Sporked’s Guide to the Best Nachos Fixins

Nachos are like snowflakes—they’re beautiful and no two are alike. The best nachos might be topped with shredded cheese or they might be drenched in a melty cheese sauce. They might involve dairy or they might be totally plant-based. They might have a burst of brine from a scattering of sliced black olives—or if olives make you gag, they might lean on hot sauce or salsa for that tangy burst instead. There’s no right or wrong way to make the best nachos, it just comes down to using the best ingredients. Here at Sporked, we’ve taste tested everything from tortilla chips to black olives to the best cheese for nachos (sauce or shreds—up to you) so you can make these best homemade nachos this side of the Rio Grande. 

Best Tortilla Chips

best tortilla chips
Credit: Liv Averett / Target / Walmart

To make the best nachos, you have to start with the best tortilla chips. 

Best Nacho Cheese

nacho cheese

If you’re looking for the best cheese for nachos, you can’t go wrong with the best nacho cheese, right? 

Best Store-Bought Queso

best queso
Credit: Merc

Queso is typically a dip, but absolutely no one is stopping you from drenching your nachos in one of these decadent, melty, molten cheeses. 

Best Vegan Queso Dip

vegan queso
Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart / Trader Joe’s / Shoprite

Delicious, melty cheese, minus the dairy. Plant-based nachos have never tasted so good.

Best Cheddar Cheese

best cheddar cheese
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde

Grab the grater and top your heap of chips with one of the best cheddar cheeses (we think Cabot Wickedly Habanero would be especially good on ‘chos).

Best Vegan Shredded Cheese

Best Vegan Shredded Cheese
Merc / Instacart / Trader Joe’s

Our number two pick? Plant-based mexican shreds that were made for a big ol’ plate of chips. 

Best Store Bought Salsa

best salsa

You can’t make the best nachos without the best salsa. If you like it red, these are the best salsas you can buy at the grocery store.

Best Salsa Verde

best salsa verde

Or, hey, maybe green salsa is your go-to. Pick a salsa verde that will make your guests green with envy.

Best Refried Beans

best canned refried beans
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon / Target

Dollop some protein onto your plate of nachos. Delicious, delicious protein …

Best Black Beans

best black beans
Credit: Paula Kunatee

Prefer whole beans to the mushed-up kind? These are most fantastic frijoles.

Best Hot Sauce

best hot sauce
Credit: Merc

Bring the heat to your homemade nachos with the best hot sauce.

Best Black Olives

best black olives
Credit: Liv Averett / DeLallo / Instacart / Target / Vons

Olives are optional, but they add a nice punch of salt to any plate of nachos. Live a little! 

Best Sour Cream

best sour cream
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde

Combat the heat of your salsa or hot sauce (that way you can eat more!) with a generous dollop of the best sour cream you can buy.

Best Vegan Sour Cream

best vegan sour cream
Credit: Paula Kunatee / Instacart / Trader Joe’s / Vons

Don’t worry: We have vegan sour cream lovers covered, too. 

About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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