These lighter chicken nachos might have fewer calories, but they don’t sacrifice an ounce of flavor. They’re piled high with tortilla chips, delicious (and easy!) slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken, seasoned black beans, melted cheddar cheese, and all the fixins—for only 396 calories or 8 WW points!
You know how even mediocre pizza is still pretty good? Nachos don’t work like that. Good nachos are hard to come by. At their worst, the ratio of chips to cheese is off and the toppings aren’t evenly distributed, leaving half of the chips without even a shred of cheese. This is what creates those friendship-ending moments where one person picks up the single chip holding ALL the cheese and everyone at the table gasps and dies inside.
All of the best nachos are topped with some sort of Tex-Mex-style meat, or well-seasoned beans—or better yet, both! These toppings are key when it comes to making nachos that are a little lighter and healthier and yet still taste great. My rule of thumb is: the more flavorful the meat and/or beans, the less you need to rely on cheese to provide all the flavor and satisfaction (allowing you to use a little less). These chicken nachos prove that, with a completely delicious slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken and black beans. And the best news is, the recipe is almost laughably easy. All you need are 4 simple ingredients: boneless, skinless chicken breast, a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), a can of diced tomatoes (I always use Tuttorosso), and 1 packet of taco seasoning mix (I like McCormick 30% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning). Combine them in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. The chicken that emerges is full of flavor and so tender that it practically falls apart at the touch of a fork. The beans are soft and faintly spiced. You can even use the juicy, seasoned tomatoes (drained of the liquid) as a kind of salsa.
The only remaining ingredients are the tortilla chips and the corn. The rest is up to you: salsa, chopped avocado or guacamole, cilantro, red onion, pickled jalapeños, sour cream (or nonfat Greek yogurt to add creaminess and tang with fewer calories)…For chips, I almost always use Tostitos brand—either the Restaurant-Style (used in the photos) or the Bite Size (called for in the recipe). Since we’re trying to keep the nachos on the lighter side, I recommend using the bite size because 1 serving (1 ounce) is 24 chips—an amount that allows you the fun and satisfaction of many small bites.
Now it’s time to bake our chicken nachos. You have 2 options:
- Bake the nachos in a single layer using TWO baking sheets. This can help prevent sogginess.
- Layer them on ONE baking sheet. I’m partial to layering. To do this, spread half of the tortilla chips in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Then, evenly distribute half of the slow cooker shredded chicken, beans, some of the drained diced tomatoes, corn, and cheddar cheese. I love adding corn for a bit of sweetness. Repeat the layering with the rest of the chips and toppings.
Either way, bake until the cheese melts and the ends of the chips turn a light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve them right from the pan, topped with whatever you like!