15 Unique Nacho Topping Ideas

Making nachos for dinner? Here are 15 unique nacho topping ideas to inspire you to think beyond the traditional nacho toppings.

If it’s game day or you’re out at a restaurant, a plate of nachos typically involves a pile of chips with some type of meat (chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, pulled pork, etc.) beans, melted cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and pico de Gallo.

But just like with anything homemade, nachos are a great opportunity to get more creative with your toppings. Here are 15 unique ideas to help you get started.

Creative Toppings For Nachos

1. Zucchini Corn Salad

A large serving platter with zucchini corn salad and feta crumbles.

If you’re thinking “salad… in nachos?” Hear me out. Zucchini corn salad is more similar to a corn salsa. The pan-seared zucchini adds a nice smoky flavor, the corn adds texture and subtle sweetness, and the feta (dairy-free or regular) adds a nice saltiness. Pairs well with chicken, shrimp, shredded beef, or black beans.

2. Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Plate of marinated portobello mushrooms with olive oil and spices.

Marinated portobello mushrooms add a delicious umami flavor to nachos. Their meaty texture pairs nicely with beans for a meatless nacho option.

3. Nectarine Salsa

A bowl of nectarine salsa with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedge.

Tomato salsa is really popular with nachos, but nectarine salsa is equally as delicious and adds a fresh element. The sweetness of the fruit pairs well with the saltiness of the other ingredients. Pair with shredded chicken, fish, shrimp, or beans.

4. Dairy-Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

A skillet of dairy-free buffalo chicken dip with sliced green onions.

Yes, dairy-free buffalo chicken dip on nachos is definitely the move. It’s packed full of flavor and has a nice creamy texture. Serve it with cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced celery, and chopped romaine lettuce. And maybe some dairy-free ranch dressing if you’re feeling extra.

5. Green Chile Cashew Queso

a bowl of green chile cashew queso on a serving platter with tortilla chips

Would it really be a nacho toppings list without including queso? This green chile cashew queso is so popular at every party, dinner, etc. that no one even notices that it’s completely dairy-free.

6. Quick-Pickled Vegetables

Pickled red onions and cucumbers

Quick-pickled vegetables add a crisp texture, tangy flavor, and a pop of color. You can use any type of vegetable from carrots to red onions to jalapeños and so much more.

7. Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean condiment that adds a spicy, tangy, and crunchy element and can cut through the other rich flavors.

8. BBQ Salmon Bites

A plate of BBQ salmon bites on a bed of rice and topped with green onions.

Bbq salmon bites are a great protein choice for nachos. They’re smoky, slightly sweet yet savory, and pair well with nectarine salsa.

9. Tomato Confit

jars of tomato confit

A spoonful of tomato confit will add a rich, complex flavor to your nachos.

10. Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are a great option if you don’t like raw onions in your nachos. They have so much flavor and are a great condiment to always have on hand.

11. Braised Beef

Two plates with orange mashed sweet potatoes topped with braised beef chunks and jus.

If you’re trying to impress your guests, serve nachos with braised beef. It’s tender, full of flavor, and takes minimal effort to make. Yum!

12. Bacon

A plate of perfectly cooked bacon fresh warm from the oven without a rack.

Oven-cooked bacon on nachos? Yes, please. It’s warm, salty, smoky, slightly sweet, and crispy. Serve with chopped lettuce and tomatoes for BLT-inspired nachos.

13. Chipotle Lime Mayo

Jar of homemade chipotle lime mayo.

Sometimes a saucy drizzle is all your nachos are missing. Chipotle lime mayo is smoky, tangy, and slightly spicy and is the perfect accompaniment.

14. Shrimp

Shrimp isn’t the first thing you’d think of when it comes to nachos, but it works so well. Serve with black bean and corn salad for a festive meal.

15. Fish

Bowl with cooked salmon poke, cucumbers, cabbage, avocado, and spicy mayo.

Make sushi-inspired nachos by using either raw sushi-grade or cooked fish such as tuna or salmon. Serve with avocado, cucumber, carrots, and a drizzle of Japanese spicy mayo.

More Dinner Ideas

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