Level Up Your Leftover Corned Beef And Make Nachos

Few dinners are as fun and economical as homemade nachos. That heaping tray of loaded goodness is an easy way to get some protein and veggies into your dinner (even on a tight budget) and still have a playful time while you're doing it. Thrifty doesn't have to mean boring — which is why this tip is all about keeping your nacho night from getting predictable. It's time to swap your regular go-to protein for corned beef. In addition to the interesting textural element, sweet-savory-salty corned beef brings a complex flavor profile to the spread that other classic nacho proteins like shredded chicken or ground beef simply don't deliver (at least, not without some extra prep work). Let your corned beef leftovers do the gastronomic heavy lifting for you.

It's also a great way to use up that fridge full of leftover corned beef after St. Patrick's Day or Easter. (Pro tip: Leftover corned beef will keep for up to three full months in the freezer.) Or, if you don't have any pre-made corned beef that needs using up, you can simply slam a corned beef brisket in the Crock Pot before you leave for work and it'll be ready by the time you get home (aka "nacho time"). For the easiest prep, just swing by your local deli or bodega and grab some ready-to-eat corned beef there. Those expert butchers can even hook you up with the thin-cut or thick-cut, depending on your preference.

Nacho average way to enliven those leftovers

To assemble, simply top a spread of tortilla chips with pre-cooked, bite-sized corned beef chunks. You can build these nachos on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 'em in the oven or meld 'em together on a flat-top griddle for an extra crispy finish.

Now comes the fun part: Toppings. In classic bar-snack style, you could load your nachos with corned beef, sour cream, extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese, canned (drained) spicy diced tomatoes, and chopped chives. Or, take a cue from Mexican chilaquiles and top your corned beef nachos with green tomatillo salsa, pickled jalapeño slices, fresh cilantro, sliced radishes, avocado, fresh lime juice, a dollop of Mexican crema, cotija cheese, and a fried egg.

You also could lean into the Irish flair and use thick-cut homemade russet potato chips as the base of your corned beef nachos (see ya next time, tortilla chips!). Then, load 'em up with Irish cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and shredded red cabbage. A drizzle of Thousand Island dressing or horseradish sauce to finish would add a pleasant sharp bite.

Not feeling particularly ambitious on nacho night? (We don't blame you.) Bagged kettle-cooked potato chips work just as well as homemade.

To complete the meal, serve your corned beef nachos with a pint of Guinness, a six-pack of pilsner, a Whiskey Smash cocktail, or a Jameson and ginger beer highball. Naturally-funky Rolling Rock lager would make an awesome pairing here, too.