Nachos Recipe – Party Friendly Fun

and the Guacamole for the nachos recipe
is a winner!

Ah nachos – so many served in so many ways since their official start in 1940's Mexico…

Ours are served party friendly, in a way that offers different cheeses and keeps the chips warm. Read on.

We used to serve them like everybody else – cheese melted on chips with this and that added on top. But the cold chips never taste as good as warm ones – and they cool off so fast. What to do?

OK – using “aluminum rounds,” which is a simple, round aluminum tray or platter, we start with a layer of melted cheese, put chips on top, then add shredded cheese and toppings. The nachos get baked on the “round,” and then we serve it sitting on a second round. So – the first round stays hot from the oven, and the second round allows you to handle the dish. You can use any heat proof, stackable plate – We like these rounds because they’re cheap and disposable, but reusable.

And the melted cheese stays warm for a while, which keeps the chips nice. So there it is: Nachos - Party Recipes and Ideas style. Oh – don’t forget our twist on Guacamole!


This recipe will feed 50 people, if you are you are serving other snacks, and/or appetizers, dinners, etc. Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan for the right amounts.

Shopping List for 50 People:

The Nachos:

___ 3 – 12 oz. packs of round, restaurant style nachos. We like these because the're sturdier, and their round shape holds a little more.

___3 – 16 oz. jars of salsa. ( Includes enough for the guacamole below.) We use “mild” salsa, always with a bottle of hot sauce nearby

___3 – 15 oz. jars of Cheese Whiz, or similar. For large quantities, use a 106 ounce, #10 can, sold at shopping clubs

___ 2 dozen scallions (green onions)

___ 4 large tomatoes

___ 1 - 8 oz. package of shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend

___24 oz. of sour cream (includes enough for the guacamole below)

___6 – 12in. or 16in. aluminum rounds, available at parties supply shops or online, or, large heat proof plates that are stackable

The Guacamole:

___ 12 – ripe avocados, or, 32 oz. fresh or frozen avocado. Fresh avocados can get pricey, and the frozen isn’t all that bad. We like Calavo products. You can also save time by buying prepared guacamole, then following the rest of our recipe:

___ 1/2 cup mayonnaise

___ 1/2 cup of our cream

___ 1 cup salsa

___ 1 fresh lemon

___ ¼ cup dry ranch dressing mix, (2 packets)

___ small amount of granulated garlic. At home, we use fresh garlic – but granulated garlic is a little bit more “party friendly.” Ya know…?


Two Days Before the Party:

The Guacamole:

Tip: If you’re using prepared avocados or prepared guacamole, followed this recipe just as if you started with fresh.

Cut the avocados in half.

Check out the perfect knife for this job:

Lift out their pits.

Scoop the fruit into a large bowl.

Add 16oz. of sour cream, all the ranch dressing mix, one cup mayonnaise, the juice of one lemon and 1tbsp. of granulated garlic.

Blend well until all its combined and the avocado is mashed.

At the end, stir in one cup of salsa.

Cover tightly with film – pressed the film right down onto the surface of the guacamole in the bowl, and refrigerate.

One Day Before the Party:

Clean the scallion, green onions, and chop them up into little rounds. Store in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator.

The last thing before you go to bed, use your way sharp knife and cut up the four tomatoes into small, diced pieces. Store in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator.

On the Day of the Party:

We're using 12" aluminum rounds, which have enough for about 12 guests.

You can use 16" rounds, or half sheet pans. We like to use the smallest serving size we can, so

we can make fresh, hot nachos as needed.

12" and larger pans are available from party supply stores, where they have disposable (or limited re-use) pans. Made in boxes of 50, they will sell you one at a time.

Here is a good quality 12" pan if you want to buy a few.

Tip: We like to have a small “nacho making area” set aside in the kitchen, a place where we can keep all the ingredients ready. The idea is to build each plate of nachos as needed, or for a larger party, you can go ahead and make them all one time.

Preheat your oven to 450°, or prepare to use the broiler, whichever is easier. We’re thinking that you’ll probably need the oven for other things too.

Begin by warming up the Cheese Whiz, placing a jar in simmering, boiling water. Be sure to loosen the lid. It will take around 30 minutes for the cheese to liquify. We don't use a microwave for this.

TIP: You can thin the expensive Cheese Whiz with boiling water, 1 part water to 3 parts Whiz.

Assemble the aluminum rounds or heat proof plates, the tortilla chips, jars of salsa, shredded cheese, scallion onions and chopped tomatoes. Keep a jar of the Cheese Whiz melted in hot water nearby.

As your guests begin to arrive, coat one of the aluminum rounds (or plates,) with the melted cheese. Spread it with a spoon.

You want about 1/4in. thick, not more. Spread tortilla chips on top of the melted cheese. Notice that we're leaving space on the edge of the pan for 3 small bowls.

Sprinkle the grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese on the chips, spoon on some salsa, chopped tomatoes, and scallion onions.

Put the round into the hot oven for 4 minutes, or 4 inches under the broiler, until the chips crisp up and/or when the cheese melts – check every minute.

Careful under the broiler – things work fast there. Use the "low broil" setting if you have one. And if some of the chips get browned, leave 'em - some folks love chips like that.

Remove the round from the oven and immediately place and on top of another round. You’ll still need a pot holder to carry it, but it will be much easier.

Caution: Whenever you’re serving something hot, warn your guests. Little, business card size “signs” help to remind your guess that something is hot.

Make and serve more nachos as needed.

Presentation: Your Eyes Eat First

Guacamole, sour cream and salsa – the nachos essentials. Fill bowls with each near your serving area, and don’t forget a bottle of hot sauce.

Depends where you live and what you like, but in some places you just can’t serve nachos without having sliced jalapeños, or chopped onions, or chiles, or…? So put a bowl of whatever out there too and make your nachos complete!


Once there assembled and baked, leftover nachos don’t do all that well. Enjoy the money you can. The guacamole will last in the refrigerator for several days – keep the tightly covered or store it in a zip lock bag.

Guacamole doesn’t freeze very well. However, if you have a large amount leftover and choose to freeze it, here’s an idea that might help: Thaw it out, mix in an equal amount of plain yogurt, “enough” cold water, and one finely diced fresh tomato. Serve this cold soup with hot garlic bread.

And this book - it's great!

Check out some Appetizers!

How about some Salads?

Ready for some Dinner and Entrée ideas?

Questions about the Nachos? Need an idea for your party? Use the form below to ask us about quantities, substitutions, whatever. We're here to help. Ask-a-Caterer is free:

Ask a Caterer
We'll reply when we're done in the kitchen!

Privacy Policy: We never share your email with anyone - Period. Your question and first name may be featured in our Ask-a-Caterer Collection.
Ask a Caterer about your Party Food:
First Name*
E-mail Address*
Zip/Postal Code*

Please enter the word that you see below.


Take Me Home to Party Recipes and Ideas!