How to make trash can nachos?

Introduction: What are Trash Can Nachos?

Trash can nachos are a fun and delicious way to serve up a big batch of nachos for a crowd. The name comes from the fact that the nachos are layered and cooked in a large aluminum trash can, making them a great option for outdoor gatherings, tailgating, or other events where you need to feed a lot of people quickly.

While the idea of cooking nachos in a trash can may sound a bit unconventional, the end result is a tasty and satisfying dish that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

Ingredients: What You’ll Need

To make trash can nachos, you’ll need a variety of ingredients to create the layers of flavor and texture that make this dish so great. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cooked ground beef or shredded chicken
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced onions
  • Refried beans
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

You can also add other ingredients to suit your taste, such as black olives, diced bell peppers, or chopped cilantro.

Step 1: Prepare the Nacho Chips

To start making your trash can nachos, you’ll need to prepare the tortilla chips. Spread a layer of chips in the bottom of a clean aluminum trash can, making sure to cover the entire bottom.

Step 2: Layer the Ingredients

Next, it’s time to start layering the ingredients. Add a layer of shredded cheese on top of the chips, followed by a layer of cooked ground beef or shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, diced onions, and refried beans.

Step 3: Add More Layers

Continue layering the ingredients until you reach the top of the trash can, making sure to spread each layer out evenly. You can also add additional layers of cheese and meat as desired.

Step 4: Cook the Nachos

Once the trash can is full of layers, it’s time to cook the nachos. Cover the top of the trash can with aluminum foil and place it over a hot grill or fire pit. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the nachos are heated through.

Step 5: Remove from the Trash Can

Carefully remove the aluminum foil from the top of the trash can and use tongs to lift the nachos out of the can and onto a large serving platter.

Step 6: Garnish the Nachos

Garnish the nachos with sliced jalapeños, sour cream, and guacamole. You can also add additional toppings like chopped cilantro or salsa if desired.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Nachos

  • Use a clean aluminum trash can that has not been used for trash.
  • Make sure to layer the ingredients evenly and spread them out to ensure each chip gets a taste of everything.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings and ingredients to customize the nachos to your liking.
  • Use a high-quality cheese that will melt easily and evenly.

Conclusion: Enjoy Your Trash Can Nachos

Trash can nachos are a fun and easy way to serve up a delicious snack or meal for a crowd. With a little creativity and some basic ingredients, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your guests and leave them asking for seconds.

FAQ: Common Questions Answered

Q: Can I make trash can nachos in the oven?
A: Yes, you can cook the nachos in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes instead of using a grill or fire pit.

Q: Can I make trash can nachos ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the layers of the nachos ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them. Just make sure to add the toppings and cook them immediately before serving.

Q: Can I make vegan trash can nachos?
A: Yes, you can substitute vegan cheese, tofu, or tempeh for the meat and use vegan sour cream and guacamole for the toppings.

Bonus Recipe: Vegan Trash Can Nachos


  • Tortilla chips
  • Vegan shredded cheese
  • Cooked tempeh or tofu
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced onions
  • Refried beans
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Vegan guacamole


  • Follow steps 1-3 of the original recipe to prepare the chips and layer the ingredients.
  • Use vegan shredded cheese and cooked tempeh or tofu instead of meat and regular cheese.
  • Use vegan sour cream and guacamole for the toppings.
  • Cook the nachos as directed in step 4.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapeños and serve immediately.
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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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