Real Food

Nachos with Chorizo, Refried Beans, and Raw Cheese

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever stop trying to top myself with the most irresistible healthy fast-food. I haven’t really eaten fast food in years, but I used to eat it a lot when I was a young adult.

I couldn’t help myself…I’d been craving chorizo all day and when I got to the store tonight, I was on a mission to find some good, local fare. I scored a nice package of it from the butcher counter and kept thinking of the frozen lamb and chicken I had at home, which was going to have to wait for another night since it wouldn’t be thawed out in time for dinner (I was thinking Paella).

But I had to do something amazing with that chorizo. So I went home and looked around on the Internet for inspiration. I thought about frying it up with some butter and garlic and some onions and bell peppers, maybe some home-made red sauce. That sounded good…but that wasn’t quite what I craved. Then I found this great recipe by Emeril for chorizo nachos. Oh my gosh, yes…that was it!

These were amazing and they disappeared fast…here’s our version of this recipe…it was SO worth it!


  • 3 chorizos, pan fried in garlic and cumin
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Sprouted corn tortillas, cut into fourths and fried in coconut oil, lard, or tallow (we used about 10)
  • 1-2 cups of soaked and cooked beans of your choice, then refried in 2-3 tablespoons of lard or bacon drippings, salt to taste
  • 2 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese (we used raw cheese)
  • Sliced yellow or white onion
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa (we used local salsa), or fresh tomatoes or homemade pico de gallo (those weren’t in season for us)
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Butter

For recipes like this, I don’t really measure, I just add spices and seasonings until I like the way it tastes.  This made just enough for two adults and one child.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pan or skillet, heat some butter and add minced garlic to sautee. Cook the chorizo with garlic and add cumin, stirring and turning periodically, over medium-high heat until the sausage is browned and the fat is rendered.
  3. While chorizo is cooking, in another pan melt coconut oil on medium heat. Place the quartered tortillas in the pan and allow them to fry about 1 minute on each side, turning with tongs. Take out of the pan with tongs and place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra oil. Set chips aside when done frying.
  4. Heat beans up in a pan on medium-low heat and add bacon drippings (we store ours in the refrigerator, so they are hardened). Allow them to melt a bit by stirring them. Add chili powder and a bit of cumin into the beans (I just added to taste).
  5. When the drippings have melted into the beans, mash them into the beans and mix them thoroughly. Add a bit of water if beans are thickening, as you will want to be able to pour them easily on the nachos when they are ready to go in the oven. Turn down to low heat.
  6. Grate the cheese and slice up the onions and set aside.
  7. Remove chorizo from pan when cooked through and drain on paper towels. Cut chorizo into small bits to top on nachos.
  8. Get an oven plate or large oven-safe dish and place chips on the bottom. Add layers of beans, chorizo, and cheese. You can also alternate layers of chips, beans, chips, chorizo, cheese. I think they cook better with the main ingredients on top. Add sliced onions after cheese.  Place in oven and heat until cheese melts – approximately 10 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays carnival. Please visit her site and read all the otehr great real food posts linked there.

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