Tasty ways to celebrate National Nachos Day

SBLIV BBQ Nachos, photo provided by Matthew Noel/Centerplate
SBLIV BBQ Nachos, photo provided by Matthew Noel/Centerplate /

National Nachos Day is the perfect excuse to eat more nachos.

National Nachos Day is on November 6, 2020. When I was in college, my regular diet consisted of pizza, take-out Chinese food and nachos. They were cheap tasty eats. Nachos in particular were easy to prepare on a very slim budget. We would cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread out tortilla chips over the foil, cover with shredded cheddar cheese and some dollops of salsa and bake in the oven until the cheese melted. Tasted especially good during those late night study cram sessions!

After  graduation, I gave up many of my college day habits, but I still make awesome nachos. My family loves them and they are easy to make when our dinner schedule is hectic. So I can’t wait to celebrate National Nachos Day with crunchy, cheesy, spicy nacho chips!

Nachos were created by a  maître d’ named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, in 1940. He whipped up the first batch for a group of hungry U.S. military wives at the Victory Club, a restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, near Fort Duncan. He fried up some tortillas to make tortilla chips,  topped them with some shredded Cheddar and jalapeño strips, and served them as an appetizer. The ladies decided to name the snack after Ignacio, using his nickname “Nacho”.

All nachos begin with a crunchy base that accompanies the yummy toppings that are piled on top of it. Traditionally tortilla chips are the first nacho layer, but there are so many other choices. Tater Tots and French fries are a fun alternative that the kids will love. Bell peppers are a low-carb alternative to chips. Corn chips are popular – you can even serve a version of nachos in a corn chip bag – known as a Frito Pie.

Cheese is one of the most important ingredients for nachos. Cheddar cheese is traditional and you can add or substitute pepper jack cheese, melted white queso, Monterey Jack, even blue cheese.

The meat layer is next. Chili,smoked sausage, chizo sausage, ground beef taco meat, shredded chicken, blackened chicken, BBQ pork.  If you are in the mood for a deliciously different snack, try crispy Duck Nachos. Seasoned with lime juice, cilantro and honey, topped with corn, tomato, red onion, cheese and sour cream. These nachos are everything they are quacked up to be!

The toppings are the finishing touch and the sky’s the limit…tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, sliced green onions, chopped bell peppers, avocado…from spicy to creamy to crunchy.

Planning a family night in front of the TV to watch the big game or your favorite movie? Set up a nacho bar. Load up a big basket of tortilla chips along with a dual crock-pot of slow-cooker queso and your favorite chili. Place bowls of sour cream, sliced green onions, black olives, pickled jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, lime wedges, assorted salsas, shredded cheddar cheese (for those of us who can’t get enough cheese on their nachos!) and shredded iceberg lettuce on your table. Your guests can pile their plates high with their favorite toppings.

Who says nachos are just for dinner or late night study snacks? Breakfast nachos are awesome. Combine the traditional nacho toppings with bacon, eggs and salsa to create a unique breakfast treat.

And for dessert? S’mores Nachos with melted chocolate, graham crackers and toasty marshmallows are every child’s dream come true.

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What’s your favorite nacho topping? How high will you pile your plate of nachos on National Nachos Day?