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Healthy Chicken Nacho Bake

Healthy Chicken Nacho Bake

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  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup crushed baked tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices oscar meyer bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat or light sour cream


Heat oven to 400ºF.

Place chicken on foil-covered baking sheet; top with salsa. Bake 20 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF), topping with crushed chips and cheese for the last 5 min.

Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet. Add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 min. Stir in tomatoes; cook 4 to 5 min. or until tomatoes begin to pop, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 to 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon.

Top chicken with sour cream. Serve with rice mixture.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Information:
Calories 380, Fat 10 g, Carbs 36 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 33 g

More Free Weight Watchers Recipes

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving685

Folate equivalent (total)54µg13%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg21.6%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) package corn tortilla chips, or as needed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican-style cheese blend
  • 1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained

In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, vegetable oil, and cayenne pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes, or longer if desired.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture, and fry until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spread a thin layer of tortilla chips in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 of the chicken, 1/4 of the chilies, and 1/4 of the cheese over the chips. Repeat layers ending with cheese on the top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through. Serve with your favorite nacho toppings.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 shredded, cooked, whole chicken breast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup salsa
  • ½ (12 ounce) package tortilla chips
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • ½ large tomato, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the garlic and white parts of the green onions in canola oil until tender. Mix in shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated with oil. Stir in the salsa.

Arrange tortilla chips on a large baking sheet. Spoon the chicken mixture over tortilla chips. Top with Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend and tomato. Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onion tops before serving.

How To Make Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos


Restaurant-style tortilla chips
Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Cooked and shredded chicken
Thick and chunky salsa
Sweet onion, diced
Can of black beans

For Serving
Diced Jalapeño
Sour Cream
Green Onions, diced
Roma tomato, diced

You can certainly make your own shredded chicken. However you can save yourself a lot of time by shredding a store bought rotisserie chicken.


Before you get started making the sheet pan chicken nachos, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Then line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

You can use any size sheet pan that you would like. I prefer to use the biggest one that will fit inside my oven so that the cheese can coat all the nachos!

Next, drain and rinse the black beans and dice your onion and set aside. Now in a medium bowl, add the shredded and cooked chicken and salsa and toss to combine.

Although you can certainly cook and shred your own chicken, I highly suggest saving yourself some time and energy by purchasing a cooked rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store. Then simply shred the warm meat when you bring it home.

Add two layers of chips, chicken mixture and cheese. That way every chip has cheese melted on top!

You can use the meat right away or store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the nachos. We also use this meat in our Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada dip recipe. It is a fantastic short cut!

Assembly Instructions

Now that you have the ingredients prepared, it is time to assemble the Chicken Nachos on the sheet pan. Do this by spreading half of the bag of tortilla chips in an even layer across the baking sheet. Top with half of the chicken and salsa mixture and half of both varieties of cheese. Repeat with another layer of chips, chicken and cheese.

Top the nachos with the diced onion and drained black beans. Then place the nachos in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and the chips around the edges are starting to brown. This will take approximately 8 minutes.

When the nachos come out of the oven, garnish with the preferred toppings such as sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, green onions and more!

Just before serving, garnish with diced jalapeño, sour cream, diced green onions, tomatoes and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve and watch them disappear! Enjoy!

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Healthy Chicken Nachos

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer.

This Healthy Chicken Nachos recipe is made with mini bell peppers instead of tortilla chips! It’s Low carb, gluten free and grain free!

Chicken nachos have always been my favorite appetizer-turned-meal. You know what I’m talking about. You’re not really feeling anything on the menu, but you’re super hungry so you get the nachos because they’re always 10 times bigger than any other appetizer. And inevitably you’re super full afterwards because you ate the whole thing because how could you leave any nachos on the plate?

Once I have nachos in front of me it’s hard to stop, which is why I try to keep them as a bar-only food. But what happens when I have a really strong craving for nachos at home?

I make these Healthy Chicken Nachos made with mini bell peppers instead of tortilla chips! No lie, they totally satisfy my nacho cravings and keep me full and happy until my next meal.

The key to making these work as “nachos” is using mini bell peppers. Anything bigger and it becomes a stuffed pepper and anything smaller and it’s hard to hold any toppings.

Mini bell peppers are the perfect size to fill with toppings, pick up with your fingers and eat as a full or meal or an appetizer. To get the peppers ready, just slice off the tops, cut in half and remove the seeds.

For the protein, I mixed some ground chicken with my homemade taco seasoning. To make you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Simply cook the chicken in a skillet until fully cooked through, and place the crumbles on top of the bell peppers.

To keep things on the lighter side, I used only one cup of shredded cheese to top the peppers. You could use more, but I promise you won’t even miss it once you garnish the chicken nachos with cilantro, onions, avocados and even a dollop of sour cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are nachos gluten free?

Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information.

The nachos that you get in restaurants might not be gluten free. This can be for several reasons. They may make chips our of flour tortillas, or even fry corn chips in a shared fryer that is used for breaded items. The seasoning blends or marinades they use for the meat could contain gluten from flour, soy sauce, or other added ingredients. And some places use a cheese sauce or queso that is often thickened with flour.

By making them at home, it’s easy to enjoy gluten free nachos. Many brands of corn tortilla chips are gluten free, such as Tostitos. But do beware of multigrain chips that may contain gluten.

You have control over the seasonings and sauces for the meat. In this case, the chicken is flavored simple with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cooked with salsa. All of these items are readily available gluten free.

And these chicken nachos are topped with shredded cheese instead of a sauce.

What is the best kind of cheese for nachos?

You can really use your favorite type of cheese. I prefer a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack. The Jack cheese melts nice and creamy. And sharp cheddar also melts nicely, and adds that tangy flavors that pairs perfectly with the spices.

If you like a little heat, try adding some Pepper Jack!

Can you make the chicken ahead of time?

Yes, this slow cooker Mexican chicken is great to make ahead. Since you only need half of the batch, you can even freeze the rest to use for making tacos or salads another night.

Just store it in a tightly covered container. It will stay good in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. And it can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.

If your chicken has been in the fridge, you might want to warm it up slightly on the stove or microwave before making the nachos.

Can you make sheet pan chicken nachos in advance?

For the best flavor, I do recommend layering the nachos and baking them just before you plan to serve them. Over time, and especially if stored in the refrigerator, the moisture from the toppings can cause the chips to become soggy.

But you can have your chicken and toppings all prepared in advance. Then it takes just minutes to layer and bake them when you are ready to dig in.

3 Ways to make nachos healthier without sacrificing flavor

Nachos don’t have to be unhealthy calorie bombs. Here are three super-easy and tasty ways to keep those nachos cravings at bay without wrecking your healthy eating habits.

Nothing is more delicious than a huge plate of nachos with gobs of melted cheese, sour cream and meat, but they aren’t the most healthy thing on the dinner menu. So why not make delicious nachos but with a healthy twist? Here are three simple ideas for nachos using fresh ingredients, such as bell pepper and lean ground chicken, sweet potato and black bean for a filling vegetarian version and a no-bake, Mediterranean-inspired nacho plate for the “I don&rsquot feel like cooking tonight” version.

Sweet pepper-chicken nachos recipe

Sweet bell peppers are filled with seasoned ground chicken topped with plain Greek yogurt and fresh toppings for a filling, gluten-free nacho idea.

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes


  • 4 large sweet bell peppers (1 pepper per person) or 16 small mini peppers (4 per person)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. If using large sweet peppers, then cut each pepper in half and then in half again for a total of 4 pieces from each pepper. Place the peppers on the baking sheet, and set aside.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Add the ground chicken, and cook until the juices run clear, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the chicken, and mix well.
  6. Spoon the ground chicken into each pepper slice, and top with grated Monterey Jack cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the peppers soften slightly and the cheese has melted.
  8. Top with Greek yogurt, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Best served warm.

Meatless chipotle, sweet potato and black bean nachos recipe

This hearty version of nachos is vegetarian-friendly. Roasted sweet potato slices are topped with black beans, plain Greek yogurt and lots of fresh toppings for this meat-free version.

Prep time: 25 minutes | Bake time: 50 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the sweet potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup black beans

For the toppings

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced red and green onions
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, olive oil, syrup and spices. Mix well with your hands, and spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the sweet potatoes for about 45 minutes or until they are soft and begin to brown on the edges.
  4. Remove from the oven, and top with the grated cheddar cheese and black beans.
  5. Return the sweet potatoes to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  6. Top with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), diced tomatoes, diced red and green onions and fresh cilantro.
  7. Best served warm.

No-bake Mediterranean-style nachos recipe

This no-bake version of nachos is easy and refreshing. Fresh pita bread wedges are topped with hummus and loads of tomatoes, onions, black olives, feta cheese and parsley.

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Using kitchen shears, chop chicken into bite-size chunks. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chili seasoning.

2. Over medium-high heat, cook chicken in olive oil until browned on all sides.

3. Add cream cheese, sour cream and 3/4 of the cheddar cheese to the chicken, then stir together until melted and mixed. Add tomatoes and green chili and mix well.

4. In a casserole dish, add chicken mixture from the pan.

5. Microwave frozen cauliflower until cooked through. Use an immersion blender to blend with remaining cheese into a mashed potato-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Cut a jalapeno into chunks. Spread cauliflower mixture over the top of the casserole, then sprinkle jalapeno pepper over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until some color is on the top and the jalapenos are cooked.

7. Slice and serve. Some fresh chopped cilantro tastes great over the top!

This makes a total of 6 servings of Nacho Chicken Casserole. Each serving comes out to be 426 Calories, 32.2g Fats, 4.3g Net Carbs, and 30.8g Protein.

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