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How To Reheat Nachos

Learn how to store leftover nachos and the best ways to reheat them in the oven, toaster oven, microwave, broiler, and skillet.

how to reheat nachos

For us nacho lovers, there’s nothing better than a huge plate of nachos, topped with all your favorite toppings, right?

A big old heaping mound of nachos topped with meat, beans, cheese, and a whole host of fresh toppings, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream, sounds like a nacho lover’s dream, right?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to finish that big plate of nachos if you’re going it alone.

Some foods are better the next day. Nachos are NOT one of those dishes. They are better when served fresh. But don’t worry. If you want to learn how to warm up nachos so they are edible, this article can help.

First, because I don’t like reheated nachos, I avoid it if at all possible.

Secondly, warming up leftover nachos is too time-consuming and not cost-effective. I have better things to do with my time.

However, if you want to learn the best ways to reheat your favorite nachos, keep reading!

First, let’s make sure we are on the same page!

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Can You Reheat Nachos?

Yes, you can reheat nachos with varied success. In this article, we’ll discuss how to store leftover nachos and how to reheat them. You’ll learn how to reheat nachos in the oven, toaster oven, microwave, broiler, and skillet.

What Is The Difference Between Nachos And Nacho (Tortilla) Chips?

Tortilla chips, sometimes referred to as nacho chips, are considered snack food. They are made by cutting corn tortillas into wedges and frying or baking.

Nachos, on the other hand, are a Tex-Mex dish that originated in northern Mexico. They consist of heated tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and various toppings.

In the U.S., nachos also come with a variety of other toppings such as meat, beans, jalapenos, onions, black olives, salsa, and sour cream.

So, when talking about reheating nachos, I am talking about reheating nachos, not plain tortilla chips.

How To Store Leftover Nachos

The quality of your reheated nachos starts with how they are stored. The best way to store your leftover nachos is in an airtight container with the nachos deconstructed. Doing so makes them easier to reheat and helps keep them from picking up any odors from your fridge.

Equipment Needed To Store Leftovers In The Fridge:

  • Air-tight containers
  • Fork or Spoon (a large food fork or a serving spoon makes this step easier)

How To Store Leftover Nachos In The Fridge Step-By-Step

1. Scrape off any cold items that do not need to be reheated. Think sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, fresh jalapenos.

2. Scrape off the items that will need to be reheated, such as meat, beans, and cheese.

3. Store the nacho chips separately. Be sure to scrape as much of the toppings off your nachos as possible.

Tip: If you only have one large container, separate your nachos into three piles in the same container and refrigerate them.

It is much easier to deconstruct the nachos before they are refrigerated than the next day. But if you’re unable to deconstruct them the night before, don’t worry. Not all is lost.

How To Reheat Nachos In The Oven Or Toaster Oven

I am going to get right to the point.

If you are going to reheat nachos, this method will by far, give you the best results.

Mind you, the nachos won’t be as good as fresh, but if done correctly, you won’t have a super soggy mess!

Equipment Needed To Reheat Nachos In The Oven Or Toaster Oven

  • Your oven or toaster oven!
  • Baking pan
  • Oven mitts or potholders
  • Plate
  • Bowl for cold items
  • Silicone spatula or steel turner (these are my favorites) for transferring nachos

Step By Step Instructions For Reheating Nachos In The Oven Or Toaster Oven

1. Preheat your oven to 225° F.

2. Make sure your oven rack is centered in the oven.

3. Remove cold toppings from your nachos. Set aside.

4. Spread out your nachos on a baking sheet

5. Reheat around 5 minutes or so.

6. Remove nachos from the oven with an oven mitt.

7. Transfer nachos to plate. Allow nachos to cool for a minute.

8. Add cool toppings back on top.

It should be noted that you can reheat your nachos at a temperature up to 300°F, but if your nachos contain beans and chunks of meat, your nacho chips may start burning before your beans and meat are fully reheated.

My advice is to always keep an eye on your nachos, especially the first few times you reheat.

Then, you’ll have a better idea of how long and at what temperature suits your tastebuds!

But, the oven isn’t your only option. You can also reheat nachos in a skillet.

How To Reheat Nachos In A Skillet

You can reheat nachos in a skillet, but the quality is often less than nachos reheated in an oven or toaster oven.

Equipment Needed To Reheat Nachos In A Skillet

  • Large skillet with a tight-fitting lid
  • Aluminum foil
  • Silicone spatula or steel turner
  • Serving plate
  • Bowl
  • Oil or cooking spray

Step By Step Instructions For Reheating Nachos In A Skillet

1. Remove cold toppings from your nachos and set them aside in your bowl.

2. Spread or spray a thin layer of oil into the bottom of your skillet.

3. Spread nachos out evenly in your skillet.

4. Cover with aluminum foil.

5. Put the lid on the pan on top of aluminum foil.

6. Turn the heat up to medium or medium-high heat.

7. Reheat for around 5 minutes or until toppings are heated through.

8. Transfer to a plate.

9. Allow nachos to cool for a few minutes. Then add cold toppings and enjoy.

How To Reheat Nachos Under A Broiler

I would not advise this at all. You’ll likely end up with burnt chips on the ends and a cold center. But, if you insist on reheating under a broiler, follow these tips:

  • Remove cold toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.
  • Use a broiler-safe pan.
  • Watch continuously.
  • Heat under a broiler for 1 to 3 minutes only.

How To Reheat Nachos In A Microwave

Just. Don’t. Do. This. Do not heat your nachos in a microwave unless you have no other choice!

Your nachos will likely be nasty and soggy. They will be safe to eat, but the quality will not be as good as with our other methods.

But, I will say this. If you insist on warming up your nachos in the microwave, make sure you do the following:

  • Use a microwave-safe dish.
  • Deconstruct them as previously discussed.
  • Heat the meat, beans, and cheese until warmed through. Maybe a minute or so, depending on your microwave’s wattage.
  • Then, warm the nachos chips up for 15-30 seconds to warm them.
  • Finally, combine the parts.

Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen

My purpose here at Cost-Effective Kitchen is to help you shop smart, cook simply, and reduce waste.

In my humble opinion, nachos should never be reheated. However, since reducing waste is a goal for any cost-effective cook, you’ll need to find a method of reheating nachos successfully. Or, you must do everything you can to avoid having leftover nachos in the first place.

If you try the reheating methods discussed in this article and find the results unappealing, follow these steps to minimize your food waste.

When eating out:

  • If ordering nachos as an appetizer, be sure to eat all of them first. Order and then take home portions of your entree that could be easily reheated.
  • If leftover nachos are unavoidable, ask for a to-go box. Then, scrape the cold items into one side and the reheatable toppings into another. Leave the chips unless they have nothing on them. Then at home, use the leftover toppings with fresh chips from your pantry to make a “fresh” serving of nachos.

When eating nachos at home, we have the “take all you want, but eat all you take.”

If your kids are bad about not finishing their plates, then insist they take multiple small portions so none goes to waste.

Personally, I would rather see my kids go back 3 or 4 times for smaller portions and eat it all than waste food.

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Until next time…


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