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air fryer nachos

Air Fryer Nachos

Summer Yule
Can you air fry nachos? Heck yes, you can! These air fryer nachos with ground beef are loaded with all the good stuff! 
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 realistic serving
Calories 839 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces lean ground beef (227 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade; see notes below)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2.5 ounces tortilla chips 71 grams (enough to cover the air fryer tray; can use store-bought or homemade)
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • 2 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese (57 grams; can substitute Mexican cheese or cheddar cheese)

For the nacho toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plain, non-fat (can thin with a little milk if desired)
  • 4 tablespoons pico de gallo (or another salsa)
  • 2 tablespoons guacamole
  • 1 tablespoon sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapenos

Instructions

  • Put a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the beef, taco seasoning, and water. Cook, using a spatula to break up the beef while it browns. It will take about 10 minutes.
  • Line an air fryer tray with foil. If you are using a tray with no holes, you don't need the foil.
  • Put the tortilla chips on the prepared tray. The tray should be completely covered with overlapping chips. Feel free to add more or fewer as needed.
  • Warm the refried beans in the microwave or on the stovetop. Cover the tortilla chips on the tray with small scoops of beans.
  • Sprinkle ⅓ of the cooked beef over the chips. Save the rest of the seasoned beef to use for more servings of nachos or another recipe.
  • Put the shredded cheese all over the tray of nachos. You want good cheese coverage here!
  • Place the tray of nachos in the upper rack position in the air fryer oven. Air fry for 3 minutes at 350°F (175°C). The cheese should melt in this time.
  • After air frying, top the nachos with plain yogurt, pico de gallo, guacamole, scallions, and pickled jalapenos. Enjoy immediately - nachos are best served warm!

Notes

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Hey, let’s not kid ourselves. A plate of loaded nachos is pretty much never going to be an optimal meal for weight loss. The main issue is the fried chips. 
I am listing a completely realistic serving size for these nachos, not some idealized version of what we “should” be eating. The amount of chips per serving in this recipe is 2.5 times the amount on the bag. That’s how most of us roll (and I know some can finish the whole bag of chips by themselves). 
If you put all of your nacho toppings over greens instead of chips, you’d knock off about 300 calories per serving. You’d have a pretty good meal there, with plenty of protein and veggies, for around 500 calories. 
But it wouldn’t be nachos, it would be a salad. If you want actual nachos, in a reasonable (i.e., semi-filling) portionit’s not going to be low calorie.  
I’m sorry I haven’t figured out a way to make the magic that would be weight loss nachos happen. Trust me, I want them to exist just as much as you do. Haha 
If I ever do figure out a way to make actual (not “healthified”) low-calorie nachos, I’ll share here first. Swapping low carb chips for the corn chips here typically provides more protein, but won’t likely make a lower calorie dish. Since low carb chips are ultra-processed, you may find them just as easy to overeat as regular chips. 
If you fare well as a moderator, you’ll be able to enjoy this recipe as an occasional indulgence. If you know you don’t do well with dietary moderation, I’d go the salad route and skip the chips. 

Seasoning for Beef Nachos 

Use this blend in place of store-bought taco seasoning, if you wish. (Adapted from AllRecipes.) 
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder 
  • ½ teaspoon cumin 
  • ½ teaspoon salt (cut in half if your chili powder has salt) 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika 
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano 
 
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe with store-bought tortilla chips and homemade taco seasoning. 

Nutrition

Calories: 839kcalCarbohydrates: 77.5gProtein: 41gFat: 43.2gSaturated Fat: 16.3gSodium: 1746.8mgPotassium: 786.9mgFiber: 14.3gVitamin A: 36.5% DVVitamin C: 6% DVCalcium: 57.5% DVIron: 24.1% DV
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