Air Fryer nachos are an easy way to make perfectly crunchy, melted, cheesy, nachos piled high with your favorite ingredients.

pulling Air Fryer Nachos out of the air fryer


 

Making nachos in the air fryer has changed my life! A little dramatic …maybe…but loaded nachos are one of my guilty pleasures.

Air Fryer nachos are the BEST! They give you the baked-in-the-oven flavor, crispy, crunchy chips, and perfectly melted cheese in about 5 minutes!

I also love that you can make an individual snack portion or one big enough to share. They are also great for parties. Since they only have to cook in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes you can let your guests load up their nachos with all of their favorites and then cook them until the cheese melts. The perfect appetizer!

Serve them alongside some pork tacos or chicken tacos and a frosty mango margarita and you’ve got a full meal.

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Air Fryer Nachos ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Ground beef – We like to use a leaner ground beef so there is less fat to drain off.
  • Taco Seasoning – We prefer our homemade taco seasoning but you can also pick up a packet at the store.
  • Tortilla Chips – Corn tortilla chips are a must!
  • Cheddar cheese – Cheddar cheese is the standard cheese to use but you can also substitute with a Mexican blend.

Best Cheese for Nachos

For the best nachos you should us freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in various preservatives that can keep it from melting smoothly. To get perfectly melted cheese every time take a few extra minutes and shred the cheddar yourself.

black platter of Air Fryer Nachos

Additional Nacho Toppings

Just like our tacos and quesadillas there are lots of ways to customize your nachos. You can use different meats, add some extra cheeses, and pile them high with veggies and salsas. Here are a few recommendations:

Meats:

  • Chicken – bake or grill your chicken and then chop it up.
  • Pork – we suggest pulled or chopped pork! This BBQ pulled pork or pork carnitas are a great addition.
  • Ground chorizo – Cook just like ground beef and sprinkle overtop.
  • Ground chicken or ground turkey – If you want skip the beef substitute with chicken or turkey

Cheeses:

  • Queso – This creamy nacho cheese sauce takes nachos to the next level. I still like to bake some cheddar on my nachos first and then drizzle the queso over them.
  • Cotija cheese – This firm white cheese is like a Mexican version of feta. It can be crumbled over the nachos before serving.

Veggies:

  • Bell peppers – cook them for a few minutes or sprinkle them on fresh for a little crunch.
  • Jalapeno peppers – Fresh or pickled jalapenos add a little extra kick!
  • Onions – Fresh onions, cooked onions, or pickled red onions. Each adds it’s own punch of flavor.
  • Cilantro – A little fresh cilantro sprinkled on top is delicious!
  • Lettuce – If you use lettuce make sure to dry it thoroughly and then thinly sliced. Add to your nachos right before serving.
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Green onions
  • Beans – refried beans are my favorite but you can also use black beans or pinto beans.

Sauces:

How to Air Fry Nachos

This air fryer nachos recipe has just a few simple instructions. It’s simple to customize and you can easily make a larger or smaller portion depending on your needs. Your only constraint is the size of your air fryer!

Step 1 – Brown the ground beef. Start by heating a pan over medium high heat. Add your ground beef and cook for approximately 5 minutes until it is browned. Remove from the heat and drain off the excess fat. Then return the ground beef to the stove.

Note: You’ll have some leftover taco meat. Make a second batch of nachos or let the meat cool and place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. This way you can make nachos any time!

Step 2 – Add seasoning. Add the taco seasoning and approximately 1/4 cup of water. Stir together and continue cooking until the water reduces and you are left with seasoned ground beef. Approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set pan aside.

Air Fryer Nachos lined with foil

Step 3 – Prepare the air fryer. Loosely line the bottom of the air fryer basket with aluminum foil. Make sure it comes up the side of the air fryer. This will be the “bowl” you cook your nachos in.

how to make Air Fryer Nachos

Step 4 – Layer ingredients. Start with a layer of tortilla chips in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Try not to let them overlap too much. Next sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and then finish with some of the seasoned taco meat.

Repeat this 1 or two more times. You can make as many layers as you can fit in your air fryer basket. Just make sure the top of your nachos are below the rim of the basket.

Step 5 – Cook. Place the air fryer basket in the air fryer and set air fryer to 350 degrees F. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

Step 6 – Serve. Carefully remove the nachos from the air fryer and place on a plate (you can leave the foil underneath or gently lift them off of it). Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Ever had Tot-chos? Make our air fryer tater tots and then follow these instructions to make delicious nachos with crispy tater tots instead of tortilla chips!

pulling Air Fryer Nachos out of the air fryer basket

What Temperature Should Nachos Be Cooked At?

For the best results you should air fry your nachos at 350 degrees F.

How Do You Know When Nachos Are Done?

Nachos are done when the cheese is fully melted. Make sure to take a peak under the first layer to ensure the cheese in the middle is melted.

If your cheese hasn’t finished melting just put it back in the air fryer and continue to cook for 1 minute at a time until done.

plate of Air Fryer Nachos with jalapenos, sour cream

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Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Air Fryer Nachos

Air Fryer nachos are an easy way to make perfectly crunchy, melted, cheesy, nachos piled high with your favorite ingredients.
pulling Air Fryer Nachos out of the air fryer
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • 3 ounces Tortilla Chips
  • 6 ounces Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Start by heating a pan over medium high heat. Add your ground beef and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until it is browned.
  • Remove from the heat and drain off the excess fat. Then return the ground beef to the stove.
  • Add the taco seasoning and approximately 1/4 cup of water. Stir together and continue cooking until the water reduces and you are left with seasoned ground beef. Approximately 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. See note 1.
  • Loosely line the bottom of the air fryer basket with aluminum foil. Make sure it comes up the side of the air fryer. This will be the “bowl” you cook your nachos in.
  • Start with a layer of tortilla chips in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Try not to let them overlap too much.
  • Next sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and then finish with some of the seasoned taco meat.
  • Repeat this layering 1 or two more times. You can make as many layers as you can fit in your air fryer basket. Just make sure the top of your nachos are below the rim of the basket.
  • Place the air fryer basket in the air fryer and set air fryer to 350 degrees F. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
  • Carefully remove the nachos from the air fryer and place on a plate (you can leave the foil underneath or gently lift them off of it). Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Notes

  1. You only need half of the taco meat. You can either make a second batch of nachos or let the meat cool and place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. This way you can make nachos any time!
  2. These instructions and measurements are just a guideline. You can use as much or as little cheese and meat as you like! 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5basket, Calories: 752kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 159mg, Sodium: 972mg, Potassium: 507mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1088IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 660mg, Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer nachos, nachos in the air fryer
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda