This healthy spin on Irish Nachos with baked potato chips, bacon, melted cheese, and all the tasty toppings is a great appetizer or main course. It’s quick and easy to make, always a crowd-pleaser, and no one will ever guess these are lightened up.
While I love a good plate of nachos, like these incredible chicken nachos, sometimes it is fun to mix things up and take things in a different direction. So when I want nachos, but am craving something different, I almost always make these Baked Irish Nachos. They are a bit of a mash-up of traditional nachos and potato skins. Plus they have bacon because everything is better with bacon!
The other thing I love about these Irish Nachos is that they are easy to lighten up. This version starts with some crispy baked potato chips that are just as delicious as the traditionally deep-fried chips. Then they are topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, and diced avocado.
This dish is packed with veggies but no one would ever guess it’s good for you. In fact, my kids request these potato nachos weekly. When everyone is really hungry, we throw on a dollop of refried beans or some grilled chicken as well.
What are Irish Pub Style Nachos?
The main difference between pub-style Irish Nachos and traditional nachos is the use of potatoes instead of tortilla chips. Additionally, the Irish version usually has bacon, which isn’t traditionally used in nachos.
How to Make Baked Irish Nachos
These nachos are easy to make, but there is one important step that will guarantee crispy potato chips every single time. Once you master that, you can make these with any combination of toppings you like.
- Start by using a sharp knife or mandolin to slice the potatoes really thin, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Don’t skip this step! Add the sliced potatoes to an ice bath for 30 minutes. This crucial step helps to pull some of the starch out of the potato and is the key to crispy potatoes whether you are making chips or fries.
- While the potatoes soak, get the other ingredients ready. Cook the bacon until it’s crispy (I use turkey bacon to keep it lighter, but you can use any variety). Chop all your veggies.
- Dry the potato slices well by patting them with a towel or paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Spray them with cooking spray (or toss with oil) and season. Then bake them until nice and crispy, about 20 minutes.
- Now it’s time for all the toppings! Add the bell peppers, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese in layers. Place everything in the oven until the cheese melts.
- Then add the fresh toppings!
What are the best toppings for Irish Nachos?
The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to potato nachos. Traditionally they always have bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. After that, you can add pretty much anything! Here are some of our favorites:
- Vegetables: Bell peppers, sauteed onions, tomatoes, fresh or pickled jalapenos, and green onions
- Cheese: Go traditional with cheddar cheese or switch it up with Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or even some pepper jack.
- Spice: If you like things spicy, add some jalapenos or grab some spicy homemade salsa or pico de gallo
- Protein: While bacon is traditionally used, you could also add some carnitas, grilled chicken, black beans, steak taco meat, or pinto beans.
- Fun additions: Finish the dish with some sour cream or Greek yogurt, pico de gallo, olives, and cilantro.
How to reheat leftovers
If you are lucky enough to have some leftover nachos, they are best reheated in the oven. If you are planning on leftovers, pack them without sour cream, avocado, or salsa so they don’t get soggy.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook them for 15-2o minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted.
- Add fresh toppings like avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.
More Fun Appetizers to Try
Baked Irish Nachos
- 1 pound Russet potatoes
- coarse salt to taste
- cooking spray
- 5 slices turkey bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large tomato diced
- 4 mini bell peppers sliced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 2 green onions sliced
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scrub potatoes to clean debris off skins (or peel). Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice potatoes into 1⁄8”-1⁄4” thick slices.
- Place potato slices into a large bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute bacon slices over medium high heat until crisp and evenly cooked through. Use non-stick cooking spray for crisper bacon. Allow the bacon to cool and then chop into small pieces.
- When the potatoes have finished soaking, remove them from the water bath to a clean dishtowel. Pat dry (try to remove as much water as possible from the potato slices).
- Spray parchment paper on the sheet pans with coconut oil cooking spray. Spread the potato slices in a single layer over the parchment paper. Spray the top side of the potatoes with more cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 12 minutes and then flip each potato slice over and bake for another 10-12 minutes. Cook time will vary according to how thick the potato slices are. Look for crispness around the edges and a few speckles of light browning. Larger brown spots will taste bitter, although extra crisp, so be sure to remove potatoes from the oven before they brown too much.
- Layer potato “chips” in an oven-safe skillet or baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of crumbled bacon, cheese, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeno over the layer of potatoes. Continue layering potatoes and toppings until your nachos are formed.
- Return the skillet to the oven and bake for just a few more minutes until the cheese has melted. Top with avocado, green onions, and sour cream. Serve immediately.