What to Do with Leftover Nachos

Hosting an event and making nachos for everyone, but having too many left over, can be tragic. You put time and effort into making your appetizer and don’t want the leftovers to go to waste. Maybe your first instinct is to throw them away, but there are other options. You can repurpose your nachos and give them a new life to be enjoyed all over again. 

When you don’t want your nachos to go to waste, you have a few options. You can reheat tortilla chips in the oven, or make them into a whole new dish like empanadas. Nachos can also be reheated in a skillet or broiler. Repurposing nachos doesn’t stop at empanadas–they can be fit into a wide variety of meals. 

Reheating Nachos

Whether it’s plain chips you were dipping into sauce, or nachos covered in toppings, they can still be salvaged. The oven is your best bet for soggy nachos, but there are other options as well.

To make the most of reheating nachos, you’ll want to carefully remove any of the toppings that were in your original dish. Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, this can be pretty tricky. If you want them to be almost as fresh as they were originally, you’ll want to scrape the toppings off with a knife. 

Tortilla chips will get soggy if you reheat them with toppings, so if you prefer a more crispy nacho, get as much off as possible. Save all the ingredients in another container, as you’ll probably want to eat them with your reheated nachos.

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Reheating Nachos in the Oven

  1. Remove any cold toppings from the nachos
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius)
  3. Grab a tray and line it with parchment paper, and spread nachos out
  4. Reheat chips for 10 to 15 minutes and place cold toppings back on, eat right away

Reheating Nachos in an Air Fryer

This method will get you quick, crispy reheated nachos. The process is similar to using an oven: remove the cold toppings if there are any. Preheat to 300 degrees but only cook for three to four minutes. Then, replace the toppings you had removed and enjoy!

Using a Microwave to Reheat Nachos

To reheat nachos in a microwave, remove the cold toppings and place a serving or two of your nachos in a dish. Heat the nachos in 30 second increments until the cheese is melted. For a more toasted flavor, add toppings after the first 30 seconds. The good thing about using a microwave is that it heats everything at once.

Repurposing Nachos

Reheating nachos seems like the most obvious and convenient solution, but you can also give them a new life. Americans throw out around 40% of the food we buy. If you’re looking to lower that number, try repurposing an old meal! The most common repurposed nacho meal is empanadas.

Recycled Empanadas

To make recycled empanadas, take your leftover nachos, one can of black beans, one can of tomato sauce and one can of salsa. You’ll also need grated cheese along with sour cream or ricotta cheese.

Lay all the ingredients except tomato sauce and salsa in a greased baking dish. Mix the salsa and tomato sauce then pour over your mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. This recipe makes about four servings.

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Final Thoughts

With the amount of food that goes to waste, you might be looking for ways to cut back down on that. And it can be frustrating when you make food for your guests and not all of it gets to be enjoyed. Thankfully, you can reheat nachos at home in basically any kitchen appliance that involves heat. You can also repurpose them into empanadas.