter top.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove the chorizo from its casing (if any) and grate the cheese on the largest holes of a box grater.

Overhead shot of chorizo cooking in a cast iron pan with a slotted spoon in it.

Set an oven-safe skillet over medium heat, and add the tablespoon of oil. Cook the chorizo for 7 to 8 minutes, until the fat renders and the sausage is bubbly. Chorizo tends to stick, so stir the pan frequently and don’t turn up the heat.

Overhead shot of chorizo topped with shredded cheese in a cast iron pan.

Drain the fat from the skillet and reserve about 3 tablespoons of chorizo for garnish. If the chorizo is very fatty, place it on top of paper towels to get as much fat off of it as possible before putting it back in the pan. Top the chorizo with the grated cheese.

Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan with a hand sprinkling sliced green onions on top.

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Don’t overcook the cheese, as it will clump. Place the skillet on a heat-proof surface, garnish with reserved chorizo, and serve immediately. If you wish, you can also garnish with sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, or chopped cilantro leaves.

Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan .

Great Salsas To Serve With Queso Fundido

Serve Queso Fundido with sour cream, pickled jalapeños, flour or corn tortillas, tortilla chips, and your favorite salsa. Try:

caption

The post Queso Fundido appeared first on Budget Bytes.

baked brie with garlic butter mushrooms

Welcome to the decadent meal I dream about every late December, when I want even simple foods to feel festive. Yes, I am seriously making the argument that baked brie should be a dinner dish. Or, if not dinner, maybe a luxe part of it, so perf…

Welcome to the decadent meal I dream about every late December, when I want even simple foods to feel festive. Yes, I am seriously making the argument that baked brie should be a dinner dish. Or, if not dinner, maybe a luxe part of it, so perfect for this blustery, celebratory time of year. For dinner you might eat this with a big green salad and a cup of soup. You might set this out as a side dish with a big roast. You might put it out as part of a party spread too, an oasis of savory among all of the cookies and molten cakes.

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The Weird & Wonderful History of Pommes Aligot

Raclette has been all the rage for several years now, and it’s no surprise: What could be more mesmerizing than seeing the eponymous Alpine cheese melted and scraped onto plates of potatoes and charcuterie in all its gooey splendor?

But if you ask us,…

Raclette has been all the rage for several years now, and it’s no surprise: What could be more mesmerizing than seeing the eponymous Alpine cheese melted and scraped onto plates of potatoes and charcuterie in all its gooey splendor?

But if you ask us, the next cheese craze may well be the slightly-lesser-known but no less delicious specialty of aligot. Made of mashed potatoes stirred together with a consequential amount of fresh cheese local to the central French Aubrac region, aligot boasts a slightly stretchy and very cheesy texture just as worthy of a spot on your Instagram feed.

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What’s the (Cheesy, Bacony) Way to Say “Hygge” in French?

Every year without fail, when the first cold, rainy evenings begin to take hold, so, too, does a chorus among the French:

“Ce soir, on se fait une tartiflette?” Shall we make tartiflette tonight? Read More >>

Every year without fail, when the first cold, rainy evenings begin to take hold, so, too, does a chorus among the French:

“Ce soir, on se fait une tartiflette?” Shall we make tartiflette tonight?

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

You can’t go wrong with a good dip. Bean dip, caramelized onion dip, and queso dip are all good options, but this Spinach Artichoke Dip is the ULTIMATE dip. Everyone LOVES this easy appetizer and it’s perfect for any occasion. Serve it at T…

You can’t go wrong with a good dip. Bean dip, caramelized onion dip, and queso dip are all good options, but this Spinach Artichoke Dip is the ULTIMATE dip. Everyone LOVES this easy appetizer and it’s perfect for any occasion. Serve it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, game day, or ANY day. It’s a CLASSIC! I…