Oh, Nachos! What a truly wonderful thing they are. Spicy, salty, crunchy deliciousness piled high and ready to be dug into. These beef nachos are all those things, but they also pack a punch of pepper that will both surprise and delight.
Nachos live in a state of in-between. Are they an appetizer? Dinner? Snack? Truth is, they can be any of those things. Really, there's never an inappropriate time for nachos.
In these nachos, ground black pepper stars as a surprising ingredient that makes the beef really stand out. Coupled with homemade queso and fresh toppings, you'll want these all to yourself.
How to Make Pepper Beef Nachos with Homemade Queso
First, be sure to prep all of your ingredients before you begin cooking. Once the queso and beef are done cooking, you'll want to assemble and eat the nachos right away.
Making the Queso
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Sauté the green onions and Roma tomatoes until they are slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Stir in the green chiles and jalapeños and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt, and sauté for 30 seconds.
Pour in the evaporated milk and mix in the cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Simmer for 1 minute to thicken.
Add the American cheese and quickly stir until fully melted and combined.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until it is melted and well incorporated.
Keep the queso warm on the lowest heat setting while you prepare the rest.
Cooking the Beef
Heat oil in a cast iron pan or heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.
Once hot, begin sautéing the beef breaking it up into bite-sized pieces. Try not to move the beef around too much. You want the outside to get brown and slightly crispy. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.
If needed, use paper towels to soak up any extra grease.
Once the beef is done cooking, turn off the heat and stir in the pepper and salt.
Assembling the Nachos
On a large platter, spread out the tortilla chips.
Pour the queso over the chips. Then, top with the ground beef.
Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, sliced jalapenos, and sour cream.
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Pepper Beef Nachos with Homemade Queso
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 bundles of green onions white and light green sections, sliced
- 2 small Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 ounces canned green chiles
- 1 to 3 tablespoons jarred jalapenos chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 ounces white American cheese chopped into small pieces
- 6 ounces Monterey jack or white cheddar freshly shredded
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt kosher or sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper preferably freshly ground
- 9 ounces tortilla chips
- ½ cup iceberg lettuce shredded
- ½ cup tomatoes diced
- ½ cup red onions diced
- ¼ cup jalapeños sliced
- ¼ cup Sour cream
Prepare This Home Kitchen's Queso
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Sauté the green onions and tomatoes until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add the chiles and jalapenos and sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in the cumin, chili powder, and salt.
- Pour in the evaporated milk and stir in the cornstarch. Cook over medium until it begins to bubble. Simmer for 1 minute until thickened.
- Stir in the American cheese until melted and well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted and well incorporated.
- Keep over the lowest heat setting to keep the queso warm.
Cook The Beef
- Heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, crumble the ground beef into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, break up any large chunks.
- Cook the beef until it is cooked through, stirring only occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. The goal is to lightly fry the outside of the beef so it becomes a bit crispy, so only stir every couple of minutes or as needed.
- Drain excess oil, if needed.
- Remove the beef from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper.
Assemble the Nachos
- On a large platter, lay out the tortilla chips in a single layer.
- Ladle the queso over the chips.
- Spoon the ground beef evenly over the chips.
- Top with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and jalapenos.
- Top the nachos with dollops of the sour cream or serve it on the side.
- Serve immediately.
- Be sure not to over stir the ground beef. You really want it to crisp up a bit.
- I also highly recommend cooking the beef in a cast iron pan to achieve the perfect crispiness.