How to Make Perfect Nachos, Every Time

There’s a science behind super snacking.

What makes a great plate of nachos? You might say it’s the melted cheese, the salty chips or creamy guacamole. But truthfully, the best-ever nachos are the ones where you get all of the above in one singular bite (and every bite thereafter). Unfortunately, getting that perfect bite can be pretty hard to do — but Jordan Andino has several tricks up his sleeve that make excellent nachos easily attainable.

In his Food Network Kitchen class for The Perfect Plate of Nachos, Jordan explains that there’s a science behind tasty, textured nachos. He’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish, but there are two key steps that take his nachos a stack above the rest.

First, Jordan simmers canned black beans with onion, cumin, salt and pepper for a flavorful sauce that will keep the nachos warm and gooey. The secret? Jordan doesn’t drain the black beans before cooking — he relies on the starchy liquid to hold in the heat. That way, the cheese won’t seize up as the nachos sit, which eliminates that pesky issue of all the cooled cheese clinging to just one chip.

While the sauce is cooking, Jordan prepares everything else for his stellar nachos. He sears lemon-paprika flavored chicken breast for just a few minutes, until it’s flavorful and golden brown. Here’s where the technique gets really specific: Jordan sets the seared chicken on one end of a sheet pan and reserves the other half for the chips. He starts with a unilateral layer of chips, then sprinkles on shredded cheese. Then, he adds another layer of chips and even more shredded cheese — you should have enough that the chips are barely visible. Once everything is stacked and cheesy, he transfers the entire sheet pan to the oven so the chicken can finish cooking and the cheese will melt.

Once the chicken and cheese are good to go, it’s time to build your perfect plate. Jordan has a few other toppings that ensure a truly excellent plate of nachos — but you’ll have to watch the class to find out. Bonus? You might even see a furry friend while he’s cooking!

Whether you’re cooking for game day or just craving a salty snack, you’re going to end up with a plate of nachos you’re truly proud of. As Jordan says, “The best nachos are the ones where every bite is everything that you want.”

Want more epic snack recipes? Sign up for the Food Network Kitchen app and you’ll have access to classes for everything from homemade pizzas to irresistable wings.

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