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Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

May 17, 2024
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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Dig into our Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos! These bad boys are loaded with tortilla chips, sweet potato fries, oodles of melty golden cheese, savory BBQ chicken, and all your go-to fixings.

Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

Elevate your nacho game with our Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos! Piled high with sweet potato fries, tortilla chips, BBQ chicken, gooey cheese, and all your favorite toppings, these nachos are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. They're perfect for game day, movie night, or any occasion you want delicious Southern flavor. Just pop them in the oven and get ready to dig in! Gluten-free + Make-ahead option.

Up close shot of bbq chicken nachos.

Who doesn't love nachos?? AMMIRIGHT? There's something so special about making nachos at home. They're a satisfying snack, appetizer, or even a meal. The beauty of nachos lies in their versatility – you can customize them to your heart's content since all toppings are optional + interchangeable. Which is why I decided to incorporate my Southern roots into these Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos!

I have a plethora of nacho or nacho-inspired recipes on my site. Among them, my other favorites include Loaded Sheet Pan Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Fries, Dairy-Free Mexican Street Corn Nachos, Black Bean + Quinoa Skillet Nachos, and Loaded Vegan Queso Skillet Nachos. They're all worth a try!

These nachos bring a Southern twist with homemade BBQ sauce and sweet potato fries. They're super easy to make—just layer everything on a rimmed sheet pan, bake until you reach melty golden bubbly goodness, and voila! Simple, explosive flavors that anyone can whip up at home.

Jump to:
Baked sweet potato fries on a baking sheet with foil.

Why You Will LOVE Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

  • They're a flavor explosion-- Spicysweetsavory, and downright addictive!
  • Totally customizable---use only your favorite toppings and ingredients.
  • Crowd-pleasing--perfect for gatherings and easy dinner nights.
  • Textural bliss, the perfect balance of tender and crunchy in each bite.
  • Simple preparation + minimal ingredients
  • Gluten-free options for those with a sensitivity.
Shredded chicken on a baking sheet with foil.

How To Make Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

While the protein (BBQ chicken), chips, and cheese are the bulk of what makes nachos so spectacular, the toppings are often overlooked. Toppings on nachos are essential for freshness and additional crunch. To me, the crunch of the chips is not enough. I also want some crisp, fresh veggies to cut through all of the cheesy richness. Here is everything you need for these southern nachos:

Ingredients

BBQ CHICKEN:

  • Chicken breast. I like to use organic for the best flavor + quality.
  • Herbs + seasonings. Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried parsley + dried basil.
  • BBQ sauce. You can use a premium store-bought one or make your own!
Ingredients on a brown wood table.

NACHOS:

  • Restaurant-style tortilla chips. I use Xochitl. Ensure that it's GF-friendly for that option!
  • Baked sweet potato fries. Homemade or store-bought. You can check out my Crispy Cajun Sweet Potato Fries!
  • Red onion. Adds a slightly sweet element.
  • Black beans. Drained + rinsed.
  • Poblano pepper. Adjust the amount to your spice preference.
  • Tomato-on-the-vine. Chopped.
  • Jalapeño. These are a must-have for nachos for me, they add such a nice level of heat. But feel free to adjust the amount or remove if you have little ones eating it also!
  • Shredded Sharp or Mild Cheddar cheese. You can do 1 cup of each or use either one.
  • Queso cheese. Optional. You can make this Mexican Queso without the topping for a homemade option
  • Ranch Sauce. You can use homemade or store-brought, up to you!

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR BAKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THESE NACHOS DISH!

Here, I’ve curated a list of baking + cooking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite dishes, especially with this Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos. Everything from my fave sheet pan, wooden spoons, parchment paper, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Veggies chopped on a cutting board with a knife.

How To Make Shredded BBQ Chicken

To prep your BBQ chicken for these nachos, you'll want to make it in advance. It's perfect for food prep, too, if you have leftovers! Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken along with the seasonings: salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and basil, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. NOTE: I like to poke small slits in the centers of breasts to ensure that they cook through evenly. Totally optional!
  • NOTE: Best when marinated for a while! To do so: Add coated chicken to a securely sealed ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (minimum). Best if marinaded overnight. When ready to use, let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Line seasoned chicken breast (side by side) unto prepared baking sheet, leaving a bit of room in between each one.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside and fully cooked through on the inside. NOTE: Be sure to turn the breasts unto their opposite side halfway through the baking time.
  • Remove from oven and let them cool until safe to handle.
BBQ chicken in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

How To Shred Chicken

Shredding chicken is a breeze! After you've cooked the chicken to tender perfection, you can use one of the methods below to shred it!

FORKS:

  • For this method, you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.

STAND MIXER:

  • If you're looking to avoid using arm strength, then the method of a stand mixer might be just for you. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken, and you simply place all of your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the paddle attachment and mix on low. In just 15-20 seconds, you’ll have shredded chicken. That easy!
Ingredients layered on a baking sheet.

BBQ Chicken Nacho Topping Ideas

Everyone is different when it comes to toppings in general, which is why I love using a variety of ingredients.

PLUS this is a great opportunity to teach children about what they like, how much to add, and helps to develop their palate—which is what I try to do with my son. Plus, maybe they’ll try something new on their own—who knows?!

My favorite nacho topping ideas in general include:

Baked bbq chicken nachos on a baking sheet with a side of drink, guacamole, and salsa.

Can I Make These Nachos Ahead Of Time?

You can make this recipe ahead of time by prepping the topping ingredients and storing them in separate airtight containers until ready to assemble.

Also, you can make the sweet potato fries (if doing homemade) and shredded BBQ chicken up to 2 days before and store them in the fridge. Lastly, you can make the Queso cheese sauce 1-2 days prior, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge and reheating it in a saucepan when ready to use. You may need 2-3 Tbsps of milk when reheating to ensure that it's smooth and creamy.

Baked bbq chicken nachos on a baking sheet.

Can I Make Southern BBQ Chicken Nachos Dairy-free?

Absolutely! Everything besides the cheese is dairy-free. You can opt for a vegan shredded cheese alternative. Honestly, all brands aren't created equal as you know. Personally, I love how Violife's, Follow Your Heart and Daiya cheese shreds melt fully and become as smooth and creamy as I need them to be. Alternatively, follow my Loaded Vegan Queso Skillet Nachos recipe to learn how to make your own 'cheesy' vegan queso from scratch!

Up close shot of nachos on baking sheet.

Common Q + A's For Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

How to store?

Best if consumed within the same day. Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven when ready to serve.

How to make gluten-free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, simply ensure that any fries used are GF-friendly, and ensure that all other ingredients are also GF-friendly (i.e. BBQ sauce, etc.)

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can easily double the recipe to accommodate a larger group or for leftovers. Adjust the ingredients accordingly and use a larger baking sheet (or two) for baking.

Can I use store-bought BBQ sauce?

Absolutely! While homemade BBQ sauce adds a special touch, store-bought sauce works just fine.

What can I use instead of sweet potato fries?

If you prefer, you can use just traditional tortilla chips or even homemade potato chips as the base for these nachos.

More Southern Recipes That'll Have You Drooling

If you liked Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos, then you’ll definitely want to try these delicious Southern-inspired recipes with your family next:

Nachos on a baking sheet with a drink and a side of guacamole and salsa on a brown wood table.

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram  and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!

Up close shot of nachos on baking sheet.

Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos

May 17, 2024
No ratings yet
Elevate your nacho game with our Southern Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos! Piled high with sweet potato fries, tortilla chips, BBQ chicken, gooey cheese, and all your favorite toppings, these nachos are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. They're perfect for game day, movie night, or any occasion you want delicious Southern flavor. Just pop them in the oven and get ready to dig in! Gluten-free + Make-ahead option.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

BBQ CHICKEN:

  • 2 lbs. organic chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups premium BBQ sauce

NACHOS:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag organic Restaurant-style tortilla chips (I use Xochitl; Ensure that it's GF-friendly for option!)
  • 3-4 cups baked sweet potato fries, homemade or store-bought (You can check out my Crispy Cajun Sweet Potato Fries!)
  • ½ red onion, chopped (You can use white or yellow also)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can organic black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium tomato-on-the-vine, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp or Mild Cheddar cheese (You can do 1 cup of each or use either one)
  • Queso cheese, optional (You can make this Mexican Queso without the topping for a homemade option)
  • 1 Vegan Ranch Dressing/Sauce

Instructions

TO MAKE THE BBQ CHICKEN:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken along with the seasonings: salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and basil, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. NOTE: I like to poke small slits in the centers of breasts to ensure that they cook through evenly. Totally optional!
  • NOTE: Best when marinated for a while! To do so: Add coated chicken to a securely sealed ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours (minimum). Best if marinaded overnight. When ready to use, let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Line seasoned chicken breast (side by side) unto prepared baking sheet, leaving a bit of room in between each one.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside and fully cooked through on the inside. NOTE: Be sure to turn the breasts unto their opposite side halfway through the baking time.
  • Remove from oven and let them cool until safe to handle.

SHRED THE CHICKEN:

  • Forks: For this method, you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.

TO MAKE THE BBQ SAUCE:

  • For the best results, follow the steps to make my Homemade BBQ Sauce.
  • In a bowl, add the shredded chicken and BBQ sauce, stirring to combine and fully coat the chicken.

ASSEMBLE + BAKE THE NACHOS:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Add the tortilla chips onto a baking sheet, spreading them out evenly, followed by: the baked sweet potato fries, black beans, BBQ shredded chicken, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and chopped peppers.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are tender and cheese has completely melted. Remove from oven.
  • To serve, top nachos with your favorite extra toppings like Queso cheese, Guacamole, fresh cilantro, Pico de Gallo salsa, chopped scallions, and drizzles of ranch dressing/sauce.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Best if consumed within the same day. Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven when ready to serve.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator prior to serving by prepping the topping ingredients and storing them in separate airtight containers until ready to assemble. Also, you can make the sweet potato fries (if doing homemade) and shredded BBQ chicken up to 2 days before and store them in the fridge. Lastly, you can make the Queso cheese sauce 1-2 days prior, storing it in an airtight container in the fridge and reheating it in a saucepan when ready to use. You may need 2-3 Tbsps of milk when reheating to ensure that it's smooth and creamy.
  • SPICES/HERBS: If desired, you can reduce the amount of seasoning used slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply ensure that any fries used are GF-friendly, and ensure that all other ingredients are also GF-friendly (i.e. BBQ sauce, etc.)

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 2037mg | Potassium: 937mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 559IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

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Xx, Shanika in script writing

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