A beautiful plate of healthier nachos using ground turkey and adorned with your choice of delicious toppings. Perfect for a game day appetizer!
Is it just me or do we all get stuck in a “what’s for dinner” rut? Of course there are your usual go-to meals that are delicious and easy to prepare, perfect for busy weeknights. I have stacks of cookbooks and even a few ebook versions on my iPad–and all I care to have for dinner is homemade pizza with sliced meatballs. Or chicken parm with pasta. Is it because we’re comfortable with these foods and just not ready to branch out to something new? Or is it because new recipes require a new trip to the grocery store for ingredients we aren’t familiar with that will produce a meal we’re not even sure we’ll like? These are the things I ponder as I make these nachos, my favorite go-to lunch/dinner when I’m in the mood for lots of flavors but not a ton of calories.
When given the choice between tacos and nachos, I think I would most always prefer nachos. At least you know they’re inherently messy going in. Sometimes I eat a taco thinking it could be a mess-free meal, and then I find weird spots of grease and have fingers covered in sour cream. When I have nachos, I know I’ll be needing that extra napkin before I even dig in. It’s okay nachos, I forgive you.
These nachos are pretty simple to make. I almost always have ground turkey in the fridge or freezer, and I’ve been making my own taco seasoning recently. Since I don’t always have a taco seasoning packet to just toss in with my browned up ground turkey, I add in a super simple mixture of 5 seasonings I have stocked up in the pantry to make my own Homemade Taco Seasoning. Bam.
We like our garlic powder a lot around here. As always, adjust seasonings based on your own tastes. Like it spicier? Add in more cayenne and maybe some red pepper flakes. You always have the option of adding spicy toppings like jalapenos to the nachos later.
My favorite part about this meal is that it’s lightened up from a usual plate of nachos. This recipe uses ground turkey in place of ground beef and homemade tortilla chips in place of store-bought ones. (I’m sure if I had any store-bought chips I would’ve used those first…creativity is bred from lack of preparedness.) I used a pizza cutter to slice four 50 calorie soft white corn tortillas into quarters and then baked them in the oven until crispy (about 8-10 minutes at 375ºF). The one thing this recipe does not lack is cheese. I grated some cheddar from a block because it melts so much nicer than the pre-shredded stuff.
Cheese is my love language.
Layer a few chips on the plate, top with cheese/meat, or meat/cheese…whichever makes you happier. Then, rinse and repeat. If you have patience, building these nachos on an oven-safe dish and baking them for a few minutes to melt the cheese produces a really awesome plate of nachos. If you’re anything like me (impatient/hungry), microwaving this delicious stack of nachos for 30-60 seconds will produce a deliciously warm and melty plate of nachos. Top with your favorite nacho toppings and dig in!!
Healthier Turkey Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips
- soft tortillas cut into quarters
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream for topping optional
- salsa for topping optional
- chopped lettuce for topping optional
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Using a pizza cutter, slice soft tortillas into quarters and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until desired level of crispiness is reached.
- While chips are baking, heat a skillet to medium high heat and add in olive oil.
- Add in ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey and break up large chunks.
- After the turkey is cooked through, reduce heat, add 1/4 cup water and garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne to the meat. Cook for an additional two minutes or until combined.
- Layer chips either on a plate or oven-safe baking dish. Add shredded cheddar and ground turkey. Bake/microwave until cheese is melted.
- Dress the nachos up with your desired toppings.
- *Suggested toppings: sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, olives, tomatoes, pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, jalapenos...the options are endless.
This recipe was inspired by Andie Mitchell’s Loaded Healthy Nachos with Beef and Homemade Tortilla Chips.
What are your favorite nacho toppings?