These Award-Winning Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos are the perfect way to use up leftover brisket! Easy to make and crowd friendly, these are sure to become your new favorite appetizer!
For the perfect Brisket recipe, click here
Update: This recipe was the grand prize winning recipe in the original Traeger Grills Meat Madness Competition in 2015. It’s that good!
This recipe for Smoked Brisket Nachos originally came about on a fluke. We had a freak snowstorm (yes, it’s a freak incident when it happens in Portland), leaving us unable to leave our house for days. One of these years the city will invest in a snow plow so the streets can be drivable with a couple measly inches of snow.
Having lived in our fair share of blizzards and storms, we knew to just stay put and ride it out and just eat all the things.
Unable to go to the store, we came up with this recipe using only what we had in the fridge and pantry. We originally called it our pantry purge nachos. And thank the lords that we had just smoked a brisket, because we had plenty to use as a base for these incredible and irresistible brisket nachos!
Smoked Brisket Nachos- A great way to use leftover smoked brisket
These nachos are more than simply chips with layers of cheese and meat.
Oh yes, my friends. These are no wimpy nachos!
We use leftover brisket to make a thick, rich, concentrated chili, and use that chili to make spicy, cheesy, and indulgent nachos.
To be clear, we didn’t make this brisket chili. This is more rich and concentrated. Something perfect to pour over thick corn chips and then top with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, more spicy jalapeños, guacamole and sour cream. Incidentally, this is the kind of chili that would be awesome to pour over a hot dog (if you’re into that sort of thing!).
The chili is everything — Thick, rich, spicy, and full of intense flavor.
Though the original recipe was a pantry purge, we decided it was good enough to write down, and make over and over and…! Basically, this is a recipe that needed to be shared with the world. And incidentally it was good enough to win the grand prize in the Traeger Meat Madness Recipe competition.
Chili is the secret to the Best Brisket Nachos
The key to the over the top indulgence level of these nachos is the intoxicatingly delicious chili. To make the chili:
- Heat up 1-tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron pot (or saucepan) and add chopped onions. Cook until soft, then add chopped leftover brisket and chopped jalapeño. Let that warm up.
- Add beer and let it come to a simmer (about 1-2 minutes to let the alcohol reduce).
- Then add coffee, tomato sauce, tomato paste, pinto beans, green chilies, and all the spices, and mix well.
- Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the chili thickens, and the flavors are well combined and you’re happy with the flavor. Adjust seasonings to your preference. This is all about finding a richness and flavor you like!
Once you have the chili, use it to layer your brisket nachos.
You can assemble your nachos on a sheet pan and heat up in the oven, or layer it in a cast iron skillet and heat it up directly on the grill or in the oven.
You and your friends are going to go crazy for these nachos!
You’d think on a cold snow day, cooped up inside, with the fire roaring, I’d be drinking a hearty red wine. Nope. I drank rosé.
A cold, crisp, rosé.
These Brisket Nachos have a combination of spicy, smoky, meaty as well as all the fresh toppings. Serving it with a dry red wine would have accentuated the heat and it would have made for a very unpleasant experience.
I prefer something refreshing, and cooling. Something to cleanse and refresh my palate, yet have enough flavor and umph to stand up to the flavors of the spicy chili with smoky brisket and salty corn chips.
Rosé is refreshing with bright red berry aromas and flavors. I recommend one with just a touch (smallllll touch) of sweetness, helping to offset the heat from the chili. The bold flavors and cooling effect were exactly what I was looking for. I tend to go with Rosado from Spain, ideally made from Garnacha grapes. You want one with big fruit flavors to stand up to this dish (stay away from the lighter Provençal style rosé for this).
Or you could just be like hubby and opt for a cold PBR.
More recipes with leftover brisket
- Smoked Brisket Bruschetta
- Smoked Brisket Pizza
- Smoked Brisket Enchiladas
- Smoked Brisket Chili
- Smoked Brisket Tacos
- Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Smoked Brisket Empanadas
Brisket Nachos Recipe (using leftover Smoked Brisket)
*This post was originally published in February of 2014, and updated in March 2020 with new photos and updated information (the delicious recipe remained exactly the same!).
If you like this recipe for Brisket Nachos we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.
Kelly Leszczewski says
These Nachos are the bestv nachos I’ve ever had in my life. I tried brisket for the first time this weekend and was blown away
Susie Weinrich says
Can’t wait to try this recipe, That chili that goes over the nachos sounds SO good!
My husband smoked a brisket 2 weeks ago, so I froze some leftovers and went in search of some recipes that use smoked brisket. It’s a little tricky, with that applewood smoke flavor, to find recipes where the smoked flavor won’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. I made the chili according to your directions, except I subbed 2 cayenne peppers from the garden for the jalapeno. We had already dried all the jalapenos. For beer, I used Bud Light Platinum (leftover from a party, we don’t drink it). The chili was rich and almost decadent. The ensuing nachos were fantastic. Definitely will make again. I paired it with my go-to Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon. Even though the chili was a little spicy, I think I’ve killed half my heat sensors with spicy hot food 🙂 I also made your chipotle garlic salsa. (How else to use the rest of the can of chipotles??) I found it to be a little too reminiscent of the tomato paste, so next time would use 1/2 can. Otherwise really good, kind of addicting, and it’s a good thing I work from home tomorrow, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to have garlic breath for days!
I’m so glad you made the chili! It’s definitely a winner in my book. And those nachos!!! Love!
You are brave for trying that salsa! It’s pretty potent 😉
I found that if it’s too strong to eat as a stand alone salsa that it works great as a marinade for chicken breasts (and much less potent that way).
Sara Hare says
Great photography! Is your food staring down the barrel of a Canon 5D?
Thanks for the great compliment! No, I don’t have a Canon 5D (yet!). This was taken with a Rebel T4i, with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. That lens is amazing! Cheers