Every reasonable adult of a certain age, lifestyle, and nightly energy level, at one point or another, shares a common feeling: the urge to eat chips for dinner. Thanks to these Crock Pot Healthy Nachos, chips for dinner is not only appropriate, it’s a meal you can feel good serving to your family, bringing to a party with friends, or enjoying in a quiet moment of triumph alone on your couch.
Baked homemade tortilla chips smothered in smoky crock pot salsa chicken, hearty beans, and all the best fixin’s, this healthy nacho recipe does double duty as either a tasty appetizer or satisfying entrée.
Chicken thighs are my favorite meat for making crock pot meals, so I tossed them in my slow cooker along with the salsa verde, extra smoky spices, and pinto beans.
The prep work took less than 10 minutes, the chicken was fall-apart tender, and the flavor of the salsa with the spices was outstanding. I could not stop “quality testing” the chicken the whole time I was shredding it!
The crock pot chicken-bean filling is ultra versatile and would be ideal for stuffing tacos or burritos, or tasty served simply with rice.
I opted to keep it classic: cue homemade baked tortilla chips.
How to Make Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
Here’s the step-by-step to making homemade baked tortilla chips:
- cut flour or corn tortillas into wedges
- sprinkle with salt
BOOM. You’re ready to healthy nacho your way to the finale. Why haven’t I been doing this for ages?
Once I had the crock pot chicken + chips healthy nacho base in place, it was time to smother it with all the best fixin’s, the most essential of which is cheese.
I topped these healthy nachos with a generous heap of Mexican cheese, along with a few of my other nacho favorites like jalapeno and avocado.
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
Crock Pot Healthy Nachos
For the crock pot chicken:
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup salsa verde choose mild, medium or spicy, depending upon your heat preference—I used medium
- 1 small poblano pepper seeded and diced (optional for extra heat)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can low sodium pinto beans, (14.5 ounces) rinsed and drained
For the baked tortilla chips:
- 8 yellow corn tortillas
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces Mexican blend cheese
- Other desired nacho fixin’s: chopped green onions, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, diced avocados, diced fresh tomatoes, sour cream
- In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place the chicken thighs, then sprinkle with cumin, chipotle chili pepper, oregano, garlic, and salt. Add the poblano (if using), then pour the salsa verde over the top. Coved and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Once the chicken is tender, use two forks to shred it in the slow cooker. Stir in the pinto beans. Cover and let cook on high for 30 minutes to warm the beans while you prepare the tortilla chips.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges, then arrange in a single layer on two ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 6 minutes, then with tongs (or quickly and carefully with your fingers), flip and sprinkle with salt. Rotate the pans between the top and bottom racks, then bake the chips an additional 6 to 9 minutes, until they are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the oven to broil.
- Arrange the cooled tortilla chips on an oven-proof serving platter or pile all of them onto a single baking sheet. Spoon the chicken and bean mixture over the chips. Sprinkle with cheese, then place under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, then sprinkle with any additional desired nacho toppings. Enjoy immediately.
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