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Best-Ever Steak Nachos (Plus Tips for Perfect Steak Prep)

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Alan has been the primary cook for his family for over 20 years. He loves experimenting with recipes and coming up with his own creations.

A plate of perfect steak nachos

A plate of perfect steak nachos

The Best Nachos I Ever Ate

The best nachos I ever ate were something I came across by accident. My family and I were heading to the beach for a week-long vacation. After driving for a couple of hours through very rural areas we were all getting quite hungry. We decided to stop off at a chain restaurant that we had never been to before.

I had heard of the chain before but really had no idea what type of food they offered. I was surprised to see that they offered chicken wings, burgers, salads, and several different types of nachos. Nachos are one of my favorites, so I had to give their steak nachos a try.

The nachos did not disappoint in the least. In fact, they were so good that I immediately shared them with the entire table. I was so impressed that I took out my phone and snapped a couple of photos. I also made careful notes regarding all of the ingredients. My mission was quite clear. I had to try and duplicate those nachos as soon as I got back home.

Raw sirloin steak.

Raw sirloin steak.

All About the Steak

You can use any type of steak you prefer as long as you prepare it the right way. The key to a perfect nacho topping, other than flavor, is size. You don't want to have large chunks of steak, as they tend to be hard to scoop onto a single chip. Small steak crumbles really work the best for nachos. Not only are they easier to spread out across all of the nachos, they also tend to sit atop a single chip much better.

I experimented with the steak preparation over several attempts at creating my own steak nachos. After a while I finally found something I was happy with.

How to Prepare Steak for Nachos

  1. Cut your steak of choice (I prefer sirloin) into thin strips.
  2. Use a tenderizing kitchen mallet to pound the strips out as flat as possible.
  3. After pounding the strips out thin, cut them into small pieces. Kitchen shears work great for this step, but a good sharp knife will also do the trick.
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If you follow these steps, not only will the steak cook very quickly, but it will also be a great size for topping nachos.

Steak with taco mix and 2/3 cup of water

Steak with taco mix and 2/3 cup of water

Chopped steak cooking on a griddle

Chopped steak cooking on a griddle

Additional Toppings

As far as the additional toppings, the same rule applies. Smaller chunks seem to work better on nachos. So make sure you chop up your lettuce and tomato into small pieces. Shred the cheddar cheese, or better yet buy shredded cheese in the first place. A little bit of sour cream and salsa goes a long way in this recipe, but by all means use more if you prefer.

Of course you can spice things up even more with additional toppings if you want. Some great ideas would be jalapeños, chopped onions, or pickled sweet peppers. The options for toppings on a plate of nachos are really endless, so just go with what you like.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

10 min

55 min

4 meal-size servings


  • 1 pound steak, tenderized and chopped
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup queso dip, warmed
  • 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 bag tortilla chips, warm
  • 2/3 cup water


  1. Cut the steak into thin strips and pound the strips out flat with a meat tenderizer mallet. Chop the flat strips into small pieces.
  2. In a bowl, mix the taco seasoning packet with 2/3 cup of water. Place the chopped steak into the bowl with the taco mix and toss to coat the meat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the steak for 30 minutes.
  3. While the steak marinates in the taco mix, chop the lettuce and tomato and set aside.
  4. Once the steak has soaked in the marinade for 30 minutes, heat a skillet or griddle to high heat. Use a small amount of cooking spray or oil and cook the meat and taco mix, stirring often. Cook for 6 to 9 minutes or until done.
  5. While the steak is cooking, warm up the queso dip and tortilla chips. A couple of minutes in the microwave should do nicely.
  6. Place the tortilla chips on a plate and drizzle with warm queso dip. Sprinkle the cooked steak over the chips. Spread chopped lettuce and tomato over the nachos. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the lettuce and tomato and top with sour cream and salsa.
  7. Add any additional toppings you might want and serve.

Recipe Rating

Chopped lettuce and tomato

Chopped lettuce and tomato

Salsa and queso dip

Salsa and queso dip

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