Loaded Tandoori Chicken Nachos
Homemade tandoori chicken nachos loaded with all your nacho favorites! These nachos are decked out with chopped chicken, lots of pico de gallo, mango salsa, and homemade cheese sauce! Trust me, you’re never going to want boring old nachos and cheese ever again!
Are you ready for the big game? Or err.. the big game day spread, I mean. Well this chicken nachos platter loaded with chopped tandoori chicken and homemade cheese sauce + tons of pico and mango salsa is here to make your big football weekend just a little better. And, for the record, we’re not using any of that fake Valveeta in this here nacho platter. Nope, it’s all real food going down.
It’s that time of the year when the little block of Valveeta in the back of your refrigerator and the tortilla chips in your cupboard start whispering your name. The biggest moment in football for the year is right around the corner — you know the day when men run around after a ball in tight tights and people assemble to watch them but really it’s all just a big ploy to load up on tons of crispy-crunchy-heartburn giving food like chili and nachos.
And don’t think for a second that i’m judging because I am not.
I can’t tell you how many years the two of us have sat around and watched the big game sharing a plate of tandoori chicken nachos. And by watching the game I mean, the tv was on in the background while one of us watched and the other (points to self) made it her life’s mission to polish of the plate of nachos in front of her. See, I really can’t judge and I urge you not to either.
And while i’m over here confessing about my nacho eating habits, i’m known to make a meal out of these things. Throwing pretty much everything that could taste good together in a big bowl and drizzling this homemade cheese sauce that’s so good you could probably eat it straight from the saucepan with a bag of tortilla chips and a nice cold Mexican cola. And as long as there is a hint of chicken or beef, Anees luckily won’t complain either because in this crazy world, I found the only person who probably loves nachos just as much as I do.
Call him my nacho soulmate.
So so much I love about these chicken nachos right here. Like the fact that I made my own homemade Valveeta that tastes soo good it would make the stuff from the grocery store green with envy. And the fact that my cheese sauce doesn’t taste like the local salt lick — the way the abnormally yellow cheese from a pump does. You know, the kind you get at the movies or when you go to a baseball game. <— Not judging if you like these kind of nachos because as salty as they are those plastic trays of golden goodness are addicting!
But what makes these nachos extra special is the bite size pieces of tandoori chicken I grilled up (okay, so I made it in a cast iron skillet this time!) and tossed together to make the worlds most delicious plate of nachos.
And just for good measure, I drizzled on some sweet and tangy tamarind sauce — the stuff you get at indian restaurants that you dip your naan into and pretend to fit in with everyone else but really you can’t figure out what’s in that brown sauce and why the heck does it taste so good with this chicken?
But what i’ve been trying to say this entire time is that SPICY TANDOORI CHICKEN NACHOS are my heart! They’re easy to make, the chicken can be marinated up to 36 hours in advance so there’s less prep work required on game day. And the tamarind sauce can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator. But really it lasts in the freezer for up to 4 months so you could’ve technically made it back in November of last year.
Also, I’m admitting that I bought my pico de gallo and mango salsa. Yes, even food bloggers have their moments when they call upon the grocery store gods to help a sister out.
But my POINT is that these tandoori chicken nachos are the perfect addition to your game day spread. You can lay everything out in the form of a nacho bar where you grill up 4-5x the amount of chicken I did and make about 2-3 x the batch of the cheese sauce because let’s face it, we ALL eat nachos for the cheese sauce. And put out all your favorite toppings like pickled jalapeños, lots of chopped cilantro, and that tamarind sauce.
And just like that, you’re host of the year with that amazing tandoori chicken nacho bar.
- 5 tablespoons yogurt (don’t use greek yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon tandoori masala (if using sauce, use 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon each: ginger paste and garlic paste
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 5 dates
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon each: cumin powder and chili powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded pepper jack or Monterrey jack cheese
- Chutney: Soak the dates in a bowl with 6 tablespoons of hot water and allow to soften, about 20 minutes. When the dates have softened, transfer the dates and the water they were soaked in to a blender. Add the tamarind concentrate, sugar, cumin, chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Blend the chutney until smooth. I don’t like the grittiness of dates so I ran the sauce through a sieve so that it’s smooth. This is entirely up to you.
- Chicken: Place the yogurt in a medium bowl, and using a whisk, whisk the yogurt until completely smooth. Add the tandoori masala, ginger, and garlic paste, stir to combine. Add the chicken, using a spoon, cover the chicken in the yogurt sauce completely. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 36 hours in the refrigerator. Heat an outdoor grill to 400ºF or you can heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Spray the surface with cooking spray and add the chicken and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove to a cutting board. Allow the chicken to cool completely before dicing.
- Cheese Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk. Let the flour cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk until smooth. You don’t want any lumps. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Allow the cheese to melt completely.
- Assemble: Top the tortilla chips with the desired amount of diced chicken, add your favorite toppings, and drizzle with the tamarind chutney and cheese sauce. Serve immediately.
- The chutney can be prepared up to a week in advance and kept refrigerated in an air tight container. Leftover chutney can be kept frozen in a zip top bag or a plastic container for up to 4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator a day or two before using, stir well before serving.
- I suggest marinating the chicken at least 6-8 hours in advance for optimum flavor. If I know i’m going to be making these nachos, I usually marinate the chicken 36 hours in advance.
IS THIS A GOOD CHOICE FOR YOU?
*Please note: the nutritional facts calculated are an estimate based on the ingredients i’ve used. If you’d like a more accurate count, please calculate them using the ingredients/brands you’ve used to prepare the recipe. The nutritional facts for these tandoori chicken nachos are based on 8 servings WITHOUT the tortilla chips and toppings as this really depends on the kind of toppings and tortillas you choose!*