Mexican Nachos

This nacho recipe is easily customized; you can start with store-bought ingredients, or make your own chips, refried beans, and toppers. No matter how you make them, you'll want these loaded nachos on hand for all your future parties.

Guests grabbing chips from Mexican Party Nachos
Photo: Carson Downing
Prep Time:
40 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 1 recipe Fried Tortilla Chips or 5 cups purchased tortilla chips

  • 1 ½ cup Refried Beans or canned refried beans

  • 2 cup shredded cooked chicken, pork, or beef, or Carnitas or desired meat filling

  • 1 cup Mole Colorado or Quick Mole

  • 2 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese, queso de Oaxaca, asadero cheese, or shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend

  • Toppers, such as purchased guacamole; Corn and Queso; chopped tomato; sliced ripe olives; thinly sliced red onion wedges; crumbled cotija cheese; Mexican crema or sour cream; fresh cilantro; sliced fresh jalapeño chile peppers; and/or additional Mole

Fried Tortilla Chips

  • Vegetable oil for deep-fat frying (such as peanut or corn oil)

  • 8 7 inch flour or corn tortillas

  • Coarse salt (optional)

Refried Beans

  • 8 ounce dried pinto beans (about 1-1/4 cups)

  • 8 cup water

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoon bacon drippings or olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder

  • 2 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil

  • cup chopped onion (1 small)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • cup orange juice

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 bay leaves

Mole Colorado

  • 4 dried ancho chile peppers*

  • 2 dried guajillo chile peppers*

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed

  • ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • ¾ cup chicken broth or water

  • 2 tablespoon golden raisins

  • 2 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted

Quick Mole Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

  • ½ ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • hot pepper sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange half of the tortilla chips on an 11- to 12-inch oven-going platter or pizza pan. Spoon half of the Refried Beans in mounds over chips; top with half of the meat. Drizzle with 1/2 cup Mole Colorado. Sprinkle with half of the cheese.

  2. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven. Repeat layers using remaining ingredients. Bake 10 minutes more or until cheese melts. Serve with desired toppers.

Fried Tortilla Chips

  1. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large heavy skillet or pot heat about 1 inch oil over medium until 365°F. Meanwhile, cut tortillas into wedges.

  2. Add tortilla wedges to hot oil in small batches. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Remove chips from oil with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. If desired, sprinkle lightly with salt.

Refried Beans

  1. Rinse beans. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine beans and 4 cups of the water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in water in pan. Cover and let soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

  2. In the same saucepan or Dutch oven combine beans, 4 cups fresh water, and the salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until beans are very tender. Drain beans, reserving liquid.

  3. In a heavy large skillet heat bacon drippings. Stir in garlic. Add beans, mash thoroughly with a potato masher. Stir in enough of the cooking liquid (about 1/4 cup) to make a pastelike mixture. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring often.


  1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 1-1/2-inch cubes. In a Dutch oven cook meat, half at a time, in hot lard over medium-high heat, stirring to brown meat evenly. Remove meat from Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to Dutch oven; cook until lightly browned and tender. Return all of the meat to Dutch oven.

  2. Add the water, orange peel, orange juice, thyme, salt, oregano, crushed red pepper, and bay leaves to Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Remove lid; increase heat so mixture boils gently. Cook, uncovered 30 to 40 minutes or until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated, gently stirring occasionally. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a serving bowl.

Mole Colorado

  1. In a large dry skillet toast ancho and guajillo chile peppers over medium heat about 2 minutes or until fragrant and slightly darker, turning frequently. Remove and discard stems and seeds, break or tear into pieces; set aside.

  2. In the same skillet cook onion and garlic in hot oil 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sesame seeds, apple pie spice, salt, and ground black pepper. Cook 1 minute more or until sesame seeds are lightly toasted.

  3. Add undrained tomatoes, dried chile peppers, and 1/4 cup chicken broth to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer, for 5 to 10 minutes or until peppers are tender. Stir in raisins and almonds. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool slightly.

  4. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Blend in enough remaining chicken broth or water until is desired sauce consistency.

Quick Mole Sauce

  1. In same skillet cook onion and garlic in hot oil 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Cook 1 minute more or until fragrant. Stir in barbecue sauce, bittersweet chocolate, and hot pepper sauce (optional). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. simmer until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly. Transfer onion mixture and toasted seeds to blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Thin with water if needed; cool. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

  2. In large dry skillet over medium heat toast pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted. Remove from skillet.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

512 Calories
29g Fat
36g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 512
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 1032mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 27.3mg 136%
Calcium 357mg 27%
Iron 3.1mg 17%
Potassium 541mg 12%
Folate, total 21.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.7mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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