Plate of nachos on wooden background

Nachos 101: How to Make the Ultimate Nachos for Game Day

It’s that time of year again, folks — March Madness is here! The tournament brings us all the excitement, nail-biting finishes, and buzzer-beaters we could ever ask for. And what better way to enjoy the madness than with a spread of delicious snacks?

As we gear up for the games, it’s important to have a game day spread that’ll keep you fueled up and ready to cheer on your favorite team. Here are some ideas for March Madness game day snacks that are sure to be a slam dunk.

Ultimate Game Day Nachos

Let’s talk about nachos. Nachos are the ultimate game day snack — they’re cheesy, crunchy, and customizable to your heart’s desire. Here’s a recipe for the ultimate nachos that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance.

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring cups


Individual bottle of peach ghost pepper hot sauce from Texas Pepper Jelly

  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Bottle of Texas Pepper Jelly Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Layer the tortilla chips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle the black beans, corn, jalapeño, red onion, and tomato over the tortilla chips.
  • Cover everything with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Top with sour cream and the chopped cilantro.

For those brave enough, top with a bit of TPJ’s Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce. Warning: our Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce is not for the faint of heart!

Ultimate Nachos Topping Options

Looking for some other topping ideas for your nachos? There are plenty of delicious toppings you can add to make them the ultimate. Here are several ideas:

  • Bacon: Everything’s better with bacon, right? Cook up some crispy bacon and crumble it over your nachos. It’ll add a salty, smoky flavor and a satisfying crunch.
  • Ground beef: For a heartier option, cook up some seasoned ground beef and layer it on top of your nachos. It’s a classic addition that’ll make your nachos more filling and satisfying.
  • Guacamole: No nacho plate is complete without a scoop of guacamole. It adds a creamy texture and a delicious flavor that pairs perfectly with the cheese and chips.
  • Lettuce: If you’re looking for a way to add some greens to your game day spread, throw some shredded lettuce on top of your nachos. It’ll add a refreshing crunch and balance out the richness of the cheese and meat.
  • Shredded Pork or Chicken: Shredded meat, whether it’s pork or chicken, is a popular and tasty topping for nachos. You can cook the meat with your favorite seasoning, shred it, and then add it to your nachos.
  • Pico de Gallo: Pico de gallo is a fresh and flavorful topping that’s perfect for nachos. It’s a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos that adds a burst of freshness to your nachos.
  • Queso: Queso is a creamy, cheese-based sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over your nachos. You can either make it from scratch or use a store-bought queso dip.
  • Refried Beans: While our recipe calls for black beans, refried beans are a classic nacho topping as well that adds a creamy, savory flavor to your nachos. Use canned refried beans or make your own from scratch.
  • Green, yellow, and red sweet peppers: Simply slice the peppers into thin strips and scatter them over your nachos. The peppers will add a sweet, slightly tangy flavor and a crunchy texture that will complement the other toppings perfectly.
  • Steak: Use leftover grilled or cooked steak that you have on hand, or you can cook up some steak specifically for your nachos. Steak can add a rich, savory flavor and hearty texture.
  • Black or green olives: Olives are a great addition to nachos because they add a briny, salty flavor and a chewy texture that pairs well with the other toppings. Be sure to drain the olives before adding, so they don’t turn your ultimate nachos into a soggy mess.

Other Game Day Snack Ideas

Now that we’ve got the nachos covered, let’s talk about some other game day snacks. You can’t go wrong with a classic plate of wings – whether you like them hot and spicy or sweet and sticky, they’re always a crowd-pleaser. And if you’re looking for a healthier option, you can’t go wrong with a veggie tray. Throw together some carrots, celery, bell peppers, and hummus or TPJ’s Rib Candy for dipping, and you’re good to go.

No matter what snacks you choose to make, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the madness. It’s time to gather your friends and family, turn on the TV, and get ready for some thrilling basketball action. And don’t forget the nachos — they’re a game day must-have!

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