You're not here for a full recipe for Rainbow Nachos because nachos don't require a recipe beyond this: spread out some chips on a baking sheet, shower with shredded cheese, add any cooked steak or chicken, and heat under broiler until cheese melts, then add all the toppings.
Ok! So this is a shorter post than I thought.
But actually. Those are general directions for nachos, and every time you follow them, you will get good nachos, and even if they're not good, they're still good because they're salty crunchy chips with melted cheese. You can, however, make GREAT nachos, with a little more detail, embedded within the instructions for Rainbow Nachos provided below, followed by a list of my favorite brands and shopping resources for ingredients and tools.
serves 4 to 6 depending on serving size
2 handfuls red potato or tortilla chips
2 handfuls sweet potato chips or cooked sweet potato fries
2 generous handfuls yellow corn tortilla chips
2 handfuls green tortilla chips
1 handful blue potato or blue corn tortilla chips
1½ cups shredded cheddar or other yellow cheese
1½ cups shredded jack, mozzarella or other white melting cheese
½ cup chopped cooked steak or carne asada
½ cup cooked pinto beans
½ cup cooked corn
1 cup cooked broccoli
½ cup cooked black beans
1 cup tomato salsa
¼ pickled carrots
1 cup yellow cherry or yellow tomato pico de gallo [recipe here, sub in yellow cherries]
½ avocado sliced
½ cup guacamole (use the other half of above avocado)
½ cup tomatillo salsa verde
pickled sliced jalapeños
pickled onions [recipe here]
Heat the Nachos: Heat broiler in oven to low. Spread the chips in a single layer with slight overlap on a baking sheet in rainbow order: red chips, orange sweet potato chips or fries, yellow tortilla chips, green chips, blue potato or corn chips.
Top the chips as follows: carne asada on red chips, pinto beans on sweet potato chips or fries, corn on yellow corn tortilla chips, broccoli on green chips, black beans on blue potato or blue corn chips.
Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the red, orange, and half the yellow chips. Sprinkle the jack or mozzarella cheese over the other half of the yellow chips, green chips, and blue chips. You melt the cheese over the cooked toppings to "anchor" them to the chips.
Place tray under broiler until cheese melts, and starts to bubble and brown in places. Remove from oven.
Assemble the Nachos: Top the hot melty cheesy nachos as follows: salsa on red chips and carne asada, pickled carrots on pinto beans and sweet potato chips or waffles, yellow cherry or tomato pico de gallo and sliced avocado on corn and tortilla chips, spoonfuls of guacamole and pickled sliced jalapeño on broccoli and green chips, and pickled onions on black beans and blue potato or blue corn tortilla chips.
Serve immediately with extra salsas and guacamole in bowls alongside.
The nachos, once heated with melted cheese, do not keep well. Eat it all now.
NOTES and RESOURCES
- Red Chips: I used these ruby-tinted potato chips, but have also used "red" corn tortilla chips before. This brand is organic and uses beets to naturally tint the chips instead of dyes that make the chips unnaturally bright red. This brand is "natural" and uses actual naturally red corn that has been sprouted (note: the link is for a 6 pack of super size bags!). I've been tipped off that Trader Joe's has a mixed bag of red, white, and blue Peruvian potato chips, but the red is only on the edges.
- Orange Sweet Potato Chips or Fries: This is the easiest brand to find in most grocery stores for sweet potato chips. The "ruffled" style is sturdier and holds onto toppings and cheese better. If you want to use sweet potato fries or sweet potato waffle fries, use this frozen brand, which also has organic options.
- Green Tortilla Chips: This brand's green tortilla chips are naturally green because they're made with spinach and kale (rather than dyed). I have found them at Bristol Farms, Gelson's, some of the bigger Ralphs markets, and Whole Foods.
- Blue Potato or Blue Corn Tortilla Chips: For blue or purple potato chips (for nachos, caviar or otherwise) I like these blue potato chips the best, and are the easiest to find in grocery stores. Blue corn tortilla chips are generally easier to find than blue potato chips. I always look for "organic" when it comes to corn products.
- Pinto and Black Beans: I use this organic brand for all canned beans. These are the organic pinto beans and these are the organic black beans.
- Avocados: all avocados from JJ's Lone Daughter Ranch at the Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesdays) when avocados are in season in California.
- All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.