Air Fryer Nachos are made with seasoned ground beef, tortilla chips, and all the melty cheese and toppings to go with it! Enjoy these nachos while watching the big game or serve them up as a quick meal!
It’s hard to believe we didn’t already have an air fryer nacho recipe! I mean, who doesn’t love nachos? And the air fryer makes preparing them nice and easy, especially if you already have some seasoned taco meat ready to go, perhaps leftover from making our air fryer tacos! Air fryer nachos make an excellent appetizer and they’re perfect for game day gatherings!
We’re starting with taco seasoned ground beef and cheese along with tortilla chips. You could go the extra mile and make your very own air fryer tortilla chips or you can just use a bag of chips.
The nachos don’t take long to assemble with a few other toppings like jalapenos and olives, and of course the shredded cheddar cheese. It gets perfectly melty in the air fryer, and it only takes about 5 minutes. That leaves you plenty of time to also make our air fryer street corn to go with the nachos!
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Ground Beef – These nachos start with seasoned taco meat. I prefer ground beef, but ground turkey, chicken, or plant based alternatives will work great as well. My daughter really likes Impossible meat.
Taco Seasoning – There are lots of different brands of taco seasoning out there, and they usually come in packets. Feel free to use your favorite! Or check out this homemade taco seasoning recipe if you’d like to prepare your own, which is great for controlling exactly what flavors you want in there.
Corn Tortilla Chips – We normally use plain tortilla chips, but my husband has been known to throw some Cool Ranch Doritos in there too!
Cheese – Freshly shredded cheddar is going to get nice and melty for you. You could also add in some pepper jack or monterey jack.
Pickled Jalapenos – We love the flavor that the pickled jalapenos add to these nachos! You could also use fresh sliced jalapeno here if you’d like, but we find the pickled variety are best with nachos. You can add more or less of this to taste depending on how spicy you like it.
Black Olives – Another popular topping and one of our favorites! You can use as much or as little of these as you would with the jalapenos.
Other Toppings – There are an endless variety of nacho toppings you could use here. Fresh cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, onion, and of course guac or Pico de Gallo. See below for a more complete list of nacho topping suggestions!
The pickled jalapenos and the black olives are both optional, as are any other toppings you might like to use. The cheese can be mixed up too. Feel free to customize these nachos to make them exactly the way you want!
How to Make Air Fryer Nachos:
- Taco Meat – To get started you’ll prepare the ground beef for the taco meat. Add the beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat until it breaks apart and has cooked through. Drain the grease before proceeding and then season according to the packet instructions.
- Layer – I’d recommend using a parchment paper liner or foil in your basket for less mess and easy removal of the nachos. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on the bottom of the basket and top with spoonfuls of taco meat, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, and black olives. Repeat these layers 1 or 2 more times!
- Air Fry – These air fryer nachos will take about 5 minutes at 330 degrees for the cheese to get nice and melty. You don’t want to overcook it or burn the melted cheese so it won’t take long! Carefully lift the parchment out and onto a plate or baking sheet for serving. See below for nacho topping serving suggestions!
The taco meat will be cooked separately so the actual cook time in the air fryer is not going to be very long, about 5 minutes, or however long it takes for the cheese to get good and melty between the layers of tortilla chips. All air fryers cook a bit differently so just check yours about halfway through to make sure the cheese is not burning!
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Air Fryer Nacho Toppings:
We love nachos because they are so easy to customize with all your favorite toppings! Feel free to go wild here and use as many as you like. I’ve put together a list of some of the most popular nacho toppings for you to try:
- Homemade Guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
- Diced Tomatoes
- Sour Cream
- Refried Beans
- Pickled Red Onions
- Pinto Beans
- Black Beans
- Mango Avocado Salsa
- Homemade Salsa
- Roasted Salsa Verde
- Hot Sauce
- Green Onions
Leftover Taco Meat:
So you’ve made taco meat and there is more than you need. This is a common not problem. You should take advantage of the extra taco meat and use it up in other recipes. It’ll save you time and it can be used in so many different ways.
You could keep it simple and make these air fryer tacos, or try something new with cheesy taco pinwheels! We’re also huge fans of these taco egg rolls. These are all easy air fryer recipes made even easier by using leftover taco meat!
Nachos can be stored for later but they won’t be as good as fresh. And it kind of depends on the toppings that you add to them. If you think you’ll have leftovers try to keep them separate from any toppings like sour cream, guac, or salsa. Store the leftover nachos in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days. You can reheat in the air fryer, the oven, or the microwave!
The kind you like the most! For us, that’d be cheddar but you can certainly use other kinds or a blend! Queso, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and many more can be used.
Sure! You could sub the ground beef with pinto beans, black beans, more black olives, or a plant based ground meat substitute!
Air Fryer Nachos Recipe
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ packet taco seasoning
- 4 cups tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- ¼ cup sliced pickled jalapenos more or less to taste
- ¼ cup sliced black olives more or less to taste
- Toppings such as sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole
- Add the ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks.
- Once the beef has cooked through, drain the grease and add 2 tablespoons of water and the taco seasoning to the skillet. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Line the bottom of your air fryer basket with parchment paper or foil, making sure that the liner comes up two of the sides of the basket so that you’ll be able to lift the nachos out after cooking.
- Arrange a layer of chips in the bottom of the basket and top with spoonfuls of cheese, meat, jalapenos, and black olives. Repeat the layers 1-2 more times.
- Air fry at 330 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove from the air fryer and carefully lift the parchment or foil out to remove the nachos to a plate.
- Top with your favorite toppings and serve hot.