Layered Buffalo Chicken Nachos with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce: Kick your nachos into high gear with layers of spicy buffalo chicken and a creamy cheddar, Jack, blue cheese sauce.
The summer between my junior and senior college years was a maniacal, whirlwind sort of summer.
My days were spent setting up the buddy-system, singing endless verses of “Boom-Chicka-Boom”, soothing tears, scarfing s’mores, and slapping on sunscreen: I was a camp counselor.
My nights and weekends, however, were spent wearing a Pathmark apron and my beat-up Old Navy baseball hat at the local grocery store deli.
14 hour work days and somehow, I worked in a social life that included way too many Mike’s Hard Lemonades >> priorities.
Once in a while when I had 5 minutes to wolf down dinner between Job 1’s grime removal process (read: shower) and Job 2, my mom would have some rotisserie chicken waiting for me.
And to be honest, I was usually less than thrilled.
How many of those damn chickens had I prepped for the deli rotisserie each weekend? (And how many hours did I spend with eggy-breaded hands from prepping the fried chicken?!)
The last thing I wanted to eat was chicken!
For some reason, I crave it more when it’s completely counter-intuitive to consider roasting anything when the temperature is above 80° and our AC is struggling to keep up with the sweatshirt weather I like to keep the indoor temperature at.
What are Layered Nachos?
From the two chickens we cooked a few weeks ago, some of the leftovers went to making these layered buffalo chicken nachos completely on a whim one night. And they were goooood! I absolutely love making new meals with leftover chicken!
Like the kind of good that makes you sad when it’s over (see also: beer-battered fish).
If you’ve never made or had them, layered nachos are just what you think they might be: multiple layers of tortilla chips and nacho toppings that are broiled to melt all that delicious cheese.
They differ from “regular” nachos in that “regular” nachos have 1 heaping layer of tortilla chips on the bottom of 1 layer of nacho toppings. And I’ll be honest here, nachos made this way annoy me.
Because what happens with regular nachos is that all of the nacho toppings are eaten off the top, leaving you with a mound of dry tortilla chips. No cheese is ever left! What a bummer this always is!
So I remedied that problem by making these layered nachos with buffalo chicken and cheese sauce that cover 2 layers of tortilla chips. And that made a huge difference!
How to Make Layered Nachos
It’s quite a simple process to make layered nachos!
- You first start with a sheet pan. A large, oven-safe platter would work too but the sheet pan allows the bottom layer of nachos to heat up better than a platter does.
- Make the blue cheese sauce. It’s easy to make with just 6 ingredients: butter, flour, milk, and 3 kinds of cheese (cheddar, monterey Jack, and gorgonzola).
- Layered some blue corn chips on the sheet pan, followed by half of the cheese sauce, half of the buffalo chicken, and some extra shredded cheese (for good measure) on a baking sheet.
- Repeat the layers.
- Then I baked it all off at a high temperature to ensure “meltyness” and not “charredness” from the broiler. (I suck at using the broiler.)
Back in my Pathmark and camp days, I wouldn’t have come within 10 – heck, 50! – feet of anything buffalo chicken.
But now? Bring.it.on baby!
And these layered buffalo chicken nachos? You need them. And don’t skip the gorgonzola cheese sauce!!
For the nachos:
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's)
- 2 ½ cups cooked shredded chicken
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
- 4 oz creamy gorgonzola or mild creamy blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 ½ cups), divided
- 12 oz your favorite tortilla chips(https://amzn.to/2DK2r4H)(https://amzn.to/2DK2r4H)(https://amzn.to/2DK2r4H)
- Diced avocado
- Chopped fresh chives or scallions
- Extra hot sauce
- Chopped celery (optional)
- Ranch dressing (optional for drizzling or dipping)
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- To make the buffalo chicken: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of butter and the hot sauce together. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the shredded chicken, tossing to coat all of the chicken with the sauce. Keep the pan over low heat while you make the cheese sauce.
- To make the cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Whisk in the flour until no lumps remain and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually stir in all of the Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses and half of the gorgonzola/blue cheese until all of the cheese has melted.
- To assemble nachos and bake: Spread half of the tortilla chips out on a large baking sheet pan. Spoon half of the sauce over the tortilla chips and then half of the chicken. Repeat with a second layer of chips and the rest of the sauce and chicken. Dollop the remaining gorgonzola/blue cheese over the nachos.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until everything is bubbly and hot. After baking, toss on some avocado, chopped chives or scallions, and sprinkle on extra hot sauce, if desired.
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