How To Prevent Soggy Nachos

It's always a good time for nachos. A pile of perfectly crisp tortilla chips, topped with cheese and a whole range of creative ingredients, paired with a refreshing margarita ... does it get any better? There's a great debate, of course, about the best cheeses to choose for nachos. Chef Homer Murray makes his own cheese sauce with freshly grated cheddar cheese and heavy cream. Bon Appetit recommends freshly shredded Monterey jack or pepper jack because they melt so smoothly.

And the toppings? Practically limitless. Chef Bobby Flay likes adding some healthy fresh vegetables, along with shrimp for his Super Bowl nachos, and smoky bourbon-chile barbecued chicken can be diced up to add both protein and flavor to your mountain of chips and cheese. One thing we all agree on, though, is that soggy nachos are the worst! Sure, it's a delicate balancing act to add all the amazing toppings you dream up while still keeping your tortilla chips crunchy. Fortunately, we have the perfect solution.

Serve cold or wet toppings on the side

Picture meticulously layered tortilla chips, flavorful chicken, perfectly pickled jalapenos, and earthy black beans, all baked to golden brown goodness. How do you keep those crisp nachos from going soggy? Kitchn has the perfect rule of thumb: if you wouldn't add the topping before your nachos go in the oven, then you should serve that topping on the side. Serve toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side. You avoid soggy nacho hell, and your guests can top at will.

You can even serve up a nacho bar with an array of toppings like charred tomato salsa, pineapple salsa, sliced skirt steak with avocado crema, and simple grilled shrimp. The key is to keep any toppings that could make your nachos soggy separate so you don't have sour cream pooling in the bottom, with chips drenched in a watery sauce. Foolproof nachos begin and end with crunchy tortilla chips.