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Carne Asada Nachos (San Diego-Style)

Carne Asada Nachos (San Diego-Style)

The BEST Carne Asada Nachos recipe with Carne Asada Seasoning! Crispy tortilla chips loaded up with authentic carne asada, melted cheese, 4 ingredient guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream.

This sheet pan nachos recipe uses the same San Diego-style carne asada steak use for Carne Asada Quesadillas, Carne Asada Tacos, Street Tacos and Carne Asada Fries

Pair these carne asada nachos (Receta de nachos con carne asada) with our other popular Mexican recipes for a fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta: Birria (for Birria Tacos), Mexican Mule, Michelada rimmed with Chamoy, Mango Michelada, Margarita, Refried Bean Dip, Instant Pot Carnitas, or Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.

Also check out our list of what to serve with carne asada!

Two glasses of Michelada next to sheet pan nachos, lime wedges and Corona bottles.

San Diego Mexican Food

The base for our carne asada nachos (Nachos Con Carne Asada) is our famous San Diego-style Carne Asada recipe. If you’ve ever been to San Diego and grubbed down on carne asada burritos from the local Roberto’s/Alberto’s/Filiberto’s, you know what style I’m talking about. Cheesecake Factory carne asada steak it is not.

Our carne asada marinade is unparalleled. This carne asada steak recipe has been perfected over the last 12 years and is beloved by those “in the know”. San Diego Mexican food really is in a class of their own. 

Individual ingredients to make Carne Asada Nachos.

Steak Nachos Ingredients

Carne Asada Steak – Flank Steak, Red Wine Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Lime, Orange, Cilantro, Garlic, Salt, White pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder, Mexican Oregano and Ground Cloves.

Nachos – Tortilla Chips, cheese, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo.

How to Make Carne Asada Nachos

Grill the Carne Asada

Sliced Carne Asada Steak Start Building the Nachos

Add a single layer of tortilla chips followed by the first layer of cheese to a quarter size baking sheet. Broil for 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

A photo of tortilla chips on a baking sheet on the left and tortilla chips covered in cheese on the right.

Add the carne asada and another layer of cheese and broil for another 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Uncooked steak nachos on a baking sheet on the left and cooked steak nachos on the right.

Add the Toppings

Top the steak nachos with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream and get to grubbing!

Cooked nachos on the left and fully loaded carne asada nachos on the right.

Nacho Topping Ideas

The topping we use in this Mexican carne asada nachos recipe are typical for San-Diego Mexican food. There are a ton of other nacho toppings that would be killer – anything on our Top Tacos Toppings list would work. Here are a few of my favorites:

Restaurant Style Salsa or Hot Sauce

Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Black Beans or Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Pickled Peppers or Pickled Banana Peppers

Pickled Red Onions

Mexican Style Corn on the Cob

Pico de Gallo or Mango Pico de Gallo


Smoked Queso

Mexican Crema 

Shredded Lettuce

Mexican Pickled Carrots

Recipe Tips

Play with the proportions until you figure out your favorite mix. Love cheese? Add in another cup. Watching the budget? Half the amount of steak. Don’t like raw onions? Skip the pico de gallo and opt for hot sauce or salsa. You get the idea. Serve it with a Beermosa for a killer brunch!

Best Cheese Options

Avoid pre-shredded bagged cheese as the coating used prohibits the cheese from melting. When you’re making nachos, pre-shredded cheese is the antithesis of what you’re going for. Fantastic cheese options include: Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, pepper jack or even Oaxaca. 

Air Fryer Tortilla Chips on a wooden plate next to a small white bowl of salsa.

Tortilla Chip Options

This isn’t the time to opt for thin “restaurant” tortilla chips. You want a nice heart chip that can withstand the weight of the toppings. Homemade air fryer tortilla chips make a great option. Tostitos makes a great chip as well. Just avoid anything labeled “restaurant style” or “cantina” as this indicates a thinner chip.

Can I Make This In Advance

The carne asada itself, yes. The pico de gallo, yes. The guacamole, eh. The nachos themselves, nope. This easy carne asada nachos recipe is best straight from the oven. Wait even 10 minutes and you risk soggy tortilla chips or cold meat. Blah. As for the guacamole, making it in advance risks it turning brown and unsightly. It would still be edible, just not as appetizing. 

More Delicious Mexican Recipes

Carne Asada nachos on a baking sheet surrounded by bowls of guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream.

Carne Asada Nachos

The BEST Carne Asada Nachos! Crispy tortilla chips loaded up with authentic carne asada, melted cheese, guacamole, pico de Gallo and sour cream.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carne Asada, Game Day Appetizer, Mexican Recipes, Nachos
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 586kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $20


Carne Asada Steak:

  • ½ Lb Carne Asada, Freshly Grilled or Leftover (*Note 1 and 2)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil


  • 12 oz Tortilla Chips (*Note 3)
  • 8 oz Cheddar, Colby Jack or Mexican Blend Cheese, Shredded (*Note 4)
  • Pico de Gallo, Store Bought or Homemade
  • Guacamole, Store Bought or Homemade
  • Sour Cream
  • Optional Toppings: Cilantro, Jalapeños, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Red Onions


  • Pre-heat oven to broil.
  • Slice the carne asada steak into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the steak and cook until hot and charred (approx. 4-5 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Spread the tortilla chips on a quarter sheet pan. Chips can slightly overlap, but not by much. Top with half the shredded cheese and broil in the oven until melted (approx. 1-3 minutes, depending on the size of the cheese shred). Make sure to keep your eyes on the cheese! It melts quickly.
  • Remove the baking sheet and top the chips with all of the carne asada, then the rest of the shredded cheese. Broil for another 1-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and top with pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and any other toppings you choose. Enjoy immediately for best results.


Note 1 - Listed prepration time is based on already having carne asada ready to go. It's subjective based on what toppings you make from scratch and what toppings you buy from the store.
Note 2 - If you just grilled your carne asada, you technically don't have to cook it again in the cast iron, however San Diego-style carne asada meat is prepared this way.
Note 3 - Make sure to use sturdy chips that can withstand the weight of the toppings. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips are great for nachos.
Note 4 - Do not use pre-shredded bagged cheese as the coating on the cheese prohibits it from melting. 


Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 760mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 599IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 375mg | Iron: 2mg
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