I’m not sure if there’s any single dish that’s more synonymous with game day than nachos. Wings, maybe? Nachos are still the ultimate party food, though. And these fully loaded Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey are what every game day needs!
These nachos have everything that’s great about tacos, just laid flat! It starts with crispy tortilla chips and seasoned taco meat. Then we’ll pile on pickled jalapeños, buttery avocado and heaps of melted cheese.
Top it off with salsa, sour cream and lots of fresh cilantro and scallions, and you’ve got a party on a plate!
What you need to make Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey
You don’t need too many ingredients to make an epic nacho tray. Keep it simple and flavor-packed. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 bag of sturdy tortilla chips (or homemade chips)
- Ground turkey – either 93% lean or 85% lean will work well in this recipe. If you prefer a different kind of taco meat, feel free to use ground beef, chicken or even plant-based protein crumbles instead.
- Taco seasoning (store bought or homemade). My recipe for homemade taco seasoning is below. I love making it homemade because I can store it in the pantry for other uses, and it keeps forever. But store bought is fine if you want to save some time.
- Pickled jalapeños
- fresh jalapeños
- Avocado – If your avocados are perfectly ripe, cut them into cubes or slices and arrange over the nachos. If they’re overripe, mash them with a fork. Give them a little squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt and dollop the mixture on top of the nachos.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – Although making nachos should be a creative process where you mix and match lots of flavors and textures, there is one hard and fast rule that I never break: no cheese sauce! Ever. My top tip for perfect nachos is to use freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese. It’s a must.
What are the best chips to use for nachos?
If you want crispy nachos that stand up to all the toppings, you’ve got to go for thick corn chips. My favorite store bought chips for nachos are the Tostito’s Cantina Style Chips. Don’t get mixed up and buy the thinner cantina chips. Make sure you’re getting the traditional version.
If you can’t find them, the next best thing, believe it or not, is going to be the supermarket brand of tortilla chips. Even those old school round chips are great for loading on the toppings.
Store bought chips are great for game day or any day. But if you want to raise your nacho game for say, a Super Bowl kind of occasion, try making your own chips. They’re made from corn tortillas and they’re kind of a game changer (no pun intended). You can find my easy recipe here.
How to keep nachos from getting soggy
Moisture leads to soggy nachos. So try to keep the moisture to a minimum when you’re baking these Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey. Here are some simple ways to avoid a big soggy mess:
- The taco meat should be sprinkled evenly over the nacho chips. Big clumps of taco meat will add excess moisture and result in soggy chips.
- Leave all of the cold toppings like salsa and sour cream off until after the nachos are baked.
- Don’t go overboard with toppings. I know this is hard for true nacho lovers to hear, but you can’t have every single topping in the world on your nachos are still expect them to be crispy. Choose your favorites! Or serve some toppings on the side.
Which brings us to how to assemble the perfect tray of nachos…
How to make Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey
Here’s the best way to layer your ingredients for maximum nacho satisfaction:
- First, lay the chips down on a baking sheet. Spread them out in a single layer so they get exposure to the toppings! Nobody likes a naked nacho.
- Taco meat comes next. Sprinkle it evenly across the chips, avoiding big clumps which will lead to sogginess.
- Cheese, and lots of it. Sometimes I’ll put jalapeños under the cheese, and sometimes over. Sometimes a little of both. Do what you like.
- Bake! Then, we’ll add the rest of the goodies like avocado, sour cream, salsa, cilantro and scallions.
How to Reheat Nachos
Don’t throw away those leftover nachos that you worked so hard on! Even a small portion, reheated, can make a nice little snack the next day.
There different ways to reheat nachos, but the best way that I’ve found to restore the crispy texture of nachos to their original glory is to pop them back into the oven.
First, scrape off any cold toppings like sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
Spread out your nacho chips as best you can on an oven-safe pan. Make as much space as possible. The more space you give them, the crispier they’ll get.
It’s nice to sprinkle a little more cheese on top of the nachos to freshen things up. Let them warm up for for a couple of minutes at 375-400 degrees. Wait till the cheese melts, put add your choice of cold toppings back on and you’re ready to enjoy your delicious nachos all over again!
Is it okay to microwave nachos?
If all you’re using is chips and cheese, it is completely fine to microwave nachos. It’s actually my go-to method when I’m craving a really simple way to satisfy that nacho craving. Just throw a pile of tortilla chips and cheese onto a paper plate and nuke it for 40 seconds. Not 35, not 45. Forty seconds is the perfect amount of time.
That said, if you’ve got more than cheese on those chips, the microwave is not your best method. And whatever you do, don’t try to microwave your leftover nachos. That’s a first class trip to Soggytown.
Additional Toppings Ideas for Sheet Pan Nachos
Although I don’t recommend overloading your plate of nachos with too many toppings, here are some of my favorite toppings that you can choose to mix and match:
- Black beans – if using canned beans, be sure to drain the liquid, rinse the beans and dry them with a paper towel before putting them on your nachos.
- Black olives – make life easy and buy a little can of pre-sliced olives.
- Shredded iceberg lettuce – it doesn’t add much flavor, but that cool, crispy texture is an awesome addition to warm nachos.
I hope you’ll try these Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey on your next game day or whenever the mood strikes. And when you make them, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more game day recipes, try these:
- Restaurant-Style 3 Cheese Queso Dip
- Restaurant-Style Fried Pickles
- Sticky Sweet Ginger Soy Chicken Wings
For more recipes using ground turkey, try these:
Sheet Pan Nachos with Ground Turkey – for Game Day & Beyond!
- 1 bag sturdy tortilla chips
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. pickled jalapeños
- 2 fresh jalapeños
- 1 avocado
- 3-4 scallions diced, garnish
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped, garnish
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 1/2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Make the taco seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey. Off heat, stir in the taco seasoning. Set aside.
- Finely mince the pickled jalapeños. Slice the fresh jalapeños thinly.
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spread the chips evenly across the pan. Sprinkle taco meat evenly over the chips. Follow with the cheese.
- Bake for 4 minutes.
- Just before serving, peel, pit and slice the avocado. Garnish the nachos with avocado slices, diced scallions and chopped cilantro.