If I there’s something out there to slather homemade peanut sauce all over, I’ll find it. Salads packed with veggies, cozy French bread pizzas, bite-sized salmon sliders, and now Thai Chicken Nachos, are all some of my favorite vessels to showcase the addictive sauce.
If I didn’t find an abundant number of ways to use it, I fear I’d be left whipping up batches of homemade peanut sauce just to quickly demolish each drop with a spoon. Thai Chicken Nachos leave me some dignity, but I can’t promise I won’t lick the bowl after each chip has been drizzled with the liquid gold.
The breakdown of Peanut Thai Chicken Nachos:
1. A layer of homemade baked tortilla chips
2. Shredded chicken leftover from these slow-cooker tacos or plain ol’ rotisserie chicken
3. Easy melting mozzarella cheese
4. Plenty of sliced red bell pepper, shredded carrots and green onion
5. LOTS of cilantro
6. Epic (EASY) peanut sauce
So let’s take each layer or component step by step. First, homemade tortilla chips. Now this isn’t necessary, obviously, but making homemade corn tortilla chips is so easy, and I think it beats any baked chip you can buy. The oven leaves some chips irresistibly crispy, while leaving other crispy on the outside with a slight chew on the inside.
There are a few key elements in ensuring crispy, perfect homemade baked chips:
- Use plenty of oil. A neutral tasting oil is probably your best best, but I was out of canola at the time and used olive oil (not extra virgin) and they worked perfectly
- Season liberally. Because is a chip without salt even a chip at all?? I also sprinkled them with a little bit of paprika, but that’s not necessary.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan will result in limp, sad chips. Make sure to spread them out, you’ll probably need to use two pans. Do it.
Next, the chicken. So here’s the thing. These nachos were good, REALLY good and yes it’s because of all the veggies, homemade chips, gooey mozzarella cheese and epic peanut sauce, but they were also really good because I used leftover poblano and honey chicken from these tacos. Obviously if you’re just throwing these together, it’s ok if it doesn’t really make sense to also make the chicken for the tacos. BUT you really can just throw everything in the crockpot in the morning, then when you’re ready to put these together in the afternoon or evening you’re good to go.
Or an even better option, is to make the tacos one night, then use the leftover to make these nachos the next night. Plus, you can also buy a giant package of corn tortillas and use part of them for the tacos, and part of them for the nachos. Two meals in one!
Again, if you don’t want to do this, you can just use store-bought shredded rotisserie chicken, no big deal.
Now, for the veggies. My favorite Thai chicken pizza has tons of sliced red peppers, shredded carrots, sliced green onion and cilantro, so that’s what I used here. Thai basil, chopped broccoli or some thinly sliced Thai chile peppers would be great additions. I would have added the red chile pepper, but I was also serving these to my two-year-old son and that probably wouldn’t have been popular with him.
Part-skim mozzarella cheese melts wonderfully, plus it sticks with the “healthier” theme of these nachos, but any other mild melting cheese will work as well.
Finally, peanut sauce! So I’ve been making a variation of this for years. And each time I make it, I feel like it gets better and better. Here, the ingredients are minimal compared to some of my other versions, but the flavor is big. Peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and honey are the key flavors, while water is used to thin the sauce out to the perfect consistency.
Assembly, like any other nacho assembly, is easy. Layer the ingredients, cover with cheese, bake, and enjoy!
Substitutions for Peanut Thai Chicken Nachos
1. Substitue the homemade baked chips for store-bought
2. Use store-bought rotisserie chicken
3. Thai basil, broccoli or any of your favorite veggies will work instead!
4. Any type of mild melting cheese works in place of mozzarella
Peanut Thai Chicken Nachos
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup shredded chicken (see note!)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut corn tortillas into four pieces to make chips. Toss with olive oil. Season with lots of salt on both sides. Bake about 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Turn over halfway through cooking when they start to brown. (They will crisp up more as they cool.)
While the chips bake, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
To assemble, layer half of the chips on the bottom of a 1/4 sheet pan. Sprinkle with half of the carrots, chicken, red pepper and finally the cheese. Sprinkle with a few green onions. Drizzle with a little bit of peanut sauce. Layer the rest of the chips on top, followed by the carrots, chicken, red pepper, green onions and cheese. Bake until cheese has melted.
When the nachos come out of the oven, drizzle with more peanut sauce and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with leftover peanut sauce.