Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Potato Nachos with Avocado Ranch Sour Cream

Although Eric and I have mostly been trying to make healthier food choices, we said "fuck it" multiple times during the month of February. Since we were both sick, we felt justified in making things with heavy cream (like these Red Garlic Mashed Potatoes and this One Pot Tortellini with Italian Sausage in a Tomato Cream Sauce). We also made brownies (twice) and just seemed to eat more "bad" food in general.

Today's recipe is a perfect example of what I mean when I say we've been eating more "bad" food.

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I'm a huge fan of buffalo chicken, and I've been craving it a lot for the past couple of months. I've also been seeing a lot of potato nacho recipes floating around on Pinterest and various blogs, so I spent some time trying to figure out the best way to combine a basic potato nacho recipe with buffalo chicken.

I'm not going to lie: this recipe isn't perfect. Eric thinks that maybe next time we should try grilling the chicken and dicing it up. The shredded chicken from the crockpot was really juicy, which was nice ... However, it retained a little more moisture from the chicken broth it was cooked in than we would have liked, and the result was a slightly thinner buffalo sauce and potatoes that lost some of their crunch after the chicken had been sitting on top for a while.

That being said, the overall result was very good. (Obviously good enough to post here!) The flavor was almost exactly what I had imagined when I first started figuring out how I could make these nachos. This kind of recipe is also very versatile, so it would be pretty easy to switch up the meat (or method of cooking the meat), toppings, and flavors. Eric and I both really loved these nachos (we seriously ate the entire pan that you'll see pictured below in one sitting!), and this is the kind of thing I'd want to make if we were going to have a small group of people over. (It's not really enough to feed a large group unless you doubled or tripled the recipe. Or maybe we just eat a lot. Haha.)

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One final thing before I share this recipe: these nachos were spicy. I was honestly surprised that Eric liked them so much because even I thought they were pretty spicy, and my spicy food tolerance is much higher than Eric's. I'm posting this recipe exactly as I made it, but I'd highly recommend using less hot sauce and/or omitting the jalapeños if you (or someone you'd be making these for) don't love super spicy foods.

Buffalo Chicken Potato Nachos with Avocado Ranch Sour Cream

Adapted from a recipe on Real House Moms.

Ingredient List:
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 large breasts.)
  • 7-10 small to medium red skin potatoes (I used 7 or 8, and that was more than enough for us. You can also use 1 large or 2 smaller russet potatoes if you're not a huge fan of the red skin potatoes.)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar jack blend.)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot.)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (plus additional to taste)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Olive oil (I didn't measure how much I used, but I just tossed the potatoes in a little olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper before the initial cook time, so use the amount you feel is best based on the amount of potatoes you're using.)
  • Toppings (optional): diced green onions, sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, fresh diced tomatoes, extra cheese, extra avocado, etc.


1.  If you're cooking your chicken in the crockpot, spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the chicken breasts, garlic salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and enough liquid (I used chicken broth, but you could also use water) to cover the meat. 

2.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3 hours. When the chicken has finished cooking, shred it with two forks and remove it to a medium bowl. (You can also grill or pan fry your chicken and dice it into small chunks, or you could shred a rotisserie chicken. I'll probably try grilling my chicken next time.)

3.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

4.  Slice the potatoes into medium thick slices (between 2.5-3.5 mm thick). I used a mandolin to do this, and, while it's not absolutely necessary, it's a great tool to get slices of consistent size/thickness. It's also so much easier and faster than trying to slice small potatoes with a knife. (At least in my opinion!) This is also how I know the actual thickness of the slices ... If I'd just been eyeballing it, I wouldn't know that they were between 2.5-3.5 mm!

5.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. (I actually had to use a total of three baking sheets for this recipe because there were so many potato slices.) 

6.  Toss the potato slices in a little olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, then arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet(s) in a single layer.

7.  Bake the potatoes for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. (The total cook time will depend on how thin the potatoes are. I baked mine for the full 20 minutes, but I checked on them after 15 to make sure I didn't overcook them.)

8.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray, and pile the potatoes together in the dish. Cover with the shredded cheese and diced red bell peppers, and return them to the oven to bake for an additional 5-6 minutes (or until the cheese has melted and the peppers have softened slightly).

9.  While the potatoes are baking for the final time, melt the unsalted butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the hot sauce to the butter, and mix thoroughly.

10.  Pour the buffalo sauce over the chicken in a medium bowl. Toss several times to coat the chicken thoroughly.

11.  Add the avocado, sour cream, and dry ranch dressing mix to a food processor and blend until everything is completely mixed.

12.  When the potatoes have finished baking, remove the baking dish from the oven and set aside. Top the potatoes with the buffalo chicken, a generous dollop of the avocado ranch sour cream, and any additional toppings you would like to use (as you can see from the pictures, we used diced green onions and sliced pickled jalapeño peppers).

I know this seems like a lot of steps, but it's really not a difficult recipe. And, honestly, the cleanup was the one thing that took the most time. Everything else goes pretty quickly, especially after the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are sliced. (And the mandolin made slicing the potatoes feel ridiculously easy and quick.)

I don't know how well this reheats since we ate that entire pan in one sitting (I should probably be a little more embarrassed of this fact, but I'm not). I assume that since we had some slight issues with the chicken retaining a little too much moisture from the crockpot, the leftovers may have been a little soggy.

If you don't think you can eat this much in one sitting, you may want to cut down the recipe or use a different cooking method for the chicken. You could also try not adding any toppings (including the meat) to the potatoes until the potatoes have been placed on your plate, and then store the leftover potatoes and leftover toppings in separate containers.


  1. I am weird about potatoes as the base for nachos. I feel the need to always have chips! I like the idea of this recipe though, especially the avocado ranch sour cream component.

  2. I don't know why I read this when I already knew I was hungry. Sounds so good! I love spicy, spicier the better.

  3. i am trying to be good, damn it! i have never used potatoes in nachos. it definitely sounds dangerous haha. probably healthier than me using doritos...