How To Reheat Nachos – 6 Quick and Easy Tips

Nachos, albeit savory and delicious when freshly bought from Taco Bell or Freebirds, will turn into mush the minute you stuff them inside a fridge.

This brings us to a big question: how to reheat nachos without making them soggy?  

After many trials and errors, we’ve successfully brought forth our 6 money-saving and time effective methods of reheating leftover nachos. Let’s take a closer look at them!

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Prerequisites For Reheating Nachos

Before typing How do you reheat nachos without getting soggy? in the Google search box, you must first have leftover nachos in your fridge!

A quick note: Storing your nachos properly is the initial and utterly vital step in keeping them in good condition.

Remember to toss your nachos into the trash if they are over two days to prevent bacteria growth. And store them in an air-sealed plastic bag so that the chips ain’t getting softened.

Once being taken out, nachos don’t need thawing like freeze rice or seafood and work their way straight into the reheating process at room temperature. Yet, a double check to see if the toppings have gone stale is never superfluous. 

The crunchy and dry texture of nachos allows them to be reheated without added moisture, unlike when reheating tamales, so you don’t have to sprinkle any water drop preheating on top of your old platter of nachos.

In the case of supreme loaded nachos, you may prepare another fresh batch of new toppings instead of reheating pulled pork or ground beef (the original toppings) to save time. You can also add some nacho cheese sauce for a richer flavor. 

6 Ways To Reheat Leftover Nachos

You can opt for one among these six kitchen utensils: oven, toaster oven, airfryer, skillet, broiler, and microwave. However, the oven method is still most cooks’ favorite out of the bunch.

In The Oven

a good oven

What You Need:

  • A convection oven.

  • A cookie/baking sheet.

  • Cooking spray or aluminum foil.

  • Leftover nachos

Instructions for reheating:

  • Scrape off the cold toppings (salsa, guacamole, lettuce or so) aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (degree Fahrenheit). If there are beans on top of the nachos, you can stop once the thermometer reaches 300°F. 
  • Spray the bottom of the baking tray to prevent stickiness/ Line the sheet with aluminum foil as a heat conductor. It works as a barrier against moisture while maintaining the nachos’ crispy texture. 
  • Spread the nacho chips on the tray’s bottom/ aluminum foil evenly while reheating them with the fan on low for five minutes. 
  • Use a pair of mittens to take the tray out and let it sit on the counter to cool down before redressing the nachos. Bon appetit!

Pros:

  • The quickest, most convenient, and tastiest way to reheat leftover nachos.

Cons:

  • Require constant checking so that the nachos will not be overcooked. 

  • If you want to adjust to personal standards of crustiness, you may have to wait for 10 - 15 minutes.

In The Toaster Oven

a toaster oven

What You Need:

  • A toaster oven.
  • Small ovensafe pan/dish.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Leftover nachos.

Oven or Toaster Oven?

A toaster oven can be capable of convection cooking (which packs a fan to circulate hot air evenly for food heating) just like a regular convection oven. In fact, it can brown the food even faster with better heat distribution.

Two small caveats: 

  • Toaster ovens cannot handle liquid or plastic boxes well.

  • Toaster ovens are differently calibrated compared to convection ovens. This is due to the fact that you have to set temperatures in different ways for these two machines. 

So how to reheat nachos in a toaster oven?

Instructions for reheating:

  • Take off the toppings and preheat your oven at 275°F - 300°F.
  • Line a mini-sized oven-safe plate with aluminum foil.
  • Layout the tortilla chips evenly on the foil and fit the dish inside the toaster.
  • Reheat for 5 - 15 minutes according to your personal preferences of crustiness. 
  • Take the nachos out to cool down for a moment.

Pros:

  • Take less time to reheat than regular ovens.

Cons:

  • Can only handle a small batch of nachos at a time.

In The Airfryer

cook nachos using air fryer

What You Need:

  • An airfryer.
  • Cooking spray.
  • Leftover nachos.
  • Fresh nacho chips.
  • Shredded cheese.

How Does An Airfryer Work?

An airfryer operates in strict conformity with the Maillard Reaction, which browns amino acids and sugar (caramelization). Airfryers and toaster ovens are like fraternal twins in the way they immerse fried food in hot air circulation faster and more thoroughly than convection ovens. 

Let’s get right into how to reheat nachos by an air fryer!

  • Preheat the airfryer: Set the timer at 370°F - 400°F for 6-7 minutes.
  • Spray for a stick-proof pan. Line its bottom with a single layer of fresh nacho chips.  
  • Pop bare leftover nachos on top and spread the nachos consistently.
  • Sandwich the leftovers with another layer of fresh nachos. Finish with grated cheddar cheese for zing and Monterey Jack or Colby Jack for melt. 
  • Reheat the pan for four minutes at 350°F. You can leave the rack out if you’ve happened to stack the food too high by accident. 
  • Scoop the nachos out with a spatula. Add some sour cream or salsa and veggies on top (optional).
  • Now, chow down!

Instructions for reheating: In reference to Air Fryer Leftover Nachos by Christy’s Cooking Channel.

Pros:

  • Time-effective.
  • Minimal preparation.

Cons:

  • Lack of ventilation for smoke emitted from dripping food.

On The Cast Iron Skillet

a skillet with nachos

What You Need:

  • Two cast iron skillets.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Leftover nachos.

Instructions for reheating:

  • Disperse the nachos uniformly on the skillet to reheat.

  • Cover the skillet with aluminum foil.

  • Put the skillet’s lid over the foil to trap up the heat.

  • Set the burner to medium heat for five minutes until the cheese melts. 

  • Toss the skillet up once in a while.

  • Sprinkle olive oil inside the other skillet. Pop some chopped tomatoes, green onions, diced shallots, bell peppers, and pulled pork in with a few tosses, and turn over medium-high heat. Finish with some slices of black olives as decor and a delicious platter of loaded nachos are ready to be served.

Pros:

  • Distribute the heat equally to each chip.

Cons:

  • Cumbersome to check for burnt chips during the reheating process.

Under The Broiler 

Broiler in an oven

Baking employs hot air (frequently at 375°F) from the oven to cook cakes, bread or muffins indirectly. 

Broiling requires direct oven heat at 550°F for a quick sear on the surface. So, most of the time, it can be the ultimate way to heat thin food. In literal terms, it would work well on nachos.

Instructions for reheating:

  • Preheat the broiler at 400°F. 
  • Line the pan/baking sheet with aluminum foil, anything at your disposal. 
  • Cover the foiled pan completely with leftover tortilla chips.
  • Sprinkle a mixture of two or three types of cheese on top.
  • Place the pan under the broiler at 550°F for three to five minutes or until the cheese melts. Constantly check the nachos to avoid burning them.
  • Remove the nachos out of the broiler and let them chill before digging in with some extra cold toppings.

Pros:

  • One of the fastest methods.

Cons:

  • The heat is distributed unevenly: In other words, your nachos might end up with burned edges and cold center.

In The Microwave 

a microwave

If you learn how to reheat food before, you must have known microwaves are not the best for reheating fried food unless you know how to apply some professional culinarians’ tricks to avoid receiving a big soggy mess. If you don’t have any magic up your sleeve, then stay away from reheating your nachos in the microwave.

Going microwave-free is the best way to bring your cold mushy batch of overnight nachos back to life. Otherwise, the contents inside your used-to-be-perfect avocado nachos would be easy to get compromised and offer an appalling taste. The cheese sauce would be likely to be losing that thick texture and turning into a sad swamp on top of the bone dry chips, resulting in their becoming soggy.

Yet, if you can’t fathom your intolerance of this reheating method, then you have the liberty to try to reheat leftover nachos, following this guide! 

What you need:

  • A microwave.

  • A microwave-safe pan.

  • Paper towels.

  • Leftover nachos.

Instructions for Reheating:

  • Line the microwave-safe pan with paper towels to absorb any unwanted moisture.
  • Spread the nachos evenly on the paper towels.
  • Pop the pan into the microwave for a minute. Add every extra 20 seconds anytime you haven’t got satisfied with the crunchiness. There is no specified amount of time for this method. Just reheat until the cheese melts.

Pros:

  • Versatile for improvised recipes: More cheese can go into your recipe and turn the nachos into a fresh bowl of casserole. 

Cons:

  • The content inside your nacho dish would get compromised in terms of flavor and nutrition due to uneven heat distribution. 

FAQs

What Temperature Do You Heat Nachos At?

It depends on what utensils you are using, but normally we keep the heat around U-400°F. 

How To Prevent Nachos From Becoming Soggy?

You have to master the art of opting for the right ingredients:

  • Best cheese: Cheddar - melts well, contains no anti-clumping agents, mild in flavor.

  • Best nacho chips (flour or corn tortillas): thick enough to hold up well when cooked but do not turn into rubber once drizzled with sour cream, salsa or gravy.

  • Best toppings: We would personally go a little tart (lime, salsa) and savory (meat) in flavor. For veggies, freshness is every cook’s best friend (avocado, onion, tomato, bell peppers).

You’d also have to become an expert in layering and smothering techniques. Spread the nachos evenly on trays before reheating, add cheese, only sprinkle cold toppings and smother sour cream on when the cheese nacho chips have been reheated. 

Once you’ve accomplished all these steps, you have become a connoisseur of the art to lay properly! 

Bottom Line

By now, you should’ve realized the oven is still our winner pick out of all methods on how to reheat nachos. The toaster oven or the broiler is just close variants of it. 

When hunger strikes and you just want to hasten things up, the microwave is still permissible. Yet, an air fryer would still have that edge in comparison if you can afford one.

Still, never go easy with yourself and always follow the codes step by step on how to layer and smother your nachos properly when reheating, because they are the keys to retain that renowned crunch of this classic. 

Kevin Richard
 

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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