Everyone's favorite party food gets a flavorful Caribbean twist with these sheet pan jerk pork nachos. Topped with Jamaican-spiced pulled pork, creamy refried black beans, fresh jalapenos and tropical pico de gallo, these loaded, cheesy nachos are the perfect starter for any summer party.
When I first shared my Jamaican jerk pork with you, I knew I couldn't stop at that one recipe -- similar to how I had to create these jerk enchiladas from my jerk chicken. Sure, that Caribbean pork shoulder is delicious over a simple bowl of my caramelized coconut-lime rice with a few toppings, but after one bite, I have no doubt you'll want more recipes that use this incredible pork. Enter these summery pulled pork nachos.
Besides, one pork shoulder makes a lot of meat, and it's entirely possible you'll have some leftovers. I want to make sure you enjoy every ounce of that succulent tropical pork shoulder, and these nachos are the perfect way to use any leftover meat.
While I highly suggest using my jerk-marinaded pork roast, I understand that you may have stumbled upon this post when simply looking for a shredded pork nacho recipe. If that's the case, you can still capture those classic Jamaican flavors by tossing your shredded pork in some dry jerk seasoning to taste.
Whether you use my jerk pork recipe or add dry seasoning, both deliver nachos unlike any other you've ever tasted. And trust me -- your guests will love you for it. Nachos may seem like the most basic appetizer, but the depth and complexity of the jerk seasoning truly give this classic party snack an unforgettable burst of flavor.
Nacho Ingredients and Toppings
Besides our tender pork, here are the ingredients I like to use.
- Corn tortilla chips
- Monterey Jack
- Refried black beans
- Tropical pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime slices
Now for a few ingredient tips. When it comes to chips, we want to use a variety on the thick side. These are loaded nachos, so thin nachos won't hold up.
Homemade fried tortilla chips are my favorite. They're thick, sturdy and more delicious than anything that comes in a bag. Plus, they're super simple to make. If frying on the stove, we heat oil to 350 degrees, fry tortilla triangles for one minute, flip, fry another minute, remove with metal tongs and then drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
A deep fryer also handles the job well. Like the stove-top method, we heat the oil to 350 degrees, place the tortilla triangles in the fry basket, fry for a couple minutes and then give them a stir with a wooden spoon. Keep frying in one-minute intervals until the chips start to brown. Of course, I totally understand if you opt for store-bought chips, but homemade chips add a nice touch.
For the cheese, make sure you freshly grate the cheddar and Monterey Jack rather than picking up shredded cheese in a bag, which is coated with a substance that prevents the cheese from sticking together. The substance keeps the cheese from melting as nicely as freshly grated cheese. Considering that nachos are all about melted, cheesy goodness, I cannot in good conscience recommend cheese in a bag.
And then there's the salsa. My tropical pico de gallo is my salsa of choice for these nachos. This pico de gallo includes mango, papaya, toasted coconut and fresh ginger, which perfectly complement the warm jerk seasoning.
But if you don't want to make your own pico de gallo, you can pick up your favorite fruit salsa. Specifically, a peach salsa is my second choice if not using my tropical pico de gallo.
How to Prepare Nachos
Now that our ingredients and toppings are ready, we can prepare our nachos for baking. To prevent soggy nachos, I like to first spread the chips on a large sheet pan and then sprinkle part of our cheese on top. Not only does this give us an extra dose of cheese but it creates a bit of a barrier. We don't need a lot of cheese -- just a touch like so.
From here, we dollop our nachos and cheese with refried black beans. I find dolloping refried beans is a bit easier when they're warm. Otherwise, the beans don't spread as well. Just a minute or two in the microwave is generally enough to give the beans a more spreadable consistency.
All that's left is to add the remainder of our cheese and jerk pork and bake. When our cheese is perfectly melted, we add fresh jalapeno slices and chopped cilantro with plenty of sour cream, guacamole and lime slices.
While I plopped the sour cream and guacamole directly onto the nachos, that was for easier photographing. Some people prefer to serve sour cream and guacamole in separate bowls to keep the nachos from heating up those cold toppings, particularly the sour cream. Whether you serve the sour cream and guacamole directly on the jerk pork nachos or in side bowls is entirely your call.
Baking vs. Broiling Nachos
Technically, you can bake or broil nachos, but I prefer baking. We only need five to seven minutes in the oven to bake our nachos, so it's not like broiling saves a significant amount of time. You can also easily overdo it in the broiler and end up with burned chips if you don't watch the nachos closely.
Can you broil nachos? Sure, but I think it's easier to pop the nachos in the oven for several minutes on a lower setting without worrying about burned chips.
Beer and nachos were made for each other. Specifically, I recommend a double IPA. Our roasted pork works beautifully with malty beers, and you'll find a double IPA has a maltier profile than a single IPA. The hops and spice also complement each other nicely.
Craving a glass of wine? Try a malbec, which brings fruity berry notes that pair with the jerk spice. The medium tannins also balance the bold pork.
And, of course, how could I recommend nacho pairings without a few margarita recommendations? Try my blood orange margarita, strawberry-kiwi margarita or jalapeno-mango margarita. A tiki drink isn't a bad idea either, and you'll love this classic Painkiller cocktail, or you could go with a simple rum cocktail and whip up this rum sour or Barbados rum punch.
For the most flavorful, delicious spin on your favorite party food, I hope you try these sheet pan jerk pork nachos. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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Sheet Pan Jerk Pork Nachos
- Large sheet pan
- Tortilla chips about a 12- to 16-ounce bag or approximately 150-200 homemade chips
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated cheddar
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Monterey Jack
- 1 cup refried black beans warmed for easier distribution
- 1 ½ cups shredded jerk pork shoulder see note
- 1-2 jalapeños thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro chopped
- Tropical pico de gallo or your favorite fruit salsa
- Sour cream
- Lime slices
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread chips on a large parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Try to keep the chips from overlapping too much to ensure you don't end up with bare chips.
- In a bowl, mix together the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Sprinkle about ¾ cup grated cheese to make a thin layer over the chips. Dollop small spoonfuls of refried black beans all over the cheese and chips. Sprinkle with remaining cheese on top and then add the jerk pork.
- Bake nachos until the cheese melts, about five to seven minutes. Remove from oven and top with jalapeno slices and fresh cilantro. Serve with tropical pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and lime slices. Enjoy!
- If you make the tropical pico de gallo, you likely need an entire batch. You can either cut the recipe in half or use the leftovers as an appetizer.
- If you don't have my jerk-marinaded pork shoulder, you toss dry jerk seasoning with plain pulled pork to taste.
- For full tips, please see blog post.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.