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Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos. Slow cooked chicken, braised in cider beer, chipotle peppers, and enchilada sauce, then layered with tortilla chips, topped with two cheeses, baked in the oven until melty and perfect, and finished with avocado salsa. TOO GOOD! Equally as great for entertaining as they are for a fun dinner at home. No one can not love these nachos…easy to make, and so delish!

overhead photo of Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos on plate with beer in photo

Thursday night nachos anyone? Kind of perfect for tonight, right?

First, there’s Thursday night football, which means game day food all around. Two, it’s Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday, which really just means the weekend is pretty much here, and we should start celebrating. Obviously.

So, nachos it is!

Okay, please excuse all my excitement, I’m just loving these nachos. Plus, it’s been a long week, and my brain is kind of all over the place right now. So I’m very much ready to enter weekend mode, even if it means pushing it a little. Anyone else in the same place today?

In all seriousness though, these nachos are really delicious, pretty easy to make, indulgent, but not overly so. And equally great for snacking as they are a Thursday night family dinner.

overhead photo of tortilla chips

Here’s the story with these nachos.

It’s probably pretty obvious that I don’t tend to make nachos all that much. Well, let me rephrase that, I make nachos, but I don’t share them here on HBH very often.

Why? It’s pretty simple and comes down to two reasons…

One, nachos are down right one of the hardest foods to photograph, and we all know that I’m not the fondest of ugly food. That said, sometimes ugly food is just too good to not share. I just have to accept that it’s just not that pretty, but it’s extra delicious.

Two, if I’m being honest, when I do make nachos at home, I just cover tortilla chips in cheese, bake them, sprinkle with them herbs, and call it a day. Yep, that’s pretty much just cheesy chips. And while those are good, they’re not worthy of sharing the recipe (because it isn’t a recipe).

These nachos however? Much, much, more than cheesy chips, and 100% worth sharing the recipe.

side angle photo of Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos

When I set out to make these nachos, I made them with one person in mind, my oldest brother, Creighton.

He’s the Cleveland Brown’s most loyal fan, and with the Browns recent win (their first in 635 days…yes you read that right). I knew I had to create a recipe that he’d love. Enter in these extra cheesy, spicy, chicken filled nachos.

overhead close up photo of Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos

The details.

To start, you’ll braise a few chicken breasts in a mix of cider beer, chipotle peppers, and enchilada sauce. Yes, beer, chipotle and enchilada sauce. Complete game day food, and completely delicious.

The chicken slowly cooks in the cider beer, peppers, and enchilada sauce, soaking up all the spicy/smoky flavors. This takes about twenty or so minutes. Then you’ll shred the chicken and layer it with tortilla chips, and cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Throw the nachos into the oven to melt the cheese, and while they are baking, make a quick avocado salsa. I love the addition of the avocado salsa. The creamy avocado adds a nice coolness to the dish, along with a bright pop of fresh green color.

Once the nachos are topped with salsa…DEVOUR.

The key to nachos is eating them immediately after baking, so don’t let these sit. As soon as you take them out, top with salsa, eat and enjoy! Trust me, if you make these tonight your Thursday night will be the highlight of your week.

Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos half eaten on plate

If you make these Chipotle braised chicken nachos, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 1151 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Avocado Salsa

Instructions

  • 1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, chipotle peppers, paprika, honey, and a pinch of salt. Toss well to combine, making sure all the chicken gets coated in seasonings.
    2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large brasier or dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and sear on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the beer and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
    3. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and continue to cook another 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens around the chicken. If desired, add the remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Remove from the heat. 
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
    5. To assemble, layer the chips, chicken, and cheeses on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer, being sure to not over crowd the pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 
    6. Meanwhile, make the avocado salsa. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. 
    7. Top the nachos with the avocado salsa. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is absolutely THE BEST meal I’ve ever enjoyed! (Salsa was equally incredible!!) I bumped up the chipotle peppers to three and wound up loving the extra heat- also made a pan de elote for an extra treat. Any ideas for a bowl or tortillas, etc, using this delicious chicken?

    1. Hey Maria,
      Totally, whatever you like! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, let me know if you give it a try! xx

  2. 5 stars
    Checking the comments out- I may use broth too since it’s all I have at the moment. Do you think I could use shredded rotisserie chicken here and toss with the sauce once it’s set up? Or would it not necessarily impart more flavor? I’m thinking bones and skin equal more flavorful chicken breast meat but this recipe does look like it has tons of flavor and depth already built in!

    1. Hey Alexander,
      Broth would be great to use and yes, I think it would be just fine to use the rotisserie chicken! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  3. 5 stars
    What could I use instead of the alcohol here? Would chicken bone broth work? Maybe a splash of apple cider vinegar as well for the tang I’m thinking the alcohol would impart…?I’m loving your tip for making homemade chips because I haven’t found many ‘clean’ ones- I’ll definitely be making those too! Can’t wait!!

    1. Hey Bella,
      Sure, broth would be a great idea to use! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

    1. Hey Jen,
      Totally, that will work well for you!! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      I just cut them up and fry them in some avocado oil and add flaky sea salt! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. Hi Tieghan.. what can I substitute for the red enchilada sauce if I don’t have it? I can’t find it where I am. Thank you!

    1. Hey there,
      You could use a red salsa in place of the enchilada sauce. I hope you love this dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  5. Hi,
    Would there be a way to make this chicken in a crockpot instead of braising? I appreciate the help and excited to make!! Thank you for all of the deliciousness you send us!

  6. 5 stars
    SOOOO good. We added green pepper, onion, and black beans to the nachos themselves to feed more people and they were super good. Highly recommend this! Easy but impressive, definitely a crowd pleaser!!!!

  7. Hi Tiegan!
    Love this recipe (and so many of your recipes). I reduced the leftover chipotle sauce after shredding the chicken and topped the nachos with the reduced sauce. It was great!
    Allison

  8. 5 stars
    My absolute favorite way to make nachos now. 🙂 This recipe has become a staple! Love the flavor the chipotle peppers give the nachos, and can’t go wrong if beer is in the recipe! Seriously love all your recipes I’ve tried so far. My favorite blog/recipe source by far.

    1. Haha agreed! I am really glad you are loving this recipe, Andrea! Thank you so much! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    So here’s a story for you. I was at my best friend’s house the night prior and whiskey happened. So much whiskey. I wake up on a floor and drag my deeply hungover/ slightly still intoxicated self home. Upon arrival I think, “Wow, sobriety needs nachos.” Alas, my pantry’s chip supply was low, however I still had leftover fries from the pub. Oh yes, I made this with french fries instead of chips. It was glorious. What was not glorious was laying miserably on my bed, eating these horizontally like a pathetic waste of a human. I digress, make these people. They’re easy as pie and like any other nachos, you can just throw anything on here. I added some fried eggs, and the regrets of the night before. Tasty!

    1. Haha such a great story behind these now! I am so glad you loved these and even with fries! Sounds delish! Thank you so much Shelby!

  10. Oh man, that chicken is good. I just made the chicken and used it in tacos instead of making nachos, because as a single woman who only has time to cook a few times a week, leftover-ability is of prime importance to me. But the chicken was incredible, and it worked great in tacos!