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Exactly How To Reheat Nachos – I Test 4 Methods [Pics]

Nachos are the ultimate party food, but reheating them is a challenge.

How can you keep the nachos crispy, the cheese gooey, and the guac fresh?!

Don’t worry – I’ve got your back. 

In this article, I share the results of my reheating experiment, where I tested four different methods.

I also give some tips on storing nachos so that you can keep them fresh and tasty for as long as possible.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer:

The best way to reheat nachos is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and remove any cold toppings from the nachos. Line a tray with parchment paper and spread the tortilla chips out. Reheat the nacho chips for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cold toppings and serve immediately.

A note on my experiment

I ordered a bunch of nachos from my local Mexican and then (using all my willpower) kept them overnight.

The next day, I tested the following four methods to reheat the nachos:

  • In the oven (my favorite, good for soggy nachos)
  • In an air fryer (quick and crispy results)
  • In the microwave (okay but not good for already soggy nachos)
  • In a skillet (a bit messy)

I was looking for crispy tortilla chips, oozy cheese, and tasty toppings. 

The oven ended up being my favorite method, and the airy fryer produced similar results. 

The microwave works fine if you’re just heating nachos for yourself. The skillet method also worked but was a bit of a hassle.

Reheating nachos in the oven

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). While it heats up, remove any cold toppings from the nachos. Line a tray with parchment paper and spread the tortilla chips out as much as possible on the tray. Place the tray of nachos in the oven and heat until crisp. Reassemble the ingredients and enjoy.

How to reheat nachos in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Remove any cold topping from the tortilla chips and set them aside.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the nachos out on the tray. Add any extra ingredients you want to at this point, such as more cheese.
  4. Place the tray of nachos in the oven and heat them until crisp (around 10-15 minutes, or 5 minutes in a toaster oven). 
  5. Reassemble the ingredients before serving.

The nachos need to be exposed to crisp up, so make sure to spread them out. 

If your nachos are really soggy, I would lower the oven’s temperature slightly and heat them for longer, so they have longer to dry out.

The parchment paper on the baking tray makes it super easy to transfer the nachos to your serving dish, plus less washing up!

Tip: for extra crisping, use the broiler function (just be careful not to burn the cheese). 

My verdict

My nachos dried out nicely in the oven, and there was a nice toasted flavor to the chips.

It’s slower than other methods, but it’s the only option suitable for big portions of nachos – great for game day!

If you have a toaster oven, it’s quicker.

Reheating nachos in an air fryer

To reheat nachos in an air fryer, set it to 300°F (150°C). Remove any cold toppings from the tortilla chips. Place the nachos in the basket, spreading them out as much as possible. Then heat the nachos for 3-4 minutes or until nicely crisp. Replace the cold toppings and serve.

How to reheat nachos in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 300°F (150°C) and remove any cold toppings from the tortilla chips.
  2. Place the nachos in the air fryer basket, spreading them out as much as possible. 
  3. Add any extra toppings you want before heating the nachos for 3-4 minutes or until the chips are crispy.
  4. Replace the cold toppings and serve.

If you’ve got messy toppings going into the air fryer, line the basket with foil for an easy clean-up. 

I like to poke some holes in the foil to ensure I don’t reduce airflow.

The air fryer works quickly, so check on the nachos often to ensure they’re not burning.

My verdict

This method worked really well to crisp up my leftover nachos (and the cheese). 

One annoying thing is you can’t do loads at once, but it’s great for a one-person portion. 

You also have to be careful with your meat or bean toppings because the air fryer can dry things out quite quickly.

Reheating nachos in the microwave

To reheat nachos in the microwave, first, remove any cold toppings. Place a serving or two in a microwave-safe dish. Heat the nachos in 30-second intervals until warmed through. Be careful not to overcook the nachos, or any cheese you have will become hard and dry. 

How to reheat nachos in the microwave:

  1. Remove the cold toppings from the nachos and keep them to one side.
  2. Place a serving or two of nachos on a microwave-safe dish.
  3. Add any extra toppings to the nachos you want. 
  4. Heat the nachos in 30-second intervals until the cheese is melted.

Tip: if you want the nachos to have a toasted flavor, microwave them by themselves first for 30 seconds before adding any toppings. 

An advantage of the microwave is that it heats everything at once… which is perfect for layering nachos. 

If I use the microwave, I like to have two layers of nachos with two layers of cheese. 

If you tried this in the oven, the second layer of cheese wouldn’t melt fast enough.

My verdict

I’d kept my nachos separately from their toppings, so the microwave actually worked okay for me. 

It wasn’t as good as the oven, but I wasn’t disappointed (the cheese was super gooey). 

Conclusion: 

If you’re only feeding one or two people and your nachos aren’t that soggy, the microwave will do (and it’s super quick). 

But if your nachos have been sitting in the fridge getting soggier by the day – the microwave isn’t going to save them. It will just make them soggier.

Reheating nachos in a skillet

To reheat nachos in a skillet, heat the skillet on medium heat. Remove any cold toppings from the nachos. Place the nachos in the skillet and cover them with a snug-fitting lid. Heat the nachos until the cheese starts to melt.

How to reheat nachos in a skillet:

  1. Heat the skillet on medium heat.
  2. Remove any cold toppings from the nachos.
  3. Place the nachos in the skillet and cover it with a lid – this will trap the heat and ensure the nachos heat evenly.
  4. Heat the nachos until they’re warm and the cheese starts to melt (3-4 minutes).

If your skillet doesn’t come with a lid, you can use aluminum foil instead.

Keep the heat to medium to ensure the nachos on the bottom don’t burn.

My verdict

This method was a bit awkward and didn’t crisp the nachos as evenly or as much as I would have liked.

It worked okay, but I’d prefer to use one of the other methods above rather than fiddle with the skillet.

How to store nachos

To store nachos, separate any wet toppings from the nachos as soon as possible to prevent the chips from becoming soggy. Place room-temperature nachos in an airtight container or freezer bag and cover them with a paper towel before sealing the container. Nachos will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Place any extra toppings in separate airtight containers, or discard them and use new toppings when you’re reheating your nachos. 

The paper towel helps prevent the nachos from going stale by absorbing any excess moisture that’s in the container.

It’s important your nachos are at room temperature before storing them. 

If they’re still warm, condensation can build up in the container and leave you with soggy chips.

Can you freeze nachos?

Nachos are not the best dish to freeze once cooked. However, you can freeze the tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and the cooked meats or beans separately, ready to throw together when you fancy them. Freezing tortilla chips is a great way to keep them fresh. 

Another option is to make a nacho dip and freeze this.

How to freeze tortilla chips

  1. Put the tortilla chips in a Ziploc bag and remove as much air from the bag as possible (without crushing the chips)
  2. Place the tortilla chips in the freezer and use within 6 months. 

The tortilla chips will be ready to eat as soon as you take them out of the freezer. 

Since they don’t contain any moisture, the chips don’t freeze. They just get really cold. 

To make your nachos, all you need to do is defrost the toppings (in the fridge overnight or in the microwave). Assemble the dish and heat it!

Summary

The best way to reheat nachos is in the oven. Other methods of reheating nachos include the air fryer, skillet, and microwave. The oven and air fryer are excellent at re-crisping stale nachos. The microwave is a convenient reheating method but does not produce good results for already soggy nachos.

Exactly How To Reheat Nachos

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover nachos.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: nachos, reheat nachos
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 306kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion nachos
  • 1 portion extra cheese optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Remove any cold topping from the tortilla chips and set them aside.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the nachos out on the tray. Add any extra ingredients you want to at this point, such as more cheese.
  • Place the tray of nachos in the oven and heat them until crisp (around 10-15 minutes, or 5 minutes in a toaster oven).
  • Reassemble the ingredients before serving.

Notes

The nachos need to be exposed to crisp up, so make sure to spread them out.
If your nachos are really soggy, I would lower the oven’s temperature slightly and heat them for longer, so they have longer to dry out.
The parchment paper on the baking tray makes it super easy to transfer the nachos to your serving dish, plus less washing up!
Tip: for extra crisping, use the broiler function (just be careful not to burn the cheese).

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 306kcal

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