These Italian Nachos are a super fast and delicious dinner or appetizer, and a great way to use up leftover spaghetti sauce! Loaded with two different kinds of cheese, meaty spaghetti sauce, and bright and briny veggies, these nachos are ridiculously good!
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. As always, all opinions are our own.
Absurdly Delicious Italian Nachos
Sometimes when we’re testing recipes, we expect something to be good, but we have no idea just how good it’s going to be. Such was the case with these Italian Nachos.
Wowwee. These knocked our socks off. Each bite was bursting with flavor from the rich, meaty spaghetti sauce, sweet and tangy banana and peppadew peppers, and ridiculous strings of melty cheese. We scarfed them down in an embarrassingly short amount of time.
Nachos are a go-to dinner for us on busy weeknights. They come together in a flash and are great for using up leftovers. When we had a lot of extra Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef on hand, we knew nachos could be a great way to use it up.
That same leftover spaghetti sauce can also be used to make these Spaghetti Grilled Cheese Sandwiches as part of our “cook once, eat 3 times” series.
We think you’ll love how fast and easy this Italian Nachos recipe is! It’s also endlessly adaptable–you can use many different combinations of toppings you have on hand to make your own perfect nacho.
Save this one for a weeknight when you don’t feel like cooking or use it as an appetizer for a tailgate party! Either way, these Italian style nachos will be a huge hit.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pita Chips– We prefer using pita chips for Italian nachos, both for their flavor and because they’re a little sturdier than most corn tortilla chips. If you can find garlic and herb or Mediterranean seasoned chips, even better!
- Cheese– We use two kinds of cheeses to create the perfect nacho. The first is a shredded Italian cheese blend (some combination of mozzarella, provolone, and Asiago or Parmesan), and the second is slices of fresh mozzarella. The shredded cheese provides full cheese coverage and a barrier to prevent soggy chips, while the fresh mozzarella will get you those irresistible ooey gooey cheese pulls.
- Spaghetti sauce– We used our leftover Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce for this recipe. You can use jarred sauce if you prefer, but we love the meatiness (and added protein!) of our ground beef spaghetti sauce.
- Pickled or marinated Italian veggies and/or antipasto– Here’s where you can have a lot of fun and add loads of flavor to your nachos. Head to the specialty deli area or olive bar at your local grocery store and pick out a few things to add to your nachos. I (Courtney) am a huge fan of the sweet, subtle heat of peppadew peppers and tangy banana peppers, while Will loves a mixture of olives. Other great options would be capers, sun dried tomatoes, or giardiniera.
- Basil and Parmesan cheese– This is our final flourish to add a little freshness and a touch more salty, nutty flavor.
How to Make Italian Nachos
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake the first layer. Line a half sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, then spread the chips evenly over top. Layer with the shredded Italian cheese blend, then bake for 6-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Add the rest of the toppings. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with dollops of spaghetti sauce, mozzarella slices, and olives or Italian marinated peppers.
- Bake. Place the nachos bake in the oven and bake an additional 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Serve. Top with fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
If you prefer, you can bake these in a cast iron skillet. Just follow the instructions in our Cast Iron Skillet Shredded Beef Nachos.
How to Avoid Soggy Nachos
Getting a plate of soggy nachos is a huge womp woooomp. We don’t want anyone to suffer that bummer of an experience. With three simple tricks, you can ensure any plate of nachos comes out crisp, hot, and crunchy.
- Choose a sturdy chip. Here, we’re using pita chips, which have more heft than most tortilla chips. If you’re using tortilla chips, avoid the very thin restaurant style chips. You can also use bagel chips or a sturdy cracker.
- Create a cheese barrier. We always spread a generous layer of shredded cheese on top of the chips as our first layer. This helps protect the chips from any wetter ingredients or sauces.
- Double bake. Rather than layering everything at once, bake the chips with just the shredded cheese for a few minutes first. Again, we’re trying to seal the chips away from all the other toppings. After the first layer of cheese is melted, you can add the remaining ingredients and bake a final time.
- Be ready to eat. In general, nachos don’t make great leftovers. Be ready to eat the chips right out of the oven for the best crispy, melty, hot and gooey experience.
More Italian Recipes We Think You’ll Love
- One Pot Lasagna Soup
- Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
- Baked Italian Sausage and Potatoes
- Grilled Italian Stuffed Sandwich Loaf
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Classic Veal Parmesan
More About Ohio Beef
We are glad to support the 17,000 family owned beef farms right here in our home state of Ohio.
Although many believe that industrial farming has taken the place of family farms and ranches, 97 percent of beef farms are family-owned and operated.
Are you curious about how beef makes it from the pasture to your plate? Learn all about the beef life cycle here. You can also learn more about beef nutrition and sustainability by visiting them at OhioBeef.org and following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For all the ground beef recipes you could ever desire, visit our sister site, GroundBeefRecipes.com!
- 15 oz. Parmesan garlic pita chips
- 4 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1 ½ cups leftover spaghetti sauce with ground beef
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- ½ cup assorted marinated vegetables (banana peppers, peppadew peppers, green and black olives)
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a half sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Spread the chips evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the Italian cheese blend, then bake for 6-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the pan from the oven, then dollop with spaghetti sauce, and top with rounds of fresh mozzarella and the pickled vegetables. Return to the oven and bake for another 6 minutes, then turn the oven off and the broiler on. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Top with fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 1000mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 28g