Ultimate Easy Cheesy Loaded air fryer nachos are the best easy and quick snack food! Making these air fryer baked nachos is not only easy, but they’re also perfect for a party, an easy dinner, or a midnight or midday snack! And, of course, these ultimate loaded 15-minute nachos are perfect for game day, movie night and parties.
We’re talking the best easy snack: Tortilla chips topped with heaps of melted cheese and all your favorite toppings that need just a few minutes in the air fryer (and no preheating required). Quick, budget-friendly, and soooo over-the-top delicious. For a lighter low-calorie and just as tasty loaded nachos version, top with my lightened-up cheese sauce that has just a tiny touch of garlic deliciousness and any cheese you want in the whole wide world – including melty vegan mozzarella cheese. This is a crowd-pleaser loaded nachos recipe made in minutes in the air fryer.
I adore nachos loaded with cheesy toppings, lots of chopped veggies, and fresh herbs…it’s decadent, rich, and lick-your-fingers good. But making my favorite loaded nachos in my trusty air fryer has been a game changer. It’s so quick, so easy, and means I can toss together a mouthwatering snack in less than 15 minutes. Unexpected guests? No problem! My air fryer nachos will save the day. Midday snack cravings? Loaded air fryer nachos to the rescue!
Why you’re going to adore this easy make in 15 minutes loaded air fryer nachos recipe
- Quick and easy to make
- Cuts way down on prep time, cooking time, and cleaning. No pre-heat oven is required. Just layer the nachos in the air fryer, bake, and serve.
- A crowd-pleaser nachos recipe
- Versatile, add your favorite toppings, and use any kind of cheese.
- Great for parties, game nights, get-togethers, and any type of snack situation
- Amazing vegan snack – a fan favorite snack that everyone will enjoy
In this easy loaded air fryer nachos recipe post
- Tips and tricks for making air fryer nachos
- Ingredients in air fryer nachos
- Air fryer nachos toppings
- Easy way to Make the best-loaded air fryer nachos in minutes
- How to make the best vegan air fryer nachos low calorie cheese sauce
Tips and tricks for making air fryer nachos
The best chips – Choose chips that are a little thicker and restaurant-style quality for best results. Chips that are firm enough to hold up under layers and will hold together when you pull apart the nachos. Thicker chips generally work better than thinner-style taco chips. You can also use homemade tortilla chips to make these crispy nachos.
Layering – Layer up to 3 layers of chips with lots of cheese.
Overlapping – Overlapping the taco chips keeps the cheese from dripping through the tray…and keeps all that cheesy goodness clinging to the chips ready to be scooped up. The best part is it keeps all the delicious nachos loaded with melty cheese and it also cuts down on any cleaning.
Baking tray – line the bottom of the air fryer basket with baking paper or use an air fryer silicone tray to catch all the oily richness and toppings.
Low-cal sauce tip – Tip: The low carb nacho cheese sauce will congeal as it sits and rests, so it’s best to use it right away after you whisk in the cheese, or alternatively you can whisk in extra liquid as needed.
Simple Ingredients in air fryer nachos
Nachos – choose a thicker type of tortilla chips for the best nachos. Chips that are firm enough to hold up under layers and will hold together when you pull apart the nachos. Thicker restaurant style chips generally work better than thinner-style taco chips. You can easily use black bean taco chips, sweet potato chips, or even rice chips for a lighter more low-calorie gluten-free snack.
Cheese – you can use any type of cheese that has a good melting quality. The best cheese for regular non-vegan cheese, you can use shredded Monterey Jack, mexican cheese, cheddar cheese, Parmesan, or mozzarella cheese. Vegan options: for vegan cheese, I recommend using your favorite non-dairy cheeses as toppings. This could be vegan mozzarella cheese, vegan cashew cheese, and most importantly, vegan gorgonzola cheese. Add a little nutritional yeast for extra cheese flavor.
Vegetables – Black Olives, green onions, tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapeño peppers are perfect for classic nachos (but add or leave off whatever you want).
Beans – beans make the tasty, meaty plant based protein in these loaded nachos. Use any type of beans like pinto beans, black beans, red beans, or refried beans as a topping. You will love how they heat up and become ever so slightly crispy on the outside.
Herbs and Spices – fresh cilantro and a little hint of smoked paprika bring so much fragrant flavor to the nachos. If you need your can leave out the paprika and replace the cilantro with fresh basil or your favorite fresh herbs.
Air fryer nachos topping ideas for luxe out-of-this-world loaded vegan air fryer nachos with ALL the toppings:
Avocado – of course, a truly rich and decadent nachos topping needs avocado in it. Slice it, dice it, or serve your avocado as guacamole. Just get It in there.
Red onions – finely chopped red onion adds a zingy spicy taste to the recipe.
Sriracha or chili sauce – if you’re looking for extra spice on your nachos you can add a drizzle of sriracha sauce or a teaspoon of chili sauce to the homemade enchilada sauce.
Chopped salad – crispy, fresh chopped salad is amazing with nachos.
Black beans – want more plant-based protein? If yes, then add a can of rinsed and drained black beans to the topping and enjoy the tender, meaty texture. You can thank me later.
Make the best-loaded air fryer nachos in minutes
There are two ways to go about making air fryer nachos. One is the dump-everything-in-the-air-fryer method and the other is the neatly arranged way. Depending on my mood I’ll pick whichever suits me best that day.
Easy way to make neatly arranged loaded nachos that will impress guests
Place the tortilla chips in a single layer in the air fryer basket, overlapping the chips so there are no gaps between them.
Top the chips with half of the cheese and half of the chopped onions.
Layer the remaining chips on top and load up the chips with the rest of the cheese and all the toppings.
Place in the air fryer and bake at the highest temperature for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the nachos are golden brown.
Remove from the basket and assemble.
How to make the best vegan air fryer nachos the haphazard way
Use parchment paper to line the air fryer bowl.
Pour all the tortilla chips into the air fryer bowl. Top with half of the shredded cheese and half of the chopped onions and toss a few times to combine. Top with the rest of the cheese and all the toppings.
Place in the air fryer and bake at the highest temperature for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Remove from the basket and assemble.
Making the best low-calorie vegan Cheese sauce
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk and heat until simmering. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup milk with the flour; add to the saucepan and stir until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and the cheese until melted.
Assembling the vegetarian nachos for serving
Drizzle the cheese sauce over the nachos and top with cilantro, your choice of extra toppings, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Serve and enjoy
What sauces and dips to serve with loaded easy air fryer nachos – Great options for the whole family
Mmm, there are so many tasty sauce and dip options to choose from. From cheese dips to salsa, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Still, here are my top 5 best nachos dips:
Guacamole – is my all-time favorite. Creamy, silky, and oh-so-delicious guacamole will always be my number 1 dip
My super easy homemade vegan cheese sauce – you can’t go wrong with this ultra-luxe, creamy, and cheesy nachos sauce dip.
Salsa – chopped tomatoes, chopped red onions, fresh herbs, lime, salt, and pepper. You just can’t go wrong with a simple salsa and nachos combo
Sour cream dip – a simple, creamy, and tasty dip. I like to use vegan sour cream. All you need is sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper and you’ve got a super tasty nachos dip. Yum
This simple low-calorie vegan Cheese dip (vegan, or regular) included in the recipe below. Yum!
FAQS – all your air fryer tortilla chips questions answered
It depends on what you’re personal preference is. But here are the top 5 best tortilla chips for making nachos:
Overall best for making nachos:
– Calidad Tortilla Chips
– Late July Organic Sea Salt Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips
– Xochitl Salted Corn Tortilla Chips
– Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips
– Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla chips
Yes, these easy vegetarian and vegan nachos are a great option because they make the perfect appetizer recipe. Top with all your favorite traditional nachos toppings or use my favorite toppings from this recipe.
Yes. Or should I say, usually? It all depends on the toppings you use. This easy vegan nachos recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. It’s basically a food intolerance-safe recipe you will be making on repeat.
Note: always check the tacos chips ingredients list to make sure they are gluten-free.
Tortilla chips are a crunchy, salty, and delicious snack that will satisfy all your savory cravings. It’s not the healthiest option, though. But it’s all worth the extra calories. For a healthier alternative to tortilla chips, you can use root vegetable chips or sweet potato chips.
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Ultimate Easy Cheesy Loaded Air Fryer Nachos
- 1 Air Fryer
- 3 cups(90 g) Tortilla Chips
- 2 cups (220 g) Shredded Vegan Cheese any good melting cheese will work
- 2-3 medium Tomatoes chopped
- ½ cup (86 g) Black Beans rinsed and drained
- 2 Spring Onions or green onions, chopped
- 1 handful Fresh Cilantro or Fresh Basil chopped
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
Ingredients for making lighter low-calorie vegan cheese sauce
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1½ cup Plant Milk your favorite (I use almond milk)
- 2 tbsp Tapioka Starch or regular flour
- ¼ tsp Salt more to taste
- ½ cup Vegan Shredded Cheese cheese of your choice, I use Violife vegan mozzarella shreds
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Pour all the tortilla chips into the air fryer bowl. Top with half of the shredded cheese and half of the chopped onions and toss a few times to combine. Top with the rest of the cheese and all the toppings.
- Place in the air fryer and bake at the highest temperature for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.Remove from the basket and assemble.
Making the low-calorie Cheese sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk and heat until simmering.
- Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup milk with the flour; add to the saucepan and stir until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and the cheese until melted.
Assembling the nachos for serving
- Drizzle the cheese sauce over the nachos and top with cilantro, your choice of extra toppings, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Serve and enjoy