Everybody loves a plate of nachos piled high with melty cheese and all of those irresistible toppings. Swap out the tortilla chips for crispy potatoes and everybody loves nachos even more. Irish Nachos are where potato skins and nachos collide and the aftermath is seriously delicious.
They feature crispy roasted potato rounds, a melty Cheddar sauce, crispy bacon, sliced green onions, and sour cream. Handheld and made for sharing, Irish Nachos are the ultimate comfort food appetizer.
WHAT ARE IRISH NACHOS?
You’ll likely find them on every menu of every Irish pub within the United States, and they are often brought to the table as an appetizer. However, these Irish Nachos are perfect for entertaining at home, a quick-fix kid-friendly dinner, and also make for one heck of a movie night snack.
Irish Nachos are referred to as Irish because their main ingredient is a potato. The type of potato might vary, but most often, it is a roasted or fried Russet potato cut into a ring no more than a 1/4″ in thickness, which resembles the shape and size of a round tortilla chip.
The only thing these “nachos” really have in common with standard Mexican nachos is toppings, but not necessarily the same toppings. Irish Nachos are loaded with all the toppings you would find atop a loaded baked potato.
IRISH NACHO INGREDIENTS
Nachos are all about the toppings, and Irish Nachos are no exception. These are all the toppings you’d typically find on a loaded baked potato…and then some.
If there’s a topping you’re not into, feel free to customize these Irish beauties to your liking. Below, you’ll find grocery store tips and substitution options.
- Russet Potatoes
- Green Onions
- Sour Cream
Russets are a hearty potato and great for baking, making them the perfect sturdy base for your Irish nachos. When picking out your Russets, be sure to pick out potatoes that are small and narrow, rather than large and bulky. This way when the potatoes are sliced into rings, they’ll be closer to the size of an actual nacho.
If you’re looking to bypass prepping and roasting potatoes, see the “Irish Nacho Variations” section for no-prep substitutions.
TRIPLE THE CHEESE
These Irish Nachos are extra cheesy and come equipped with three different forms of cheese. The first cheese to hit the nachos is a creamy, homemade Cheddar sauce.
This sauce is a scrumptious, savory addition and it takes Irish Nachos to a whole ‘nother level. However, you can omit it from the recipe or sub in a store-bought cheese sauce if you’re short on time.
The next cheese to grace your Irish Nachos comes in the form of cheese curds. Cheese curds are delicious little morsels with a texture like no other cheese you’ve ever bitten into. You can typically find them with the imported cheeses at your local grocery store. They’re a little bit chewy, a lot stretchy and perfectly gooey when heated.
Like the Cheddar sauce, the cheese curds are optional, but this is one item I highly recommend you don’t miss out on.
Last, but certainly not least, good old-fashioned grated Cheddar. If you are not making the cheese sauce, use 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated Cheddar to top off your nachos.
Next on the list is the perfect potato companion — crispy, pan-seared bacon bits. If you don’t want to take the time to sear your own bacon, you can sub in pre-cooked bacon.
SOUR CREAM & ONION
This one is a signature potato chip flavor for a reason, folks. Sour cream-and-onion and potatoes go hand-in-hand. Green onions are the perfect addition to your Irish Nachos as they are mild but still have a nice oniony flavor to them.
No green onions? No problem. Sub in a sprinkle of fresh or dried chives. As for the sour cream, this one is completely up to you.
HOW TO MAKE IRISH NACHOS
- Slice the potatoes, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with seasoning and bake 30 minutes.
- Pan-sear the bacon until crispy.
- Make the Cheddar cheese sauce.
- Top the potatoes and return to the oven, if desired, for an additional 4-5 minutes.
HOW TO ROAST CRISPY POTATOES
The base of Irish Nachos are potatoes…it is what makes them Irish after all. Frying potatoes can be a messy job and somewhat of a pain, so for simplicities-sake, we will roast the potatoes instead.
To ensure you can easily remove the potatoes from the pan, line the pan with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Then, drizzle the potatoes with oil, sprinkle with seasoning, and toss to combine.
For crispy potatoes, make sure you have your potatoes spread out into one single layer, and, if possible, try to leave a little space between each potato. This will allow heat/air to circulate not only over the potatoes but around them as well, making for a crispier potato.
IRISH NACHO VARIATIONS
Love ranch? Sub out that melty cheese sauce for a drizzle of ranch dressing. You could also make them extra beefy by adding a heaping pile of corned beef across the top of the potatoes. Seasoned ground beef could also be used to add a little extra sustenance to Irish Nachos.
You could even change out the base of the nachos from roasted potato rounds to something a little less hands-on like:
- Waffle Fries
- Tater Tots
- Kettle Chips
If using frozen waffle fries or tater tots, simply leave all aspects of this recipe the same (except for prepping and roasting the potatoes), and follow the package instructions to heat up the frozen potatoes.
This is a recipe you can have fun with, and the variations and flavor combinations are practically endless. However, if you love an extra cheesy nacho, stick to the recipe below. You will not regret it.
Perfectly roasted, crispy potato rounds topped with hot, melty cheese curds, freshly grated Cheddar, thick-cut bites of bacon, crisp green onions, and tangy sour cream, all topped off with a drizzle of savory Cheddar cheese sauce. Like biting into a handheld loaded baked potato…only way better. Please, enjoy!
5 MORE PARTY SNACKS YOU’LL LOVE!
- Pulled Pork Quesadillas are a quick and easy and a great way to put leftover Pulled Pork to work for you! They’re not only loaded with flavor but are over-the-top easy to make!
- Spinach Artichoke Dip is baked and bubbly, and far superior to any restaurant rendition you’ve had before. It’s stellar hot out of the oven, but just as tasty at room temperature!
- Homemade Pigs in a Blanket is an elevated version of our beloved American classic. It’s a made-from-scratch rendition, and you won’t believe just how easy (or how much better) it is!
- Buffalo Wings features the ultimate guide to making the best baked Buffalo Wings you’ve ever had, and it’s all taking place in your very own kitchen!
- Mexican Layer Dip is an easy appetizer perfect for feeding any crowd. It comes together quickly and features layer-upon-layer of savory goodness like bean dip, guacamole, and more.
Irish Nachos are the ultimate party appetizer -- handheld, crazy delicious, and made for sharing! Featuring crispy potatoes topped with cheese, bacon, and more cheese!
- 3-4 small Russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- 2 tablespoons canola oil (or avocado oil), separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (plus a pinch, separated)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese, separated
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 cup cheese curds (optional)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 dallop sour cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425° and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
Slice the potatoes into 1/4" thick rings and add the sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to evenly distribute the seasoning and lay out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 30-32 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown across the tops. While the potatoes are baking, fry the bacon and make the cheese sauce.
Add the diced bacon to a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy, 6-8 minutes. Set bacon aside on a plate lined with a paper towel.
For the cheese sauce, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to come to temperature and sprinkle over the flour. Whisk about 1 minute. Do not allow the flour to brown.
Begin adding the half-and-half one generous splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all of the half-and-half has been added, allow the mixture to simmer 4-5 minutes, just until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of Cheddar cheese and a generous pinch of Kosher salt. Set aside.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, drizzle with the cheese sauce, cheese curds (if using), the remaining 1/2 cup of Cheddar, and diced bacon.
If desired, return to the oven for 4-5 minutes, just until the cheese curds have melted. Top with sliced green onions and sour cream (if using), serve, and enjoy!
LOOKING FOR MORE IRISH RECIPES?
Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Slow Cooker Guinness Beer Cheese Dip
Irish Cream & Mint Iced Mocha
Irish Potato Soup
Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies
Irish Soda Bread
Dark Chocolate Guinness Fudge
Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
Chicken Pot Pie