You know when you just crave some nachos really bad and there aren’t any fresh ones about? You’re lying on the sofa, in the midst of watching your favorite show, maybe it’s a sick day or just a Sunday or you know what – maybe you just deserve a break. Nachos would be perfect today and you even made some the day before, so they’re about. You have a bite, two, but the cold nachos are just…just not that.
You put the bowl in the microwave, but when you’re reaching for a try, they turn out to be…soggy, mushy, destroyed. Just not that. Again.
Don’t worry. I have the perfect solution for you that will satisfy your need for nachos. I’ve found half a dozen ways to reheat those nachos, having spent all too many days binge watching Sex and the City the morning after a dinner with a bit too much wine and nachos, wishing those nachos could be just a bit warmer, a bit crunchier, a bit cheesier.
So I began to search. As a chef, one of my biggest downfalls is my obsession over getting just the right recipe, the right solution, more often than not for that snack that I’m craving.
This hunt led me to this half dozen list of ways to get the perfect nachos: crispy in some parts, just a bit soft in others. So don’t worry – read on and your craving will be satisfied.
Is it Safe to Reheat Nachos?
Being constantly on the hunt for perfection of taste, I know exactly what I want when it comes to nachos. But when I crave snacks, even unhealthy ones, I want them not to ruin all the effort I put into eating well. Even more so if I’m making them for the kids, of course.
First and foremost, eating well means keeping it safe. If the quality of food is good, your body can handle some irregularities in terms of carbs and proteins, if not always. Moreover, nachos are all about dips: salsa, cream, guacamole; and the cheese on top of course. If you’re like me, you’re also a bit worried about all of this when reheating things. Especially this plate of yesterday’s nachos covered in salsa… I’m just not too sure.
Turns out, it’s perfectly safe. You’re best off if you remove some bits that you don’t want warm: salad and cream, primarily. You can leave the jalapeños. Because nachos traditionally are cut up tortilla chips, they are originally pre-made and then reheated. Reheating them now is just the same thing, especially since they are made out of corn and adding corn starch to anything is the most efficient way to make it last.
Just be careful if you’ve left any sour cream or other dairy products on and it’s all been left out for more than a day outside the fridge, as the cream can go off easier than the chips themselves.
If you haven’t had it out for too long – yes it is safe to reheat nachos. In fact, it’s how you’re meant to eat them.
A top tip is to put them away in a sealed container in the fridge before you go to bed. They’ll make a perfect brunch for your children, or a nice snack to have later on.
How to Reheat Nachos in the Oven
The absolutely best way to reheat nachos is in the oven. You see, although the tortillas from which nachos are made are made on a burning hot comal (it’s a very heavy, smooth, flat griddle), they go stale from being left out as the starch goes off. Nachos, however, are cooked twice – after the tortilla is made, it is cut up and put in the oven. As an oven heats up the food at a higher and more even temperature, the nachos become crispy and the starch doesn’t go stale. Put them in the oven again, and they re-crisp, just like magic.
The process is simple.
Preheat the oven to 250-300°F, the lower if you’ve got beans or sour cream left overs on your nachos. Place the nachos on a tray covered with a baking sheet. Spread them evenly with your hands, the thinner your layer is – the more evenly they will reheat. Take off the cold toppings, if any.
Put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, 10 minutes is the very maximum. You’ll know that they’re ready by the smell and if you try out their temperature.
How quickly they’re done depends on how many nachos you’re putting in, just remember, nachos burn easily so make sure to watch them.
Reheating Nachos in a Skillet
Feel like you need the snack now? Can’t be bothered waiting or are the children demanding food right this very instant? Well, they deserve it to be quick and so do you, so best use the fastest way to reheat nachos then.
Choose the biggest skillet you can find, use a few or reheat in batches. Your aim here is to arrange the nachos evenly, so if your skillet is too small you need something else. Put the skillet on medium heat, and wait until it’s hot.
Now, scrape off the cold toppings from the nachos, if any, and place the nachos in the skillet evenly. Cover with aluminium foil, it concentrates the heat, trapping it inside and making the temperature higher. Your nachos will be ready in a couple of minutes, five at the max.
Top tip #1
If you smell them burning but they’re not done yet, keep one hand on top of the aluminium and give the whole skillet a toss around with a circular movement of your wrist.
How to Reheat Nachos Under a Broiler
Your aim with reheating nachos is to find the appliance that can heat them as evenly as possible and without adding any moisture. Keep this in mind when you choose which of these ways you go about it, and remember a broiler is very good at distributing heat evenly. Moreover, you can easily keep an eye on them!
Spread the nachos evenly in a broiler or oven-safe pan without the cold toppings. Put under a broiler for 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them in this time – they burn very easily. Take out, cool down, enjoy.
How to Reheat Nachos in a Toaster Oven
Reheating nachos in a toaster oven works just as it does in a normal one, it’s just easier to preheat and works for a smaller portion.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. As always, scrape off the cold toppings. Place your nachos evenly and thinly on a covered baking tray. Once the toaster is hot, put the baking tray in for 5-10 minutes, checking the nachos throughout. Voilà, perfect and crispy.
Top tip #2
You can make your nachos taste extra fresh by adding new toppings. Cut some jalapeños, get some cheese, beans and a fresh guacamole. Cut up some bacon and put it in with the nachos in the oven. Add some tomatoes, avocado, red onions and sugar when they’re out, too. The added taste will make your nachos taste just like fresh, I promise.
How to Reheat Nachos in an Air Fryer
An air fryer is also an excellent way to reheat your nachos. They’re less likely to burn this way, but it’s easier for them to become soggy if you’ve got any sour cream left on the nachos.
Preheat it at 300°F, and take off the cold toppings. When the fryer is hot, put the nachos in for about 5 minutes.
Can You Reheat Nachos in the Microwave?
You can, yes. It’s not the best way, however – unless your nachos don’t have any toppings on, in which case it works just fine.
If you’re set on using the microwave, I recommend microwaving them on the highest power and in a single layer. Do so for about a minute, then add some cheese onto the chips – make sure that you’ve spread the cheese evenly and that your nachos are still not touching each other. Put into the microwave again for 30 seconds, and then keep cooking in 10-seconds intervals until all the cheese has melted.
How to Prevent Nachos from Getting Soggy
To be completely honest, soggy nachos is the biggest challenge to reheating nachos. But it’s possible to overcome. Throughout this article I’ve taken you through my best tips of how to avoid the sogginess, but there’s yet more to be said. Think like this, for really fresh crisp nachos, you want to…
- …reheat nachos with pieces as possible not touching each other or in a thin layer.
- …reheat nachos at as high a temperature as possible but without letting them burn – and lower if you still have scraps of toppings on them!
- …reheat nachos having scraped off at least the cold toppings, but if you scrape all of them off, they’ll go crispier.
- …make some new toppings for your reheated nachos, and melt some more cheese, too!
How to Fix Soggy Nachos
Your best way to go about fixing soggy nachos is to heat them in the oven. Put each of them separately from each other on a baking tray, and heat for 5-10 minutes. If you’ve got them really soggy, you really want to fix it with some new toppings.
Cook some chopped bacon with the nachos in the oven and add some cheese in the end – the cheese will mask the sogginess and lift the taste. Add some jalapeños on top too, and some freshly chopped tomatoes.
How Many Times Can You Reheat Nacho Cheese?
As many times as you’d like! However, keep an eye on two things: make sure it doesn’t burn and make sure it doesn’t separate.
Your best bet is to reheat in a saucepan on low heat, stirring while you do it. It’s good to have a whisk at hand and if you see the sauce separating, give it a good whisk. You can also add some double cream to it to keep it together. If you’re set on reheating it in the microwave, add some double cream before you put it in and 9 times out of 10, you’ll be fine.
How to Store Leftover Nachos
Best thing is to store leftover nachos in a sealed container. If you scrape off the toppings beforehand, your life will be much easier and your nachos will taste better the next day, but it’s not necessary. After all, sometimes they just go straight in the fridge as they are because it’s time to rest.
You can also store nachos in a resealable freezer zip bag – since it is airtight, the nachos won’t get a chance to become as soggy here and stay fresher for longer.
Finally, you can do it restaurant-style and lay them out on a baking tray in one layer and cover with cling film, making sure that they are completely sealed off from the air.
Can You Put Nachos in the Fridge?
The quick answer is yes. Make sure you cover them before, however, and as air tightly as possible. A sealed pack or zipper bag is your best option. Separate your toppings from your nachos with the nachos, the hot toppings and the cold toppings all separately.
If you don’t have any toppings on that need to be kept in the fridge (meats, beans, cheese, sour cream or avocado), you can also keep your nachos out overnight, but make sure they’re covered.
What to Do with Leftover Nachos
Reheat them, of course. Have them for brunch, for a snack, for dinner the next day. Nachos are a perfect snack for you, your friends, and your kids. Make them healthier by adding loads of toppings: red onion, guacamole, chopped tomato, chopped baby tomatoes, avocado, black beans, feta cheese, olives, jalapeños, red peppers, a good homemade salsa and a herby sour cream.
Top tip #3
If I’m really feeling a day of savoring my nacho leftovers, I make myself a proper Mexican breakfast out of these goodies. Here’s how you do it:
1) Choose your way to reheat your nachos and preheat oven if necessary. Put some water to boil for poached eggs.
2) Cook some red beans in water for a few minutes. Pour the water on the side to add if necessary. Blend the beans with a hand mixer together with a clove of garlic, half a small chill (to taste!), coriander leaves, a couple drops of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
3) Make your nacho toppings, chop up some avocado and a few slices of lime. Make a tomato salad with chilies, olives and coriander (or any other herb you have at hand).
4) Poach a couple of eggs, put your nachos to reheat according to one of the options above, and fry some bacon.
5) Put everything together on a plate: nachos with toppings, tomato salad, avocado, red beans, bacon and poached eggs with some cayenne pepper on top. Make yourself a bloody mary too, if you’re feeling cheeky.
I hope you enjoy your nachos crispy and hot!