The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos

The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos

Nothing says Cinco de Mayo quite like a large baking dish filled to the brim with layer after layer of crispy chips, gooey cheese and all the classic nacho toppings. The only way to up this crowd-friendly feast is to add tender pieces of chipotle- and lime-marinated pork, turning a classic appetizer into the main event. Consider it done—and in 30 minutes nonetheless.

Pork tenderloin has been my protein of choice lately (See: The Tour de Tenderloin), and I find I’m turning to the lean meat time and time again not only because of its versatility, but also for its ease of preparation. Add chopped chipotles and tangy citrus to the mix and all you’re missing is a chilled, salt-rimmed margarita to host the ultimate fiesta for your taste buds. Or even better yet, a batch of Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops.

Chopped chipotles

Roasted chipotle pork

The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos

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The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 25 min


1 (1- to 1½-pound) pork tenderloin (See Kelly's Notes)
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 chipotles in adobo, or more to taste, chopped
6 ounces (or about half of 1 large bag) tortilla chips
1½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or a mix)
3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup sliced black olives
3/4 cup store-bought or homemade guacamole
3/4 cup store-bought or homemade salsa
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped scallions, green parts only


Whisk together the lime juice, garlic, cumin, vegetable oil and chopped chipotles with ½ teaspoon salt. Rub the marinade all over the pork tenderloin and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 475ºF.

Roast the tenderloin on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the tenderloin registers a minimum of 145ºF for medium-rare.

Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces. Reduce oven to 400ºF.

Assemble the nachos by layering chips with cheese, black beans, olives and cubes of tenderloin in an oven-safe 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Bake nachos for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.

Remove nachos from oven and top with guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

Kelly's Notes:

There are two secrets to moist pork tenderloin: don't overcook it and always remove the silverskin prior to roasting. Trim all silverskin (the shiny, fibrous skin) using a sharp knife and long, gliding strokes, avoiding cutting off any of the actual muscle.


16 Responses to “The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos”

  1. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — May 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    These look delicious! Hope you’re well!

  2. #
    Bev Weidner — May 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I’ll take 45 plates!

  3. #
    Julia` — May 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Naaaachoooooos, I love naaaaachos!!!!! Duh, I always forgetting about making them in a huge baking dish… must remember that next time.

  4. #
    Kamran Siddiqi — May 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    We’ve not had nachos in the longest! I think it’s time to change that! These look utterly, utterly delicious, Kelly! :)

  5. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — May 3, 2012 at 1:41 am

    My hubby and I LOVE nachos! I have tried them before and the chips turned out all soggy on the bottom. I must try your method!

  6. #
    Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray) — May 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

    These look amazing! Love that you used a tenderloin.

  7. #
    LP @dishclips — May 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    If I had these nachos in front of me, I would probably devour it all by myself. Looks great!

  8. #
    Tessa — May 7, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I could dive into these. Yum!

  9. #
    CookInDineOut — May 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I want this right now (and I just ate dinner). Looks great. I like the use of pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder.

  10. #
    Jeff — May 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Why on earth have I never had pork on nachos before? It looks delicious! These nachos look so delicious, I could eat a whole plate! The guacamole looks amazing!

  11. #
    Shut Up & Cook — May 9, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Really is there anything so good as nachos? I think not!

    Great blog, by the way.

    Saw that you’ll be attending the BlogHer Food conference this year. It’s my first time going…have you been before? Looking forward to it!

  12. #
    Denise Burke — February 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I made these the day after the big game. OMG.
    This is the best marinate I have EVER EVER made. My honey was skeptical, but the meat won him over. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. THANK YOU so much.


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