Super Bowl Party Food: A Mountain of Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso

Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso
Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

I’ll be honest. I’m really not into American football. Probably blasphemous for me to say that right around the Super Bowl. However, in direct opposition to that ire-inspiring statement, I kind of like the Super Bowl itself. Why? Because I love the party. And all the crazy, decadent food that goes along with it. Plus, it’s a great way to give “dry January” the finger and welcome “wet February!”

To me, the Super Bowl just isn’t the Super Bowl without a massive tray of over-the-top, gooey-crisp nachos. And a big frothy pint of beer. Oh, and the game on in the background.

You can make nachos any one of a zillion ways: from the most basic (melted cheese on chips) to the most decadent (lobster nachos, anyone?). But for me, the best nachos have plenty of beans, meat, two kinds of cheese, and loads of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Classic but still over-the-top.

This version uses grilled, marinated skirt steak tossed with pan-seared sweet bell peppers and onions. Along with black beans and homemade chile con queso (plus some shredded Monterey jack to top it all off), and you have yourself a nacho party. Serve the salsa, guacamole, and sour cream on the side, or just load it all on top.

For the best results, marinate the steak the night before. Make the queso up to 2 days in advance; just warm it on the stovetop gently before using. Put the nachos together at the last minute and serve directly from the baking sheet.

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This makes a ton of nachos, which are great for a party...especially the Super Bowl! But if you want to make less, just halve the recipe.

A Mountain of Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso. Photo Animation: Wendy Goodfriend
A Mountain of Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso. Photo Animation: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Steak Fajita Nachos

Serves 12 (or more!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb skirt or flap steak*, cut into 4-inch lengths*
  • 1/2 cup lager beer
  • 1/2 recipe chile con queso
  • 2 (16 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered, trimmed and seeded, and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bags (each 14 oz) tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup your favorite salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeño slices
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

For serving:

  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream

Instructions:

  1. To marinate the steak, in a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread the paste all over the steak and place in a zippered plastic bag. Pour the beer into the bag and seal the bag. Let the steak stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to overnight.
  2. Prepare the queso and set aside. Put the beans in a bowl and lightly smash them with a fork.
  3. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and bell pepper, and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion and pepper are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. To cook the steak, let the steak sit at room temperature for 1 hour if refrigerated. Place a large stovetop grill pan (ideally a double burner size) over medium high heat, or prepare a medium-high fire in a charcoal grill or turn on the burners of a gas grill to medium-high. Spray the grill with cooking spray. Remove the steak from the marinade and shake off the excess. Place the steak on the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely browned, 3–4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steak into 2-inch lengths, then across the grain into thin, 1/4-inch strips. Chop the steak into smaller pieces. Stir the steak into the pan with the pepper-onion mixture.
  5. To assemble the nachos, preheat the oven to 375F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Dividing evenly between the baking sheets, layer the chips, sliced steak mixture, and black beans. Working with 1 sheet at a time, bake for 10 minutes until the nachos start to warm. Drizzle with queso and sprinkle with shredded cheese, salsa, and jalapenos. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and the nachos are warmed through, about 15 minutes longer.
  6. Working with 1 sheet at a time, bake until the cheese is melted and the nachos are warmed through, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve at once with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream on the side. Repeat with the 2nd tray of nachos.

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*Note: If you like, use flank steak. Marinate and grill as directed, but slice it thinly then chop it up into bite-sized pieces.

Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Grilled Steak Fajita Nachos with Chile con Queso. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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