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Loaded BBQ Chicken Nachos

These BBQ chicken nachos have two layers of crispy tortilla chips, fresh veggies, pulled chicken thighs, and a beaucoup of cheese. The recipe makes a huge batch that would be perfect for a game day or shindig. Or you could scale things down and have one of my favorite past times, a nachos-for-one party.

I’ve been coming up with ways to use a big batches of our Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken, Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs, and Alabama White Sauce Smoked Chicken Thighs recipes like sandwiches, pizzas, casseroles, and more. While searching for inspiration, I stumbled across a recipe for loaded BBQ chicken nachos from Tasty and immediately got cooking. I’ll teach you how to make my BBQ pulled chicken below, but you could also check out their recipe for another chicken option!

cast iron skillet with BBQ chicken nachos

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Step 1: Make the pulled BBQ chicken.

bbq pulled chicken in a bowl

I’ll start by saying, you can use any chicken you like for these BBQ chicken nachos. You could even use something like my BBQ pulled pork tenderloin. But if you want to have your world rocked, go with my pulled chicken thighs.

I’ve included a how-to video below, and here’s a quick list of everything you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of chicken thighs or chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, dry mustard, and chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

To make it, coat the chicken in olive oil and the seasoning blend before searing for 2-3 minutes per side using a pressure cooker’s sauté function. Add the BBQ sauce and deglaze the pot before sealing and pressure cooking for 5 minutes. Vent the pot, shred the chicken, and use the broil option for 8-12 minutes if you have an air fryer accessory for your pressure cooker (optional).

And that’s it for the chicken. The rest of your BBQ chicken nachos assembly is simple!

Step 2: Cook 4 slices of center cut bacon.

cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet

I used a 12″ cast iron skillet to make these shredded chicken nachos, but you could cook the bacon in any skillet and use a baking sheet instead. If you go with cast iron, be sure to wipe the excess bacon grease out before assembling the rest of your nachos.

And you didn’t hear this from me, but you could totally use precooked bacon and skip this step.

Step 3: Place a layer of tortilla chips in a large skillet or baking sheet and top with red onion strips, diced tomatoes, parsley, bacon pieces, BBQ pulled chicken, and shredded cheese.

making bbq chicken nachos in a cast iron skillet

As always, veggies are optional but highly recommended. Aside from that, you could make your BBQ chicken nachos a bit healthier by baking your own tortilla chips. This is the method I used for my pulled pork nachos.

My low calorie tortilla chips call for cutting extra thin corn tortillas into triangles, hitting with a little cooking spray, and baking at 400ºF for 6-8 minutes directly on a baking sheet. You’ll need to make a larger batch, which will extend the cook time.

Reducing the amount of cheese, bacon, and going with a single layer of nachos are all additional ways to reduce the calorie count of your pulled chicken nachos.

first layer of the bbq chicken nachos

Don’t sweat perfection when layering your ingredients. Nachos are perfectly imperfect, after all.

Step 4: Repeat for a second layer and bake at 400ºF for 12-15 minutes. 

assembled nachos before baking

I won’t judge you for adding extra cheese on top.

The original chicken nachos from Tasty call for diced avocado and sour cream, but I went with a simple fat free Greek yogurt drizzle. Serving with a drizzle of fresh BBQ sauce is also recommended. Whatever you do, get it on quick and get the nachos on your plate. These things are heavenly straight from the oven.

Speaking of oven, what about air frying? You know I love an air fryer!

How to Make These BBQ Chicken Nachos in an Air Fryer

I made a picky eater friendly version with 2 ounces of tortilla chips, 2 ounces of shredded cheese, and around 5-6 ounces of pulled chicken. Then 350ºF for 5-6 minutes in the air fryer did the trick.

That’s a wrap. If you have any recipe questions I haven’t covered, feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of this post. Otherwise, enjoy your BBQ chicken nachos! And if you’re looking for more ways to use this chicken, check out my BBQ chicken sliders and BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes next.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Nachos

Pulled BBQ Chicken Nachos

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

BBQ pulled chicken thighs, bacon, veggies, and shredded cheese layered between crispy tortilla chips and topped with a Greek yogurt drizzle.


  • 12 oz Pulled BBQ Chicken*
  • 6 oz Tortilla Chips
  • 4 slices Cooked Center Cut Bacon or Precooked Bacon, crumbled
  • 1-2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, cut into thin strips
  • 2 handfuls Parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz Shredded Cheese


  1. Preheat an oven to 400ºF and cook the bacon in a 12" cast iron skillet, wiping away any excess bacon grease after cooking. (You can also cook the bacon in any skillet and assemble the nachos on a sheet pan.)
  2. Place 3-4 ounces of chips on the bottom of the skillet. Top with roughly half the cooked bacon pieces, diced tomato, red onion, parsley, cheese, and chicken.
  3. Add a second layer of chips and the remaining ingredients on top.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of fat free Greek yogurt, sour cream, and/or BBQ sauce.


*The recipe for my pulled BBQ chicken is in the post above. Though you can use other cooked BBQ shredded chicken options for your nachos.

Each serving of BBQ chicken nachos has 7 WW SmartPoints (blue).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Servings Serving Size: 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 16gCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 16g

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Jenna Petersen

Saturday 10th of October 2020

These are my latest obsession! I’ll make my own chips from a cut da carb flatbread to use as my base.. I even made this into a BBQ Chicken Pizza with a low carb tortilla or cut da carb flatbread. But my favorite little hack for this recipe, is to make my own ranch (greek yogurt and ranch seasoning packet) to drizzle on top! I’m such a ranch junkie and have to find little, healthier ways to incorporate it and this is the perfect recipe for that!

Casey funes

Saturday 10th of October 2020

My favorite thing is nachos and I’m always getting different kinds whenever I go out. My favorite nachos are from this pub in my home town, but these; these are amazing. You can lick the plate clean from things. I think I’m going to make these again just with pork to see how they come out!!!

Jason Copher

Saturday 10th of October 2020

Soooo good! I ate the whole thing...

Sara Wagner

Sunday 4th of October 2020

Can we use bagged tortilla chips?

Mason Woodruff

Monday 5th of October 2020

Sure enough. That's what I used. Fresh from the HEB bakery, but still!

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