I must confess, the healthy nachos I’ve boldly dubbed the best healthy nachos on the internet began as an attempt to make chorizo chilaquiles. If you’re unfamiliar with chilaquiles, they’re basically fried corn tortillas simmered in salsa or mole until they soften and then loaded up with meat, queso fresco, onions, and other goodies. Sounds tasty, right?
So, what happened to the chorizo chilaquiles? Well, if we’re being honest, I like my tortillas crispy.
As I stood over the diced tomatoes and green chiles, debating whether or not to simmer the tortillas until soft, all I could hear was the satisfying crunch of a crispy tortilla chip. Looking back, I’m pleased with the decision. Because these nachos, for as simple as they are, should rank well on your list of the best healthy nachos on the internet. I mean, the meat alone will blow your mind.
How to Make Homemade Chorizo and Beef Healthy Nachos
At its core, this recipe only has four ingredients:
- Lean ground beef
- Reduced fat pork sausage (which we’ll add chorizo seasoning to)
- Extra thin corn tortillas
- Shredded cheddar
Yup. No crazy ingredients here.
So what makes these the best healthy nachos on the internet? For starters, the layers of sea salt and lime low calorie tortilla chips.
Sorry if you thought we’d be making our own top secret tortillas. Ain’t nobody got time for that. The extra thin tortillas from Mission are too legit to quit. So legit, in fact, that I’ve had readers say they make these at home, bag them up, and take them to Mexican restaurants to have instead of house chips.
And look at how macro friendly they are. Just look at it!
Okay, the chips are great, but the real magic is in the meat. I couldn’t find a lower fat, lower calorie chorizo so I threw together a mix of spices to mix with reduced fat pork sausage from Jimmy Dean. It’s magical.
Chorizo Seasoning Recipe
If you cook regularly, I’d bet you have most of the ingredients on hand. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Chili Powder
- Ground Chipotle Pepper Powder
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Note: The amounts called for in the healthy nachos recipe are for seasoning both the pork and beef. If you’re using this seasoning recipe for the pork alone, you’ll want to use 1/2 or maybe even 1/3. And if you want more recipes to use the chorizo with, check out my egg and chorizo breakfast casserole.
As delicious as the beef and chorizo mixture is, you could plug just about any meat or protein source in for easy layered nachos. My ground chicken chorizo would be a low fat and tasty substitute for the pork sausage, and my Mexican shredded chicken or pork tenderloin carnitas would work great here.
You could also use something like turkey sausage or meatless sausage/beef for even lower fat, lower calorie nachos. Beyond Beef makes a great beef crumble that could be combined with the chorizo seasoning. And considering it’s precooked, it could even reduce your prep time.
Beyond the protein sources, feel free to plug and play with cheeses. The recipe uses a reduced fat cheddar with 90 calories per 1/4 C (28g). You could combine fat free cheddar with other types of cheese for a different flavor profile and maybe even fewer calories.
All right, that’s about all I’ve got for ya. Try these out and let me know where they stand in your healthy nachos rankings. If these nachos end up blowing your mind like they did mine, I wanna know about it. Be sure to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. And if you’re looking for more recipes to make with ground proteins, check out my roundups of 30 macro friendly ground beef recipes or 25 healthy ground chicken recipes.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef, macros with 96/4
- 10 oz Reduced Fat Pork Sausage, I used Jimmy Dean
- 1 C (112g) Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar, I used Kraft
- 9 Extra Thin Corn Tortillas, from Mission (120 calories for 3)
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Lime Juice
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper Powder
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Preheat an oven to 400F.
- Mix all the chorizo seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
- Cut the tortillas into 6 pieces each. (I stack all 9 and use a pizza cutter to make this easier.) Add the triangles to a baking sheet or wire rack. Brush or drizzle the lime juice on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the chips are baking, add the ground beef and sausage to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes before adding the chorizo seasoning. (If you're using a fattier cut of beef or pork, you'll want to drain some of the fat before adding.) Continue cooking until no pink remains in either meat.
- Once the chips are baked and the meat is cooked, add 1/3 of the chips to a baking dish or pan. (I used a 7" springform pan.) Add 1/3 C of the cheddar followed by 1/3 of the meat and another layer of chips. Repeat until you have 3 layers. (You could also skip the layering and place the nachos flat on one large baking sheet.)
- Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Each serving has 7 Smart Points.
- You're more than welcome to add any toppings you like, but you probs don't need them. I bet the creamy salsa from my Cheesy Gordita Crunch Remix would go great with these, though.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 8th
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 12gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 23g