Recipes to celebrate National Nacho Day

Let your cooking skills run libre and celebrate National Nacho Day on Friday. The classic Tex-Mex dish serves as a simple snack or even a hearty meal for hungry college students to make on a budget. With thousands of different combinations available, nachos are sure to satisfy any palate. The following recipes provide a classic take and a holiday twist on this delicious meal.

Classic Beef Nachos

The secret to classic beef nachos comes from the oven. Baking nachos in the oven adds a crispy touch to otherwise dull tortillas. The way the cheese melts bringing all of the ingredients together creates a delicious mixture of flavors. This dish can range anywhere from mild to extra hot depending on preference.

-1 pound ground beef

-16-ounce can refried beans

-15 ounces corn tortilla chips

-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

-1 onion, finely diced

-1/2 cups sour cream

-1 sliced jalapeño pepper, to taste

-Salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 6. Active: 25 minutes; total: 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 12×12-inch baking dish. Brown the ground beef with onion, salt and pepper in a large frying pan over medium heat and be sure to break the meat into very small pieces before draining the grease once the meat is cooked. Then place the refried beans in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until they are sufficiently heated up. Arrange half the chips and 1/2 cup of the cheese at the bottom of the greased baking dish. Layer the refried beans over the chips and sprinkle another 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the beans. Spread the sour cream over the second layer of cheese and the ground beef over the sour cream. Top the ground beef with the rest of the chips followed by 1 cup of cheese. If preferred, add jalapeño pepper on top to taste. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese melts thoroughly.

Loaded Vegetarian Nachos

This hearty meat-free recipe is a fairly healthy approach to this classic dish. With black beans and refried beans as well as heaps of cheese, there is plenty of protein to go around. Vegetarians and
non-vegetarians alike will surely be left licking their fingers.

-5 cups tortilla chips

-2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

-1 avocado, diced

-1 Roma tomato, diced

-1/2 cup canned black beans

-1/2 cup refried beans

-1/3 cup corn kernels

-1/4 cup green chiles

-Pickled jalapeños, to taste

Serves 4. Active: 10 minutes; total: 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking dish. Spread the tortilla chips in the greased dish and top with avocado, beans, cheese, corn, green chiles and tomato. Place into the oven and bake until the cheese has thoroughly melted. If desired, serve with pickled jalapeños.

Thanksgiving Leftover Nachos

Now that it is November, the time has come to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, put a festive twist on this delicious northern Mexican dish. This combination of holiday sweetness mixed with vibrant spice comes together to form an unforgettable and delicious recipe.

-16 ounces tortilla chips

-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

-1 pound chopped turkey breast

-16-ounce can of refried beans

-1 cup cranberry sauce

-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

-2 tablespoons lime juice

-2 jalapeño peppers

-1 green onion, sliced

-Salt, to taste

-Sour cream, to taste

Serves: 8. Active: 10 minutes; total: 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a 13×13-inch baking pan.

Arrange a layer of tortilla chips at the bottom of the baking pan and sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top. Layer more tortilla chips on top of the cheese and place half of the
pre-cooked turkey over the chips. Top the first layer of turkey evenly with the refried beans followed by the remaining turkey. Layer the rest of the tortilla chips on top of the turkey followed by the remaining 1 cup of cheese spread evenly over the chips. Bake five to 10 minutes until the cheese is thoroughly melted. While the tortilla chips are baking, prepare the cranberry-jalapeño salsa by mixing the cranberry sauce, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Seed and finely dice one jalapeño pepper, stir it into the salsa and add salt to taste. Slice the remaining jalapeño and arrange it evenly over the baked nachos along with sliced green onion. Serve with salsa and sour cream to taste.