Nachos for Dinner

Nachos from Scratch

Nachos From Scratch

Nachos don’t have to be bad for you… you just have to make them with healthy ingredients. These nachos are nutritious enough to have for dinner. It takes a little work but so do most good things in life. Fresh ingredients make all the difference! - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Nachos From Scratch


    Refried beans:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 15 ounce can plain pinto beans NOT drained
  • Meat:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, oregano, cumin & paprika
  • Toppings:
  • Reduced fat tortilla chips (I use Padrino’s)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper (hot) or Anaheim pepper (mild)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peppers (red, yellow & orange)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 6-7 ounces cheddar or jack cheese or mix of both, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Dice tomato and set aside to drain in a strainer.
  3. Beans: In a saucepan, sauté onion & garlic in oil on med-high heat 2 minutes ‘til browned. Add beans with liquid, mashing right away. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes, mashing occasionally. When beans thicken up, taste for salt & set aside.
  4. Meat: While beans cook, heat oil in a skillet on medium-high and sauté onion & garlic 2 minutes ‘til browned. Add beef & spices, stir and cook until done – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Assembly:
  6. Line a 12-inch baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. (foil is not necessary but it saves cleanup).
  7. Place about 30 large chips on the foil and add some additional chips in the center.
  8. Add in this order: beef, beans, tomato (pat dry first), peppers, onion, & cheese.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nachos for Dinner

21 Comments on "Nachos from Scratch"

  1. Daphne

    So good! To make this vegan, we used a handful of pinto beans and a handful of black beans without mashing them, made the pico from a jalapeno, a white onion, and a couple Roma tomatoes, and used guacamole instead of cheese to make them creamy. I might try the vegan cheese shreds next time though! And you can use TVP or minced veggie “meat” if you want something healthier than steak.

  2. Kate

    These refries are creamy and delicious. Bushes beans work beautifully. When I tried a different brand the skins were tough and the texture was ruined.

  3. Kathy

    Best nachos ever!

  4. TomR

    Made these for last night’s football game. Most excellent! Best nachos I’ve had in years, after many disappointing restaurant nachos. This recipe is going into the files! Thanks!!

  5. Catherine

    Hello Jenny, I printed off your recipe for nachos quite awhile ago but yesterday I decided to buckle down and do all the elements of your recipe from the refried beans to the homemade mexican seasoning for the ground sirloin., Hubby and I had them for supper last night and they were the best nachoes we have ever had. I watched your video again prior to making them and they turned out perfectly-just like yours!! These will be my go to recipe for the rest of the family and friends. Thanks for sharing……

  6. Dawn

    I was wondering what reduced fat cheese you recommend? The ones that I have used, just don’t melt properly.

    • Jenny P

      Have you been using pre – shredded cheese or the shredding your own? If you are using the pre shredded variety it is coated in cellulose/potato starch to keep it from drying out on the shelves – intern messing with how well it melts. I’ve only been pleased with how cheese that I shred on my own melts, but I’ve been happiest with Tillamook or Trader Joe’s. (I’ve also tried fat free cheese that I’ve shredded myself for several different dishes & have been met with nothing but disappointing results.)

  7. Sonali

    I’m vegetarian, so rather than putting the spice mix on ground beef, I put it in the refried beans! YUM. I’ll never buy canned again

  8. Carolyn

    Hi Jenny. Love every recipe of yours that I have tried so far. Honey wheat 2 hour bread my fave! I made your healthy refried beans today. I am vegetarian so don’t want the canned brands with lard. Yours are fabulous. I drained and rinsed beans then added 2/3 cup water instead of bean liquid (that stuff scares me) and they turned out perfectly. Another keeper recipe. Keep cooking…love the taste and simplicity of recipes. …a fellow Canadian??

  9. Nita

    I have made these nachos many times because they are the best I’ve ever had. Thank you Jenny ?

  10. Carrie*

    I’m looking forward to trying these, but I’ve been wanting to “say” something to you for awhile now – and I hope you won’t take my “mini novel” the wrong way… And yes, I’m rather “late to the party” here – but hey – better late than— hungry! Right??

    First, I get REALLY emotional whenever I watch your videos… Isn’t that weird?? (Okay. I’m weird. Busted!) Your show use to be such an important part of my day (are my wrinkles showing yet?? lol) It’s such an absolute joy to see your smile & sassy attitude once again!! And, I’m thrilled that others have a chance to get to know you as well…

    So, here’s the kinda-weird part: you remind me of ME! We look very similar (including our hair style, altho’ I’ve recently changed mine a wee bit; longer with some layers, but the same bangs. I’m sure I’ll eventually go back to “the ‘do your currently sporting” – once my hot flashes get the better of me – again. Pfft.). Still – it’s rather freaky looking at you, to be honest. I never noticed before (during “The Jenny Jones Show” – but, I was also younger back then – as we all were, eh?). However, now that some time has passed, I’ve begun the process of slowly morphing into some kind of “Jenny Jones” creature-woman (which I’m quite happy with, by the way – ’cause you is HAWT, M’Lady!!) Forgive my slang – but it HAD to be said. (Well, a girl can hope, right? Gotta look at the half-full glass & all that.)

    We also have the exact same sense of humor (which I knew “way back when” during your show ~ *cough! sputter* Stop looking at my wrinkles! Sheesh. So rude!) Hee-hee!

    Overall, when I watch you – there are just a tumult of emotions cycling through me – yet it’s a very pleasant feeling. Some nostalgia, some laughs, some good food & an “Improved Me” makes for “good times”!! So thank you for… being YOU!!!

    Rock On With Yo’ Bad Self!!

    And, for the record, your smile SLAYS ME!! *MUAH!*

    • Kay

      To Carrie – perhaps there is some biological connection. You may want to check your family tree.

  11. Ewa

    Hello Jenny. Is it ok to prepare bean and meat in advance( like a day before) and keep in the fridge overnight?

    • Jenny

      Yes, you can prepare the meat and beans in advance but I think I would only cook the beans for 5 minutes because they will probably become firmer overnight. But either way: if they are too firm the next day, you can add a little water. If they’re not firm enough, just cook them a little more to thicken them up before using.

  12. Ewa

    I also made nachos for dinner. Absolutely delicious and perfect. I remember eating nachos in mexican restaurant. They were good but after eating them I felt so heavy. These are different, not fat at all, really healthier and very, very teasty. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


    Excellent! My entire family loves it and I just shared it with best friend Melissa and she loved it as well. Well done!

  14. ozcann tenel


  15. Wendy

    Thanks Jenny! I’m going to make these for tomorrow’s big game! Can’t wait.

  16. Ron K.

    I tried the recipe and LOVED IT! Had to add a couple of habeneros to turn up the heat! Thank you for sharing this with us, it’s fabulous!! (and highly recommended)

  17. Rhonda E.

    I made your nachos for dinner and I have to say those where the best nachos I’ve ever had. A very satisfying meal 🙂

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