Chicken Nachos | Eating right can be challenging. There are some days a craving hits and it hits hard. For me, the biggest struggle is the craving of crunch. And what is crunchier than chips?
Over time I learned that the trick to staying on track isn’t depriving yourself or denying your craving but finding healthier alternatives to satisfy those cravings.
Can Nachos Be Healthy?
I wouldn’t say nachos can be “healthy” but I can say that there are tweaks you can do to make nachos “healthy-ish” or lighter. Here are a few tips to make nachos “healthy”.
- Compare the nutritional value of different brands of tortilla chips. If you are counting calories or macros the different between 140 calories and 120 calories in a 1 oz serving is significant.
- Ditch fatty proteins. If you are craving beef nachos go for 93/7 ground beef. Better yet instead of ground beef use shredded chicken breast. One ounce of chicken breast has less fat and more protein than 1 oz of 93/7 ground beef.
- Stretch your cheese with non-fat evaporated milk. Instead of just sprinkling shredded cheese over the tortilla chips melt the cheese with some non-fat evaporated milk.
- Load your nachos with fresh veggie low-calories toppings like pico de gallo, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, radish, green onion, and jalapeno peppers.
- If you need some fat add some diced avocado to your nachos.
I’m not one to do traditional meal prep because I never know what I will be craving. Usually, I prep components and then I put a meal together depending on what I am in the mood to eat. One thing I make almost every week is oven roasted chicken. This way no matter what I at least have a protein ready to go. Having oven roasted chicken on hand makes these nachos an easy weeknight dinner.
Chicken Nachos Recipe Ingredients
8-oz cooked chicken breast
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken stock
3-oz reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon water
6 oz multigrain tortilla chips
Tips for Lighter Loaded Chicken Nachos
- When possible weight your ingredients using a food scale. You will get a more accurate measurement using a food scale instead of measuring cups. One cup of shredded chicken will vary depending on how you pack the cup. Three oz of chicken on a food scale will always be 3 oz.
- Create single serving on quarter sheet pans. This takes the guesswork out of serving size. Also, it avoids fights over the last nacho.
- Depend on dry seasonings for flavor. Dry seasoning has almost no calories and is a great way to punch up the flavor on any dish.
- Save yourself the cleanup and line your quarter sheet pan with foil.
- If you don’t have time to make oven roasted chicken just grab a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.
I am a firm believer that eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. It’s about making wiser choices. Don’t get me wrong sometimes you want a giant tray of loaded nachos with all the over the top toppings. And that is ok, once in a blue moon, but instead blowing it or depriving myself I choose to make a lighter version of chicken nachos to curb my craving.
For me, my cravings are usually more about the crunch or the cheese. So, if I can find healthy ways to satisfy those cravings I try that first before ordering the giant plate of loaded nachos at a restaurant.
more chicken dinner love
- light thai peanut noodles with chicken
- skinny chicken marsala
- asian chicken and toasted coconut rice bowls
- sriracha honey cashew chicken
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- 8-oz cooked chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3-oz reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 cup non-fat plan greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 6 oz multigrain tortilla chips
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- Lime wedges
In a medium skillet combine chicken, taco seasoning, and corn starch. Heat over medium-high heat, add chicken stock. Simmer until thicken, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine yogurt and water. Whisk until smooth and pourable.
In a sauce pan combine cheese, cornstarch, evaporated milk, & hot sauce. Whisk until smooth.
Line 4 quarter sheet pans or 2 standard sheet pan with foil. Divide tortilla chips evenly between the sheet pans.
Top tortilla chips with chicken and drizzle with cheese sauce. Broil on hi for 2 minutes.
Top with yogurt sauce and remaining toppings.
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Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 81mg Sodium: 516mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Protein: 34g