These air fryer nachos are the perfect choice for a great, quick and easy appetizer that can be made in just 5 minutes! It really doesn't get easier than this to make a quick snack that's also delicious. Read on for detailed tips to make the crispiest, cheesiest air fryer nachos!
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" below!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy, and quick recipe that everyone will love. You just need a couple of ingredients and less than 10 minutes! Hard to beat that!
- Restaurant-quality nachos, and customizable. Making this easy snack at home means you can customize them to your liking.
- Great way to use leftovers. Have some extra cheese? Salsa? Black beans? Throw them in! You don't even need to measure them precisely.
📋 Ingredients and notes
You'll need sturdy corn tortilla chips, canned black beans, shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese, and salsa to make this air fryer nachos recipe. I have topped with lime juice, avocados, green onions, and sour cream, but the best part is that topping options are endless!
Notes and Variations
- Choosing the best tortilla chips: If you want to make your own tortilla chips, you can check out my homemade air fryer tortilla chips and take it up a notch further by using homemade flour tortillas! Or pick up your favorite tortilla chips from the store. You want restaurant-quality crunchy chips with a slightly salty taste. No more soggy nachos!
- Type of cheese: I prefer using sharp Cheddar, but Mexican blends, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack also tend to work great for this recipe! You want something a bit strong, and with great meltability. If possible, grate your cheese yourself - you won't regret it!
- Optional toppings: There are no limits to the toppings you can add to this recipe. I've used black beans and homemade salsa and topped off with some fresh avocados, sour cream, green onions and a quick squeeze of lime juice. But you can also add jalapenos, black olives, pico de gallo shredded cooked meat of your choice (for the non-vegetarians at home) or even top with guacamole.
📖 Step-by-step instructions
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F. Line air fryer basket or tray with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent cheese from dripping down to the bottom of your air fryer basket or tray.
- Spread out tortilla chips on aluminum foil, spacing them out evenly in a single layer / overlapping rows. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need more or less chips! Scale or make in batches as needed.
- Once you layer chips, add salsa, black beans (drained and rinsed), and freshly shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend on top. Be generous! You can also season with taco seasoning or chili powder if you desire.
- Place the air fryer basket or tray back into the air fryer and cook for about 2-5 minutes, until you see melted cheese. Depending on your air fryer, you might need to cook more (I recommend checking in 1 minute intervals!)
- Remove nachos from air fryer, and top with your favorite garnishes - I've used salsa, avocados, green onions, and sour cream as my nacho toppings. But for the ultimate nachos, you can also add jalapenos, green chilies, olives, chili, pico de gallo, pinto beans or other favorite toppings!
Devour crispy chips with gooey cheese and all the good stuff while hot!
Note: Air fryer temperatures will vary depending on the model and the type of air fryer (e.g., basket versus tray) so the exact cooking time will vary depending on those factors as well,
👩🏽🍳Top tips and FAQs
Here are my top four tips for making sure that you get the crispiest, most delicious air fryer nachos:
- Use sturdy, restaurant-quality tortilla chips: You want the chips to be strong enough to hold toppings for crispy nachos!
- Grate or shred your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheese will work just fine, but they often tend to contain potato starch to prevent them from sticking together in the packaging.
- Place nachos in an overlapping layer, and evenly spaced. This will ensure that the cheese and black beans don't drip down the air fryer tray or basket! I suggest at least 2-3 layers of chips.
- Keep an eye out on the nachos! They tend to cook quite fast in an air fryer, so if you forget to watch them, they might burn. I suggest cooking for 5 minutes and then cooking in 1-minute increments depending on the strength of your air fryer.
- Know what to add before and after baking: Toppings like black beans, jalapeno peppers, olives, cheese refried beans and meat will need to be added before baking. Toppings like salsa can be added either before or after. Toppings like avocado, sour cream and guacamole will need to be added after baking.
I suggest lining the air fryer tray with aluminum foil. Or if you're using a basket style air fryer, measure out aluminum foil by pressing down foil against the sides of the basket and leaving 1-2 inches extra so you can grab and lift the basket out. You can also use parchment paper but aluminum foil works better.
Simple! Layer up the nachos on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for ~15 minutes (until cheese melts). Serve with toppings.
Sturdy and crispy tortilla chips (but not too thick) are best for this recipe. You can either use homemade or storebought nachos.
Any sharp, melty cheese will work! I use sharp Cheddar here but Mexican blend, Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack are also great.
Yes! Place nachos in a preheated air fryer at 320F for 2-3 minutes. This will help heat the nachos without burning the cheese
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
You can store leftover nachos in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days in the fridge. When you're ready to eat, top with extra cheese and reheat for 2-3 minutes at 320F in a preheated air fryer or oven. I don't recommend freezing nachos - why would you when you make the best nachos in under 10 minutes?!
Looking for other air fryer recipes? Check out:
Air Fryer Nachos
Base for Air Fryer Nachos
- 3 cups tortilla chips
- 1 can black beans, 14.5 oz, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, substitute with Mexican cheese blend
- 1 cup salsa
- ½ teaspoon lime juice
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F. Line your air fryer basket with aluminum foil to prevent the cheese from dripping down. Even if you have a tray style air fryer, adding aluminum foil still helps!
- Spread out 3 cups of tortilla chips on top of aluminum foil, spacing them out evenly, and overlapping rows to further prevent cheese from dripping in between the chips. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need more or less chips! Scale or make in batches as needed.
- Add 1 cup of salsa, 14.5 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed), and 1 cup of salsa. Then, sprinkle freshly shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend across the top of the nachos. Be generous!
- Place the air fryer basket or tray back into the air fryer and cook for about 2-5 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. Depending on your air fryer, you might need to cook more (I recommend checking in 1 minute intervals!)
- Remove nachos from air fryer, and then top with your favorite garnishes - I've used avocados, green onions, and sour cream with a squeeze of lime juice. But check the post for other toppings! Devour while hot!