Weeknight BBQ Chicken Nachos
Easy Eats

Weeknight BBQ Chicken Nachos

This is an updated post from the Macheesmo Archives.

It’s no secret that Tex-Mex is way up there on my (and Betsy’s) list of favorite cuisines. I mean how can you go wrong? It’s spicy and cheesy and generally quick to make. Sometimes though I get a bit bored with the standard stuff (Betsy doesn’t). I’ve made some other types of nachos in the past but this is a new twist on them.

I really loved the BBQ sauce I made for this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of really ketchup-heavy BBQ sauces which means I generally don’t like store bought BBQ sauces (except for a few that I think are really good like Stubbs). You could make this recipe really easy just by using your favorite store-bought sauce, but making your own BBQ can be really fun.

To make this BBQ Chicken Nachos weeknight friendly, use a rotisserie chicken and your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce and the whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes. BOOM.

Weeknight BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Just a moment please...

Serves 4.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

So many shortcuts are possible to make these nachos easy for a weeknight recipe. Use a rotisserie chicken if you want and a good quality BBQ sauce to toss everything together in under 30 minutes.


1 1/2 pounds (approx) shredded chicken. 
1 cup BBQ sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
Red onion, sliced
Sliced radish
Sweet corn
Cilantro, sliced
Optional stuff:  sour cream, serrano peppers, avocado, hot sauce, salsa

Homemade Quick BBQ Sauce:

1 onion, grated
1 serrano pepper, diced (or jalapeno)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon neutral oil
2/3 Cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 Cup bourbon (optional)
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
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1) To make the BBQ sauce, grate the onion over the big holes in a box grater.  Also, dice the pepper and garlic.

2) Add oil to medium saucepan over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the onions, peppers, and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until soft.

3) Add other BBQ ingredients and simmer on low until thick.  Adjust to your tastes.

4) Meanwhile, poach chicken in lightly simmering water for 15 minutes until cooked through and tender.

5) Remove chicken from water and let cool.  Then use two forks to shred the chicken.

6) Add the shredded chicken to the BBQ sauce and combine well.

7) Cover a baking sheet or large skillet with tortilla chips.  Then top with the BBQ chicken mixture.  Top with shredded cheese and sliced red onions and corn.

8) Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted, probably 15 minutes.

9) Top with any addtional toppings and serve immediately!

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Sometimes I’m feeling ambitious and I’ll make my own BBQ sauce for this recipe. That’s fun if you have the time and I included a really basic version  in the recipe, but for quick dinners, using a store-bought sauce is A-okay in my book.

BBQ chicken nachos

Chicken and sauce.

The easiest way to cook the chicken for this dish is just to poach it in some softly simmering water. Get a big pot of water boiling and add a few pinches of salt. Once it’s simmering, add the chicken and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

The good news about poaching chicken like this is that it’s basically impossible to overcook it. It’ll be nice and tender no matter what. Once it’s done, let the chicken cool for a bit before trying to handle it. Again, you can use a rotisserie chicken and shred it for even easier nacho prep.

BBQ Chicken nachos


As an aside, this chicken could be used for a number of things besides nachos (which is good because you’ll probably have leftovers). You could make a BBQ chicken sandwich with it, or a quesadilla, or a pizza… you get the idea.

If you’re making nachos though, just spread out a bunch of tortilla chips on a sheet pan or in a large cast iron skillet and fork on a good amount of the BBQ chicken.

Next, add the shredded cheese. I used a combination of mozzarella and smoked gouda. The gouda works awesomely with the BBQ Chicken. I also sprinkled on some diced red onions and sweet corn to give it some bite.

BBQ Chicken nachos


Since the chicken is already cooked, just bake these guys at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. Should take about 15 minutes. Then sprinkle on some chopped cilantro and any other toppings you fancy.

Betsy and I ate these without any toppings other than the cilantro at first and I thought they were really good but toppings always improve nachos. Avocado? Corn? Radish? Jalapenos? You get the idea.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

More toppings!

At the end of the day, this is a really flexible dish that is almost guaranteed to make some really good BBQ Chicken nachos, even on a weeknight. Do me a favor though and at least try to whip up some of your own BBQ sauce. You won’t be disappointed and might never go back to the bottled stuff.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

11 comments on “Weeknight BBQ Chicken Nachos

  1. Mr. Nick Macheesmo, sir, that looks SO good. I'm drooling. This is definitely going on the dinner menu for Chez Leanne this week. That sauce …. oh my…. how do you think it would be with ribs?

  2. I stumbled across your blog the other day and love it!

    I tried making the BBQ chicken nachos tonight and they turned out great! I made some adjustments to the BBQ sauce recipe based on another recipe I had. (Similar to yours, but it also included a tiny bit of yellow mustard, a little bit of liquid smoke and some Coke/Pepsi as a sugar component.)

    This recipe is going in my "keeper" file! Thanks for posting it and inspiring me to cook for a change!

  3. These look awesome, I think i'll have to make some soon.

    If you want to kick them up to the next level, I'd plank grill them! If you're not familiar with the technique, soak a food-safe cedar plank in water (or…beer!) for at least 30 minutes before you start cooking. Place nachos on the plank, place plank on a grill that is medium heat (an oven would probably work too, though not as well). Nachos will emerge even more smoky and delicious.

  4. I made these last night. They were delicious! Next time, I am going to use a little less brown sugar and make sure it is unpacked. It made a massive amount of shredded chicken which I love. Leftovers!

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