So, there’s this weird thing about Texas. (Take your pick, right?) And it wasn’t something I realized until I was much older. But it has to do with nachos. (That probably wasn’t your first thing that came to your mind.)
During most of high school, we lived on Dad’s Bean & Cheese Nachos – a large baking pan on which chips, salsa, cheese, beans (half whole, half refried), and jalapenos (half with, half with double!) were piled, then baked, then eaten in an all-out messy free-for-all straight from the pan. Those nachos could show up on enchilada night, on any Sunday afternoon during football season, and nearly every weeknight after Mom had gone back to school and Dad was responsible for “cooking” when he got home from work.
And then there was that weird thing I discovered about nachos in Texas. I ordered nachos at a TexMex restaurant and what came to my table was not… well, it wasn’t any nachos I had ever seen.
It was an arranged platter of separate tortilla chips, with each chip individually – annoyingly, pristinely – topped with your standard nacho fixins. The “nachos” were… beautiful. It looked like it came straight out of a magazine. And it was not the messy free-for-all pile of awesome that I thought I had ordered.
It was… dainty.
It eventually became clear that those individual nacho things were actually a thing. A Texas thing. Everywhere except my parents’ house and any sports stadium ever built. And this Texan? She does not approve of dainty nachos.
We started with the sweet potato-tortilla hybrid chips and layered those with cheese, Barracho Beans (made with Texas-based Shiner and still one of my favorite things ever), spicy Chile Pequin Salsa, and chicken seasoned with an all-purose barbecue rub.
Topped with some pico de gallo and sliced fresh jalapenos (not pickled!) straight out of the oven, every bite was the fabulous, messy, hearty, flavorful free-for-all that nachos were meant to be.
Even in Texas.
Chicken and Bean Nachos with Pico de Gallo
Sweet potato tortilla chips serve as the base for these easy (and maybe-not-so-Texas-style) chicken & bean nachos.
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 Tbsp H-E-B Texas-Style BBQ All-Purpose Seasoning Mix
- 1 bag (12 oz) Central Market Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
- 8 oz monterrey jack, shredded
- 1 can (15 oz) H-E-B Texas-Style Barracho Beans, drained
- 1/2 cup Central Market Chile Pequin Salsa
- For the pico de gallo
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, sliced
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Pound chicken breasts to even thickness and sprinkle both sides with the BBQ seasoning.
- Place on a large sheet of foil and fold the foil pouch-style
- Place the pouch on a baking pan and cook for ~20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Let cool for ~10 minutes and then shred.
- Spread the tortilla chips out in an even layer on a large baking pan.
- Top with half of the cheese, beans, chicken, the salsa, and remainder of the cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- In the mean time, stir the tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, salt, cilantro, pepper, and jalapenos together in a bowl and set aside.
- Top the nachos with the pico and serve immediately. Straight from the pan in a messy free-for-all recommended.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Estimated time: 50 minutes
This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and opinions are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.