Upside Down Beefy Skillet Nachos
Upside Down Beefy Skillet Nachos

Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!! In the wake of the post-holiday overload of leftover turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and all the other sides, I thought we'd start off the week with something that's as far away from the traditional Turkey Day meal as you can get:  easy to make skillet nachos that I guarantee will leave no leftovers when you whip them up for an entirely manageable, very un-Thanksgiving dinner tonight--c'mon, who doesn't love nachos?!!

There are many reasons to love these nachos and shockingly, I am going to list them for you!!

1.  First off, a glance at my hopefully enticing photo, will immediately have you noticing that something's a little bit different here. Unlike most nachos, these have the chips on top and the toppings on the bottom. Not only does this mean that the chips stay crispy-crunchy, but you get to eat upside down food and really, how often does that happen?!! 

2. Now that bottom I just talked about? Well, it's this wonderful combination of ground beef, beans, tomatoes and spices--a light, mildly spiced chili just waiting to be scooped up by cheesy-covered tortilla chips.

3.  There are TACO CHIPS guys, and it's ok to eat them for dinner!!! Need I say more?

4.  The whole thing comes together in 30 minutes which means you can even make them on a busy weeknight and when you do, everyone will love them and you!! You'll earn major points in the kitchen!!

5.  It's totally delicious, which, if you've been keeping up with what I'm doing around here, is really the only reason you should make anything!

So many reasons, so many taco chips...enjoy an easy, extremely popular dinner tonight folks and rest up, it or not, that holiday season, with all of its ups and downs, stresses and joys, traditions and new experiences and recipes, recipes and more recipes--it's a-coming!!

Upside Down Beefy Skillet Nachos

Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • One 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (you can use any other cooked bean you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4-5 cups unsalted corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed
  • 3 ounces freshly shredded Monterey cheese, divided
  • 3 ounces freshly shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Sour cream, chopped scallions, salsa (optional for serving)

The Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 425ºF. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other large heavy oven-proof skillet you have) over medium-high heat. When it's very hot, add the beef, season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often to break up any clumps, until meat is thoroughly cooked. Transfer meat to a colander to drain oil away and wipe pan clean.

2.  Place the vegetable oil in the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the pepper and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, Add the tomato paste and stir, letting it cook for 1 minute. Add the drained beef back in, along with the chili powder, tomatoes with the liquid, beans and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as necessary.

3.  Combine the crushed chips and 1 cup each of both cheeses in a large bowl and top the skillet mixture with it evenly. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the entire thing and bake for 3-5 minutes in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately as is or with sour cream, salsa, scallions and any other toppings you like.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.  I left out the oregano and cumin because some of us are not big fans of those (mostly me) and cut the chili powder by a teaspoon. I also subbed in a red pepper for a green one and used a regular yellow onion instead of a white one. I also used more taco chips than the original recipe called for. This is one of those recipes you should feel free to tailor and really make your own.

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