Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos with Brisket Chili

Brisket Nachos are the perfect use for leftover smoked beef brisket. Create a rich chili out of leftover brisket and use that chili to make indulgent, spicy, cheesy, nachos.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, BBQ, Barbecue
Keyword brisket nacho recipe, brisket nachos, chili cheese nachos
Servings 4 people
Author Mary Cressler


To make the improv chili:

  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 3 cups leftover smoked beef brisket roughly chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium jalapeño ribs and seeds removed, finely minced
  • 1 cup beer we used a mild IPA
  • ¼ cup coffee whatever may be leftover in your pot from your morning brew
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 small chipotle peppers in adobo from a can finely diced (you can use just 1 if you’re sensitive to heat. These can be very spicy)
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon canned diced green chili
  • 1 tablespoon chili seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Nachos, including optional nacho toppings:

  • Thick corn chips they need to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of the toppings
  • 1 medium tomato juices removed, diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion more or less depending on how much onion you like
  • 1 thinly sliced jalapeño
  • Shredded smoked cheddar cheese or mixed cheddar blend (more or less depending on how cheesy you like your nachos)


For the chili:

  1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, pour approximately 1-tablespoon olive oil and add your onions. Cook about 3-4 minutes, and then add the chopped leftover brisket and the jalapeño. Cook 1-2 minutes until warmed up.
  2. Add the beer and let it come to a simmer (about 1-2 minutes to let the alcohol reduce).
  3. Then add the coffee, tomato sauce, tomato paste, pinto beans, green chilies, and all the spices, and mix well.
  4. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes and then reduce to low heat, for about 20-30 minutes, until the chili thickens, 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!

To Make The Nachos:

  1. Take your plate and create one layer with corn tortilla chips. Remember, make sure they are thick chips so they hold the weight of the chili.
  2. Layer the chips with the chili and a layer of shredded cheese.
  3. Create another layer.
  4. If you are using an oven-safe platter you can place in the oven under broil. Broil until the cheese is melted (this won't take long, just a couple minutes).
  5. Alternatively you can microwave the plate in 30 second increments until the cheese is melted well. The risk with microwave is the chips can get soggy easily!
  6. When the cheese is nice and melted, remove from oven or microwave and top with your favorite toppings (sliced jalapeño, tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro) and have your favorite dips to serve along side: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The guac and sour cream also help tame the heat from the chili.

Recipe Notes

** Depending on how many nachos you plan to make, the chili will yield leftovers. Nothing wrong with that! Just use how much chili you are comfortable with on your nachos.