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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: 359 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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Avocado Salsa

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt


  • 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! 

horizontal photo of Chipotle Braised Chicken Nachos

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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 5 stars
    Yep. This was SO GOOD. I made this Saturday as a “snack” – we ate so much of it that we had to reschedule our dinner date plans! It was sooo tasty!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t post really delicious recipes because I can’t photograph them cute, lol. You’re photos came beautiful and this recipe sounds amazing, as always!

  10. Another amazing recipe!!! Thank you so much! Made these for my husband for his birthday dinner today…a little casual, but that’s only because I had a dinner party with the family yesterday and made your incredible Crockpot Cider Braised Short Ribs with Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes from October 2016. All of your food was (as always!) a major hit :-). You’re the best!!

  11. These look amazing! I cannot wait to make them. Question, what kind of chips did you use here? They look homemade, if so how do you make them?

    1. Hi Cassandra! I homemake all my tortilla chips with corn tortillas cut into 4 sections. I will do them one of two ways.. the first way is putting oil on a skillet, letting it heat and frying the cup up tortillas in the oil, flipping and taking them out when they’re crisp. Right after taking them out I salt them. The other way, is preheating the oven to 350 degrees F, oiling a baking pan and then baking the cup up tortillas for about 15 minutes, flipping half way through. Make sure they are crisp before taking them out. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  12. What is cider beer? Hard cider? And to the writer from the UK, apple juice, apple cider and hard cider are 3 different things in the US. Apple juice tends to be a clear, sweetened apple juice; apple cider is pressed apple juice without any filtering or added sweetness; hard cider is an alcoholic beverage, often lightly sparkling due to fermentation, typically around 4-5% alcohol and can range from sweet and appley to tart to dry like champagne. In Michigan USA, where I live, you can find more styles of hard cider than styles of beer, and usually an appley version works well in recipes vs. dry.

    1. Hey Sue, so sorry for the confusion. I meant to write hard cider. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

    1. Hey Dana! I made the tortilla chips myself. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  13. Looks wonderful! I will make tonight. I’d like to make this without using cider beer. What would be a good sub? Cider vinegar? Mix of cider vinegar and apple cider?

    1. Hi Kathy! I recommend using apple cider. That will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  14. Looks like another recipe I’m going to love! Quick question…by cider beer, do you mean hard cider? I live in the UK. I think what you mean is hard cider which is just called cider over here. (What is called apple cider in the US is called apple juice over here). Thanks!

    1. HI! Hard cider is perfect and yes, it is what I mean! 🙂 Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan