Healthier Layered Nachos

I freaking love bar food. No matter how health conscious I may be and aware of what these types of meals will do to my stomach / make me feel afterwards, there is simply something about a plate towered with nachos that I cannot resist. As a kid, my go-to “homework snack” was a plate of Tostitos doused with cheddar cheese that I would microwave for the exact perfect time so that the cheese had just melted but the chips hadn’t turned soggy yet. Fifteen years later, I’d like to say my taste buds have matured, but there is something so inviting and irresistible about nachos. They are all inclusive and a communal meal. Have a table of 5+ people at a bar and everyone’s getting hungry? Order a plate of nachos and watch everyone dive in and pretend to not care which specific chip they get but actually search the entire tray for the perfect chip / meat / cheese / bean combination (because what’s worse than a naked chip on a plate of nachos). For that exact reason, I love cooking and preparing nachos on a cookie sheet and letting everyone get their fair share of perfectly rationed and scattered toppings. Not to say I still won’t enjoy an order at the bar while watching a football game, but here is a way to make this delicious snack (or meal…) healthier and more food-hangover friendly. I promise, guests won’t be able to tell the difference.

Recipe

Ingredients (serves 3-4 people):

  • Siete tortilla chips (can use another company if preferred)
  • Refried beans (1 can)
  • Spicy sausage (2 links – this can be replaced with ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken)
  • Jalapeños (1)
  • Avocado (1)
  • Lime (1)
  • Plain greek yogurt (1)
  • Shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper chili flakes
  • Cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your sausage topping: remove the casing from the sausage links and cook on an oiled skillet with red pepper chili flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt & pepper. Continue to break and crumble the sausage with the back of your spoon as it cooks
  2. Once cooked, drain any excess liquid from the pan and set aside
  3. Place the chips on the cookie sheet and top with an even layer of the refried beans
  4. On top of the refried beans, place an even layer of the spicy sausage
  5. Dice the jalapeño into thin disks and place on top of the sausage layer
  6. Cover evenly with shredded cheese
  7. Place in the oven @ 375 for ~ 7 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted
  8. While the nachos are cooking, prepare your guacamole: mash the avocado in a bowl and add 1 small spoonful of olive oil, the juice of one lime, and salt & pepper
  9. Top the nachos with a layer of guacamole and then a layer of the greek yogurt
    1. If you’re not sure of your guest’s preferences, you can also easily make this into a “nacho bar”. To do so, remove step 9 and place a bowl of the guacamole and a bowl of the greek yogurt on the side for them to top their individual plate to their liking

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