Learn how to make the perfect Buffalo Chicken Nachos with layers of buffalo chicken and lots of cheese all baked in the oven on a sheet pan.
Chicken wings are popular game day food. Over a billion buffalo wings are consumed each year on Super Bowl Sunday alone. And buffalo chicken can be used to make all kinds of other delicious snacks. I have quite a collection of buffalo chicken recipes. And so Buffalo Chicken Nachos seemed like recipe I should add to my collection. The last time I made sheet pan nachos was when I created my recipe for Cincinnati Nachos. Those are topped with Cincinnati style chili, cheese, beans and jalapeño peppers.
Why this recipe works
Nachos are a restaurant quality, crowd pleasing snack that are so easy to make at home. A big batch of nachos bakes quickly in your oven. It’s easy to layer the chips and cheese on a rimmed baking sheet. You can set out plates for individual servings. But I prefer to just stand around the pan and dig in.
I chose to cook ground chicken for my recipe and mix it with a little chopped red onion, butter and hot sauce. The zesty chicken works so well with the crunchy tortilla chips. You can of course always customize your toppings to your tastes. Keep reading for my complete recipe instructions.
Ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Nachos Recipe
Bake in Oven
- Tortilla Chips – I use one whole 9 oz bag of restaurant style thin and crispy tortilla chips.
- Ground Chicken – I chose ground chicken because ground beef is a popular topping for more traditional nachos. You of course can use shredded chicken that you’ve cooked from frozen (find my popular recipe HERE), or rotisserie chicken or even sliced and cooked chicken breast strips. I really think the ground chicken absorbs the flavors so well and makes these nachos easier to eat.
- Butter – Chicken is a lean meat and fat adds flavor. I cooked the ground chicken in a couple of tablespoons butter to add flavor and keep it from sticking to the pan.
- Frank’s RedHot Wings Buffalo Sauce – I use 3/4 cup of sauce for one pound of chicken. Plus I drizzle a little more sauce on top of the nachos once they come out of the oven. I like my nachos saucy and zesty!
- Monterey Jack Cheese – I like the taste of the Monterey Jack cheese with the buffalo sauce the best. Plus it melts really nicely in the oven. I often use pre-shredded cheese for convenience, but I really think nachos call for freshly shredded cheese. You can use cheddar cheese instead if you prefer.
- Red Onion – I mix a little red onion with the chicken so that it cooks a little bit as the cheese melts. And then sprinkle a little more freshly chopped on top after the bake.
Toppings for After the Oven
- Celery – Fresh celery is a natural pairing with buffalo wings. I love the fresh crunch it adds to these nachos. I got the idea from a local pizza place that makes a buffalo chicken style pizza. They top their pizza with fresh chopped celery and Ranch dressing after the bake. You can choose to add chopped green onions in addition to or instead of the celery.
- Ranch Dressing – I like the tangy flavor of Ranch dressing the best with these nachos. Plus I always have a bottle of Ranch in my refrigerator. Again if you prefer, use blue cheese dressing instead.
- Blue Cheese Crumbles – My Kroger carries smoked blue cheese crumbles and I just love the flavor. But any blue cheese crumbles will work in this recipe. Or leave them off if you don’t like blue cheese.
- Cilantro – I like the pop of color that fresh herbs add to a finished dish. If you don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead.
- Salt and Pepper – Be sure to season the cooked chicken with a little salt and pepper.
- Additional Toppings – Could include tomatoes, black olives and/or guacamole.
Instructions for making Buffalo Chicken Nachos
- Prep your ingredients – cook chicken and toss with the sauce, chop onion and celery, shred cheese.
- Layer the nachos onto a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the cheese is hot and fully melted.
- Drizzle the nachos with dressing and sprinkle them with the remaining toppings.
- Serve immediately.
Frequently asked questions
What cheese makes the best nachos?
Freshly shredded cheese is the best choice for nachos. It melts the best and has the freshest flavor. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with preservatives to keep it from clumping together. This makes it not melt as well. Beyond shredding your own cheese, the flavor is up to you. Monterey Jack, cheddar or mozzarella are all good choices.
How do you structure nachos?
You layer them. Start with a layer of tortilla chips. Top with your choice of protein. Finish with the cheese so that it can melt properly in the oven (or microwave or air fryer).
What is the proper way to eat nachos?
I have not figured out a way to eat nachos neatly. Just dig in and enjoy yourself!
- Set out some celery sticks with Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
- As part of a game day spread with other appetizers like –
I don’t recommend storing leftover nachos. You’ll likely not have leftovers anyway! Make a smaller batch for a smaller crowd. Nachos are best served fresh. Storing them will make them soggy and stale and you don’t want to reheat fresh celery or Ranch dressing.
- I use a rimmed baking sheet similar to these for baking the nachos
- Parchment paper for lining the baking the sheet for easy clean up and to prevent sticking
- My favorite grater for shredding cheese
More buffalo chicken recipes
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Best Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
Buffalo Chicken Nachos
- 9 oz tortilla chips
- 2 tbsp butter
- 16 oz ground chicken
- 3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
- 1/3 cup celery finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the tortilla chips in a thin layer onto the lined pan (half sheet size), using the whole surface area of the pan.
- In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until no longer pink, breaking the meat up into small pieces as it cooks.
- Drain the cooked chicken if necessary. Stir in two tablespoons of the red onion, a little salt and pepper and the buffalo sauce until the chicken is well coated with the sauce.
- Layer the buffalo chicken mixture evenly on top of the nacho tortilla chips.
- Layer the shredded cheese evenly on top of the buffalo chicken.
- Bake the nachos in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and completely melted.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately top the nachos. Drizzle the Ranch dressing over the top. And a little more buffalo wing sauce if desired.
- Sprinkle them with the remaining red onion, chopped celery and cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
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