It's easy being cheesy: 3 creative nacho recipes for Super Bowl Sunday

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

Nachos are the ultimate Super Bowl food. They're delicious and pretty much universally beloved.

They're also easy to throw together, cook and serve entirely on a sheet pan, which means fewer dishes to worry about when your team looks like it might be putting together a game-winning drive. 

The secret to the best nachos? A variety of textures, plenty of acidity, and don't forget the heat. Also don't forget plenty of paper towels, because things are about to get messy. 

Leftover steak nachos

Have some excess leftover steak on hand? Slice it up and make the ultimate game day nachos. Don't have extra steak on hand? Sounds like a good reason to cook a little too much steak for dinner. 

Steak Nachos

These nachos are only in the oven long enough to melt the cheese, so the steak won't overcook. The trick to making these amazing? Using a combination of store-bought white cheese dip with shredded cheese, which helps prevent that whole naked nacho chip problem. It also provides a great contrast between creamy and melty. 

Serves: 4

Hands on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups corn tortilla chips

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 cup store-bought white cheese dip, heated according to package directions

6 ounces cooked steak, thinly sliced

1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced

Pickled jalapeño peppers, for serving

Cilantro leaves, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Evenly distribute the tortilla chips in a cast-iron skillet or baking sheet. Top with the shredded cheese, then drizzle over the heated cheese dip.

Spread the steak and tomato over the top of the nachos.

Bake until cheese has completely melted, 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with pickled jalapeño peppers and cilantro, lime wedges on the side. 

Super Bowl Sunday snacks:Chips, dips, wings and even a beer can chicken for your crowd

Vegan Super Bowl options:Try these vegan Honey Gold Seitan 'wings' for your meat-free Super Bowl party

Sheet pan chorizo nachos

These spicy sheet pan nachos are a must for feeding a crowd on game day, though they'd work equally well for a weeknight dinner. Chorizo adds big flavor, and the black-eyed peas are an unexpected but delicious Southern twist to this sports-watching staple.

Sheet Pan Chorizo and Black-Eyed Pea Nachos

Serves: 6 to 8

Hands on time: 25 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

1 pound pork chorizo

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, or 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 large bag tortilla chips

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 lime

Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, for serving

Instructions

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

In a frying pan over medium heat, cook chorizo till browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Remove chorizo from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Add onion and garlic to the leftover fat in the pan. Sauté until soft. Add blackeye peas, smoked paprika, cumin and chili powder to the pan, and cook till mixture is warm. Add a little water if beans start to dry out.

Spread a layer of chips on a large sheet pan. Top with half of the chorizo, half of the bean mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat layers with the rest of the chorizo, beans and cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts and the nachos are hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with avocado and cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over nachos, and top with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. Serve with plenty of napkins.

These are some Bomb Nachos.

Kelsey Barnard Clark's 'Bomb Nachos'

There is an art to great nachos, and it’s all about the layers, according to Kelsey Barnard Clark, Top Chef season 16 winner.

Earlier this year, Clark  shared tips and a recipe for the most "Bomb Nachos" ever, with tips from her latest book, "Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook" from Chronicle Books.

Clark rightly said that the best nachos are a blend of smooth and crunchy, with enough acidity to cut the also necessary fat. And don't forget the heat. Get her recipe and read more here

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Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com