Smoky BBQ Chicken Nachos: Super Bowl Party Food

Smoky BBQ Chicken Nachos is an easy Super Bowl party app

Are you planning to do some noshing during the big game? Then you’ll want to add a platter of Smoky BBQ Chicken Nachos to your Super Bowl party table. These nachos are a happy fusion of smoky barbecue and cheesy nachos. That’s right, you can have the best of both worlds in one amazing appetizer.

Around our house, we’ve always been partial to Blue Coyote Nachos with a big bowl of guacamole on the side to satisfy our nacho yearnings. As a matter of fact, when I brought up the idea of a new nacho recipe I received a little resistance and was only given the green light if could match the affections for our beloved standard.

Smoky BBQ Chicken Nachos proved worthy and made it on our Super Bowl party menu.

The barbecue sauce and pinto beans remind you of all the reasons you love barbecue while the Monterey Jack cheese and jalapenos keep you grounded in nacho heaven. We like Jack cheese for its beautiful melt-ability and mild flavor that doesn’t get in the way, but if you need more spice in your nacho world, pepper jack is a good choice.

If you already have a barbecue sauce you can’t bear to part with, use it. If not, I highly recommend Show Me Liquid Smoke Bar-B-Q Sauce with its distinct smoky, tangy, slightly sweet flavor. Produced in small batches in Columbia, MO, my friends have asked me to order it by the gallon. No kidding. It’s a small family-run enterprise with a phone number to call for ordering (573) 442-5309 weekdays between 10 am-4 pm. Last time I ordered they didn’t even take credit cards—they ship your order and expect you to send them a check. Recently, I also found it online at Get Sauced … either way, you’ll be glad you got some.

What’s not to like?! Well, there is that pesky little aspect of healthy food choices and this is what we call a compromise in our Food Philosophy, primarily because of the chips. So be sure to bring some balance with a classic vegetable tray.

What about healthier chips? Here’s a recipe to make your own with organic corn tortillas and coconut oil—we’ve made them this way with excellent results: Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips. And if you are interested in a grain-free alternative, this recipe looks promising, though I haven’t tried them myself: Homemade Grain-Free Tortilla Chips

Want to get it all done faster? The chicken and sauce, beans, and cheese all freeze well so they can be prepped well in advance. What I often do is shred rotisserie or roast chicken and freeze it in 2 cup portions to have on hand for tacos, burritos, salads or recipes such as this. The recipe doesn’t take long anyway, but these time savers add up when you have a party planned.

Super easy Super Bowl party appetizer

5.0 from 2 reviews
Smoky BBQ Chicken Nachos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer, Party, Chicken, Barbecue
Serves / Yields: 4
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breast -- about ¾ pound, or 1½ cups shredded chicken
  • Sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ cup salsa, any preferred spice -- any favorite
  • ⅓ cup smoky barbecue sauce -- Show Me recommended, or any favorite
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans
  • 8 ounces Jack cheese -- shredded
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos -- Jeff's Naturals recommended, or any favorite, drained
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro -- or chopped green onion
  • Corn tortilla chips
  • Sour cream -- for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken breasts 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken by pulling it apart with your fingers into small pieces and place in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Taste the pinto beans and if no more salt is needed, drain and set aside. If the beans taste flat or muddy, pour into a saucepan with the juices and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. Mix the salsa and barbecue sauce together in a small mixing bowl. Taste and add more of either, as desired. Add enough sauce to the shredded chicken to cover well. Be sure to reserve some of the sauce to drizzle over the nachos just before baking.
  5. Arrange 4-5 large handfuls of chips on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle a layer of cheese over the chips (parts of the chips should peak through) and follow with a layer of chicken and beans. Garnish with jalapenos as desired, and drizzle remaining sauce over the top. Bake until cheese is melted and beginning to brown and the chips are crisp, 8-10 minutes (check at 5 minutes). Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Serve hot.

make ahead Super Bowl party food
For even more Super Bowl party food ideas, check out these great recipes too:

14 Healthy Super Bowl Party Recipes
Super Bowl Party Food Roundup – 16 Recipe Ideas for the Big Game
Blue Coyote Nachos
Caramelized Onion Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Parmesan & Herb Zucchini Sticks
Hot Artichoke Dip
Tri-tip Steak Chili


  1. says

    Let the games begin! These are my kind of nachos, Judy. They’re so much more than some melted cheese on taco chips. i want my nachos covered with all kinds of goodies. I got a laugh when I took the link to the BBQ sauce site. They actually sell it by the half-gallon. It must be pretty good. They wouldn’t do it if people didn’t buy it. I intend to find out. Thanks for the heads up. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Stovetop Braised RabbitMy Profile

    • says

      By the gallon, John, and I have one sitting in my pantry. My mom asks me every Christmas if I need more because in Missouri it’s gift-worthy. 🙂 Let me know if you try some and what you think.

  2. says

    I love nachos! And I can’t remember the last time I made them. Seriously — it must be at least 10 years. What have I been thinking? These are super — gotta try them. Gotta find that BBQ sauce, too. Luckily, I live about 2 hours from the source, so I should be able to track it down. 🙂 Good stuff — thanks.
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Slow Cooker Homestyle ChiliMy Profile

    • says

      Well, I don’t recommend making nachos a regular part of the diet, but 10 years is too long. John, if you are 2 hours from the source I would imagine you’d find it in grocery stores. Lucky you!

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