Go Back
+ servings
A stack of thin classic nachos topped with jalapeno relish on a wooden cutting board.

Best-Ever Classic Nachos

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican / TexMex
Keyword: Cinco de Mayo menu, easy classic nachos recipe, Tex-Mex appetizers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Frying: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 364kcal
These nachos are based on the iconic Tex-Mex restaurant Joe T. Garcia's in Fort Worth, TX. and their amazing nachos. Tortillas fried to crispy perfection, lightly salted, and then layers of creamy melted cheddar cheese topped with finely diced jalapeno relish! The BEST!
Print Recipe


  • Deep fryer, or sturdy skillet with a couple of inches of vegetable oil


  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 6 corn tortillas yellow
  • Kosher salt or coarse sea salt, for sprinkling the tortillas
  • 1 lb mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ cup jalapeno peppers pickled, finely minced


  • Heat oil to 365°F and preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Working in batches, place the tortillas in the hot oil, flipping occasionally with metal tongs, or a couple of forks, until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove the fried tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately sprinkle them with a small amount of salt. Continue this process until all tortillas are fried and lightly salted.
  • Place the fried tortillas on a baking sheet. Top each tortilla with anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup of the shredded cheese. Be sure to spread the cheese evenly across all the tortillas.
  • Top each nacho with approximately 1 tbsp of the diced peppers.
  • Place in the oven and bake until the cheese has fully melted. About 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them, don't let them burn! Remove from the oven and serve at once, with extra diced peppers on the side.



We recommend using a good quality block cheddar cheese for these nachos.  Shred the cheese just before preparing the nachos with a shredding attachment on your food processor, or with a box grater.  
Distribute the entire 1 lb of cheese over the 6 fried tortillas.  This may seem like an excessive amount of cheese, but once melted, we think it's absolutely perfect.  The nachos are meant to be really cheesy!
If you don't have a deep fryer, the tortillas can easily be fried in a sturdy skillet or pot, such as a cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven filled with a couple of inches of oil.  Fry the tortillas in batches.
Although we think frying the tortillas delivers that authentic Tex-Mex nachos taste, you can also bake them to crisp them up for building the nachos.  Preheat the oven to 350°F and then brush oil over both sides of the tortillas, place on a baking sheet, and bake until crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.  Then proceed with the recipe as written.
This recipe can easily be doubled when feeding a crowd.  


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 838IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 566mg | Iron: 1mg