This easy and delicious Shredded Chicken Nachos recipe is so delicious! Crunchy tortilla chips is topped with flavorful pulled chicken made in the slow cooker, along with your favorite nacho toppings such as cheese, tomatoes, corn, jalapeño, cilantro and much more.
Our shredded chicken nacho recipe is piled together on a sheet pan and heated in the oven. We love munching on these chicken nachos while watching the game on TV. In fact, it typically makes up our dinner and I always feel so satisfied!
Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
Sheet Pan Shredded Chicken Nachos is not only such a yummy snack and appetizer for game day, I love making this as an easy dinner, especially on Friday nights after a long week.
For this shredded chicken nachos recipe, we are cooking chicken breast along with salsa and other Mexican-inspired spices such as cumin, chili powder and paprika in the slow cooker. The result is chicken that is flavorful, tender easily shredded and pulled apart.
We then layer shredded chicken along with nacho toppings such as tortilla chips, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños onto a sheet pan to be baked in the oven.
After about 10 minutes in the oven, cheese is completely melted, and the flavors would have all merged together. You’ve got yourself a yummy, delicious, doesn’t-take-much-effort-to-make shredded chicken nachos!
Shredded Chicken Nachos takes about 20 minutes of total active time – that includes throwing ingredients into the slow cooker and piling everything onto a sheet pan. The rest of the time, your slow cooker and oven will be doing all the hard work!
It does require just a little bit of planning ahead, simply because the chicken in the slow cooker takes a few hours.
Other than that little planning ahead, shredded chicken nachos is truly one of the simplest, not to mention , the tastiest meal and game day food!
The below ingredients are what you need to make shredded chicken nachos. I am keeping the topping list short and sweet – giving you a very basic shredded chicken nacho recipe.
Feel free to add more items (especially when topping your shredded chicken nachos) to jazz it up and make it your own! Some suggestions are given in the ‘More Topping Ideas’ section below.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken for chicken nachos
- chicken breast – use boneless, skinless chicken for ease of shredding. Dark meat chicken thighs can be used as well.
- chunky salsa – use your favorite salsa…or if you want to go truly gourmet…make your own!
- spices – we are using Mexican inspired spices such as chili powder, paprika and ground cumin.
- salt – added at the end to taste (a lot of times I don’t even need salt since most salsa are salty)
Toppings for shredded chicken nachos
- tortilla chips
- cheese – I used shredded Colby Jack cheese in the photographs, feel free to use other shredded cheese that melts easily such as mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, American cheese. If desire, you can even add queso at the end! (If using queso, you do not need to heat queso in the oven)
- tomatoes – diced into small cubes
- jalapeño – brings a nice zesty and tangy flavor for those who like their pulled chicken nachos spicy!
Sheet Pan Size
The sheet pan I use to make this shredded chicken nachos recipe is a US half sheet pan – which is 18 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 1-inch high.
You can use other pan sizes as well if you don’t have sheet pan of this size. Bake time should be the same. You will just be proportioning out the ingredients differently.
How to Make Shredded Chicken for Nachos
To make shredded chicken nachos, I want to start by showing how to make the slow cooker shredded chicken portion. This is recipe written for two half sheet pan of shredded chicken nachos, so the shredded chicken should be sufficient to be divided into two pans.
Crockpot shredded chicken is very simple to make. It truly is a dump-everything-into-the-slow-cooker type of cooking. Anybody can do this!
Basically, add chicken breasts, salsa, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin into the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3 hours.
Once chicken is cooked, using a fork to shred it into pulled chicken.
Taste to see if the flavors are to your liking, and add salt to open up the flavors if needed.
Oven Baked Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
Next, it’s time to pile everything up onto a sheet pan and bake our shredded chicken nachos in the oven!
First, grease a half sheet pan (18′ x 11′), then top with tortilla chips…
(For easier cleanup, you can line sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper)
Followed by shredded chicken and cheese…
Then send it into the oven to bake at 350℉ for 7-10 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted.
Once that is done, top with your favorite toppings!
I made a very simple sheet pan pulled chicken nachos by adding some diced tomatoes and jalapeño. You can add any of your favorite nacho toppings as well! See the section below for more topping ideas.
I can seriously eat this pulled chicken nachos non-stop. Something about the the combination of that crispy tortilla chips, bold-flavored shredded chicken, gooey melted cheesy, and the zesty jalapeños is just so dang addictive!
Other Topping Ideas
There are so many great toppings to add to your crockpot pulled chicken nachos. Here are some ideas!
- avocados or guacamole
- beans – black beans, pinto beans etc
- fresh chopped cilantro
- salsa or hot sauces
- sour cream
Make Ahead, Storage and Reheating Instructions
I only recommend making ahead the slow cooker shredded chicken part of this meal. Unfortunately, shredded chicken nachos do not keep well once it is stacked together because tortilla chips will be soggy.
To make ahead the slow cooker shredded chicken and you can freeze it for up to 2 months, or refrigerate it for up to 5 days. Before freezing and refrigerating, make sure chicken in stored in an airtight container.
When ready to reheat shredded chicken, bring it to a complete defrost if it was frozen, and reheat in the microwave. Then layer everything on a sheet pan and follow the recipe instructions to heat shredded chicken nachos in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
I always prefer chunky salsa for this because I like to taste the chunks of the tomatoes, and also to avoid too much liquid in the chicken. Pace Salsa (the chunky kind) is a cheap and delicious option for this recipe. I typically don’t love it as a salsa itself, but it cooks really well in this recipe.
Yes! Mexican oregano is another great seasoning. Or, simply replace all the spices used with a tablespoon of taco seasoning.
Add chicken breast along with salsa and seasonings to a large pot, and bring to a boil. Cook on medium low for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 165℉. It’s ok to cook chicken for longer, but make sure it is on medium low/low heat so that chicken don’t dry up and become tough. Shred chicken when done.
Yes, but only the slow cooker shredded chicken part (see freezing instructions above). Once you pile and bake everything on a baking sheet, they taste best fresh off the oven.
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More Game Day Food
More yummy appetizer and snacks we love for game day!
- Chili Cheese Dog
- Potato Casserole with Andouille Sausage
- BBQ Chicken Baked Potato
- Sausage and Cheese Puff Pastry Pockets
- Everything Bagel Pigs in the Blanket
Shredded Chicken Nachos
Slow Cooker Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups chunky salsa
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt to taste, optional
- 1 lbs tortilla chips
- 2 cups cheese shredded
- 1 large tomato diced
- 2 jalapeno sliced
- Bring chicken breasts, salsa, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin into the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3 hours.
- Use fork to shred chicken. Stir to combine. Optional: add salt to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
- Using a greased half sheet baking sheet (18' x 11'), spread our tortilla chips all over, followed by 1/2 of the shredded chicken and 1 cup of cheese.
- Repeat Step 4 using another half sheet baking sheet.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.
- Top with diced tomatoes, jalapeños and/or other toppings.
- Serve and enjoy!