Spicy Queso Chicken Nachos
Thanks to Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning, these spicy nachos will get you fired up! This nacho recipe features chunks of spicy chicken and creamy, spicy queso.
- Author: Kate
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x
- Category: appetizer, snack, main course
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
For spicy chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning
- juice of 1/2 - 1 lime (to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For spicy queso:
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 8 ounces American cheese, chopped
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning
- 6 ounces tortilla chips
- toppings of choice: black beans, chopped onion, fresh or pickled jalapeños, cilantro, etc.
- Prep the chicken: With a large knife, carefully slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to create 2 thinner pieces. Lightly sprinkle each side with salt and pepper (see note 1).
- Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly in the oil. Then, add the chicken breasts to the pan in a single layer. Allow to cook, without moving the pieces, for 4 – 5 minutes. Then flip the pieces and continue to cook for another 4 – 5 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through (see note 2).
- Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and turn the heat off the stove. Allow the chicken breasts to rest for at least 5 minutes. (During this time, you can chop the cilantro and begin prep for the queso, including finely dicing the onion and shredding the Monterey Jack cheese.)
- After the chicken has rested, chop it into small pieces and place the pieces, plus any accumulated juices from the cutting board, into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice, 2 tablespoons Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning, and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine and taste; add more Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning, salt, pepper, and/or lime juice if needed. Cover the bowl to keep the chicken warm and set aside.
- Make the queso: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and just begins to brown, around 3 – 4 minutes.
- Switching to a whisk, sprinkle in the cornstarch and whisk the mixture thoroughly to combine the cornstarch completely with the oil and onion. Then, slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking continuously, until all the milk has been added. Bring the mixture to a boil while continuing to whisk.
- Let the milk mixture boil for 1 full minute, whisking frequently. Turn the heat down to low and add the chopped American and shredded Monterey Jack cheeses. Whisk to combine the cheeses into the milk mixture. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning. Turn the stove off and taste the queso; add more Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning or salt and/or pepper if needed.
- Assemble the nachos: On a large platter, spread half the chips out in an even layer. Then, top with half the spicy chicken. Drizzle some of the spicy queso overtop the chicken. Add any additional nacho toppings of your choice. Repeat this layering process a second time with the remaining chips, chicken, queso and toppings. Serve immediately.
- Cutting the pieces in half horizontally will allow them to cook more quickly and evenly than keeping them whole. However, if your chicken breasts are smaller (less than 1 inch in thickness) you can skip this step. Also, we will be adding the Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning after cooking, which also contains salt. Therefore, be careful to only add a light sprinkling of salt to the chicken breasts before cooking.
- My chicken breast pieces were about ¾ inch thick (after they were cut in half horizontally). If your chicken is thicker or thinner, you will likely need to adjust the cook time. If your chicken pieces are browning too quickly, turn the heat down to medium or medium low.
- I recommend shredding the Monterey Jack cheese yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese includes additives that are designed to keep the cheese from sticking together, and this can give the queso a grainy texture. Also, the American cheese is crucial to the smooth, creamy texture of this queso, so I do not recommend that you substitute another type of cheese for the American.
- This recipe makes a generous amount of queso, so depending on how much you like on your nachos, you may have some left over. Store any leftover queso in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 – 4 days. Reheat the queso in a saucepan set over low heat, stirring frequently. Alternatively, microwave the queso in 30 second increments on high, stirring in between, until heated through. If the queso is too thick, whisk in a splash of milk until the desired consistency is reached.
Keywords: chicken nachos, spicy chicken nachos, queso nachos, spicy queso