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Wondering how to make nachos on a grill? These grillable loaded nachos take summer grilling to a new level!

Loaded Grilled Nachos
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These Loaded Grilled Nachos were created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own. 

Guess what? We made a cooking show for you! It’s called the Summer Barbecue Series and it stars Alex and me with our friend author Tessa from Handle the Heat. Alex, Tessa and I have been working hard to create six brand new summer recipes. These Grilled Loaded Nachos are the first up in our series and man, are they good. When Alex made them for me the first time, I was stunned at how flavorful they were. They’re a fun spin on our classic sheet pan nachos for summer, infused with an irresistible smoky flavor!

Watch: how to make nachos on a grill

The Summer Barbecue Series is a 6-episode cooking show we dreamed up with our friend Tessa. Tessa runs Handle the Heat baking blog and she adds a sprinkling of science to her approach. She’s got a fabulous YouTube channel and book. We met in Detroit, hit it off, and dreamed up a collab to get us in front of the camera. We were so excited to bring on Kroger as our partner and create 6 new summer barbecue recipes with ingredients you can find at their stores.

grilled loaded nachos

Why grilled nachos?

Grilled nachos are a perfect grilled dinner idea to wow a crowd for summer entertaining! Making nachos on the grill brings a smoky, charred flavor to the nachos and they look stunning in a cast iron skillet. They’re a fun summer recipe to share with guests on the patio. You can eat them as a main dish with a side salad, or as an appetizer for a summer happy hour.

Our grilled loaded nachos feature our best nacho toppings to make them out-of-this-world good. In this recipe, we featured two star ingredients from Kroger (and got everything else there too!): Mission tortilla chips and Private Selection salsa.

How to make nachos on a grill?

The basic concept of how to make nachos on a grill is to place the nachos in a cast iron skillet, cover it with foil, and grill it for a few minutes to melt the cheese. But Alex and I wanted to amp up the grilled flavor in these loaded nachos. So in this recipe, we’ve used the grill not once but twice: once to grill the veggie toppings, and then again to melt the cheese.

Grilling the vegetables for the nacho toppings amps up the smoky, grilled flavor so it’s there in every bite! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, it’s not necessary for this recipe. You can use any grill proof pan for the recipe, including an aluminum sheet pan.

Loaded Grilled Nachos

What are the best loaded nachos toppings?

What are the very best nachos toppings to make loaded nachos? For this recipe, we used these nachos toppings:

  • Quick “refried” beans: We smashed pinto beans with salsa and stirred in some garlic powder and salt for a quick topping that tastes like refried beans. You also could use canned refried beans or Homemade Refried Beans.
  • Grilled vegetables: We used the grill twice in this recipe, first to grill up vegetable toppings for the grilled nachos to infuse that smoky flavor. This recipe has red bell pepper,  jalapeño peppers, and red onion, but you could use any vegetables you like.
  • Cheese: Cheese is a must for nacho toppings! We found it’s best to place the cheese on top of the beans layer so that it stays gooey, instead of right onto the chips which makes it harden. For vegan or plant based, you can omit.
  • Guac: Another favorite vegetarian nacho topping of ours is guacamole: it adds a super savory, creamy deliciousness to each bite!
  • Cilantro: Cilantro makes for stunning confetti and adds a fresh undertone as vegetarian nacho toppings!
  • Other: To add a zing. try our Pickled Jalapeños or Pickled Onions.

To us, these are the best nacho toppings: but what are we missing? What are your favorite nacho toppings? Tell us in the comments below.

Also try our Spicy Chipotle Sauce and Vegan Nacho Cheese!

This loaded nachos recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant based, and dairy free, use Vegan Sour Cream and omit the cheese.

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Loaded Grilled Nachos | A Couple Cooks

Grillable Loaded Nachos

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 main dish servings, 8 appetizer servings 1x
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Wondering how to make nachos on a grill? These Loaded Grilled Nachos take summer grilling to a new level with the best vegetarian nacho toppings!




  1. Heat a grill to medium heat.
  2. Prep the veggies: Cut the bell pepper in half, top-to-bottom, and remove seeds and pith. Cut the stem off the jalapeños and use a paring knife to carefully remove seeds, leaving peppers whole. Cut the onion into quarters top-to-bottom, leaving the bottom root attached the pieces stay together on the grill. Place the peppers and onion into a bowl, then drizzle them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  3. Grill the veggies: Place the peppers and onion directly onto the grate and grill for 6 to 10 minutes until charred and slightly tender, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and use for topping the nachos (below).
  4. Make the beans: Drain the pinto beans and add them to a small bowl with the salsa, olive oil, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Mash with a fork until all beans are mashed and the texture is similar to chunky refried beans.
  5. Assemble and grill the nachos: Place the tortilla chips into a medium cast-iron skillet or grillable pan. Top the chips with the beans, then cheese, and then the grilled veggies. Place the skillet on the grill until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Load the nachos: Chop the cilantro. Top the finished nachos with sliced green onions, sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro.


If you don’t have a grill, you can make these loaded nachos under the broiler as well. The timing and preparation will be the exact same.

  • Category: Main Dish, Appetizer, Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Looking for more summer barbecue recipes?

Outside of these loaded grilled nachos, here are other summer barbecue recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. STEPHANIE says:

    I don’t have access to a grill, so I pan fried the vegetables and cooked it all using a cast iron skillet in the oven. These were fantastic!!

  2. Mary says:

    This is very yummy recipe

  3. Elizabeth Stark says:

    This is brilliant! I’ve never thought to put my nachos on the grill – what a great way to enhance flavor. I’m in love!

  4. Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen says:

    I’ve never thought to put nachos on the grill but now that we’re spending so many weekends outside, I’m going to do this for sure!

  5. Carissa Nelson | Spoonful of Easy says:

    Hi Sonja and Alex,
    Good call on using cast iron for the grill — I wouldn’t have thought of that! And those Mission chips looks great. I’ve tried the regular ones, but will be on the lookout for the thin and crispy for sure! Can’t wait to try!

    1. Sonja says:

      YES those thin and crispy ones are SO good, and pretty “natural” on the ingredients side too! Thank you so much!

  6. Alanna Taylor-Tobin says:

    What a fun series – congratulations you two!! I’m totally swooning over these nachos – making them on the grill is pure genius.

  7. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says:

    I love the idea of using the grill for a cast iron skillet! I’ve never tried that before, but I’m all about cooking outside as much as possible in the hot summer months!

  8. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Thanks for the loaded nachos recipe! I’m sure the grilling would add so much flavor. And thanks for the chance to win the Kroger card!

  9. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Hi, your loaded nachos sound so good! I love them loaded, and grilling the veggies and then the entire skillet would add so much more flavor! Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win the $100 gift card from Kroger!