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Brisket Nachos

Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos

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, Entree
Cuisine American, BBQ, Barbecue
Keyword brisket nacho recipe, brisket nachos, chili cheese nachos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost $15


To make the Chili:

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 cups leftover smoked beef brisket, roughly chopped into small cubes We love Snake River Farms Briskets
  • 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)
  • brisket chili (from above)
  • Shredded smoked cheddar cheese, or mixed cheddar blend (more or less depending on how cheesy you like your nachos)

Optional Nacho Toppings:

  • diced tomatoes, thinly sliced jalapeño, finely chopped onion, cilantro, sour cream, avocado slices (or guacamole), sour cream, salsa


For the Chili:

  • In a large saucepan (or cast iron pot), over medium heat, pour 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.
  • Add the beer and let it come to a simmer (about 1-2 minutes to let the alcohol reduce).
  • Then add the coffee, tomato sauce, tomato paste, pinto beans, green chilies, and all the spices, and mix well.
  • Bring to a simmer 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 Brisket Nachos:

  • Using a sheet pan or cast iron skillet, create one layer of corn tortilla chips (remember, make sure they are thick chips so they hold the weight of the chili).
  • Layer the chips with some chili and a layer of shredded cheese.
  • Create another layer of corn chips, followed by chili and shredded cheese.
  • 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).
  • Alternatively you can place a cast iron skillet loaded with nacho goodness in the grill and heat up until the cheeses are melted.
  • When the cheese is nice and melted, remove and top with your favorite cold toppings: sliced jalapeño, tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro.
    Serve with your favorite dips: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.


** Depending on how many nachos you plan to make, the chili may yield leftovers. Nothing wrong with that! Just use how much chili you are comfortable with on your nachos.
Check out this great smoked brisket recipe as a great starting place.