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Nachos Loaded with Toppings Including Meat, Onions, Salsa, Sour Cream

Nacho Topping Ideas & Nacho Bar Tips

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A huge list of nacho toppings, from classic favorites to bold twists. Plus, tips to create the ultimate nacho bar for game day or special occasions.

  • Total Time: 1 hour


Flavor Filled Meats

  • Seasoned ground beef
  • Ground turkey with taco seasoning
  • Shredded chicken
  • Grilled chicken, sliced
  • Pulled or diced pork
  • Chorizo (seasoned pork sausage)
  • Bacon bits
  • Grilled steak, sliced
  • Shredded roast beef
  • Carnitas (Mexican slow-cooked pork)
  • Seasoned shrimp
  • Coconut shrimp
  • Sloppy joe meat (aka slush burgers)
  • Thick chili
  • Pepperoni

Shredded and Melty Cheeses

  • Nacho cheese sauce (of course!)
  • Melted cheddar
  • Monterey Jack
  • Queso fresco
  • Queso blanco
  • Shredded cheese
  • Pepper jack
  • Colby jack cheese
  • Cotija cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Chile con queso
  • Feta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan


  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Diced tomatoes – hot house or roma
  • Chopped white or yellow onions
  • Green bell peppers
  • Red peppers
  • Yellow peppers
  • Orange peppers
  • Black olive slices
  • Green olives
  • Kalamata olives
  • Avocado, diced or slices
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Green onions
  • Red onions
  • Roasted corn
  • Radishes, sliced


  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mango cubes
  • Watermelon chunks
  • Peaches, diced
  • Fresh lime wedges

Fresh Pico and Salsas

  • Classic tomato salsa
  • Pico de gallo / salsa fresca
  • Roasted tomato salsa
  • Salsa verde
  • Corn salsa
  • Mango salsa
  • Pineapple salsa
  • Strawberry jalapeño salsa
  • Black bean salsa
  • Chipotle salsa
  • Avocado salsa
  • Roasted red pepper salsa

Sauces and Dips

  • Hot sauce
  • Spicy chipotle mayo
  • Sour cream
  • Taco-seasoned sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Ranch dressing
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Sriracha mayo
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Cilantro lime crema
  • Green chili enchilada sauce
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Cucumber dip
  • Pizza sauce


  • Refried beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans

Herbs and Spices

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Oregano

Pickled Toppings

  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Pickled red onions
  • Pickled banana pepper
  • Dill pickles, diced


  • Tortilla chip strips
  • French fried onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • French fries
  • Tator tots
  • Mushrooms


1. Gather Your Supplies

  • Nacho base – tortilla chips, tater tots, roasted potatoes
  • A variety of toppings – we recommend using a few from each category listed above (cater to different tastes, including vegetarian and dietary restrictions).
  • Serving platters, bowls, and utensils
  • Warmers or crockpots to keep cheese and meats warm
  • Plates, napkins, and utensils for guests

2. Prepare Your Ingredients

  • Cook and prepare your proteins and toppings in advance.
  • Keep them warm in serving dishes or slow cookers.
  • Place your cheeses in microwave-safe containers for easy melting.
  • Dice and chop all fruits, veggies, and herbs. We love to use a chopper like this to save on time.

3. Set Up the Nacho Station

  • Choose a spacious table or countertop for your nacho bar.
  • Place stacks of plates and napkins near the beginning of the nacho bar.
  • Next, place large bowls or baskets of tortilla chips and any other “base.”
  • Set up the warmers or crockpots for your cheese and protein options next.
  • At the end, line up your bowls with additional toppings. Include any sauces (for drizzling) and garnishes at the very end.
  • Offer utensils or tongs for guests to serve themselves.
  • Arrange the toppings in an organized manner so guests can easily build their nachos.
  • Label each topping with small signs for clarity.

4. Keep the Spread Stocked and Enjoy!

  • Let your guests have fun building their own nachos and enjoy the delicious combinations they create.
  • Keep the nacho bar well-stocked throughout your event, and be prepared for some creative and tasty nacho creations!


  • Have fun with it and get creative with toppings.
  • You can set out recipe cards for guests to include suggested nacho toppings for 1) bbq pork nachos, 2) pizza nachos, 3) supreme nachos, and more!
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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