This is the best trashed up dinner ever.

summer BBQ chicken nachos with buttermilk onion rings and white cheddar queso I

Except according to my husband, who refuses to eat nachos for dinner but WHO CARES.

More for us.

Is it fair to call nachos with obviously fried onion rings “summery” and “light?” Because these just are.

summer BBQ chicken nachos with buttermilk onion rings and white cheddar queso I

I’ve been craving some onion rings ever since I taught a burger class a few weeks ago where we made crispy onion straws for a quinoa burger topping. Ummm… so good. Needed them again.

This was also BEFORE I burned an entire pain of fries (literally pulled them out of the oven and they were black twigs) but I think these made up for those.

And these nachos are a little high maintenance but you can make a few pieces ahead of time and throw them all together. I just love fat plates of nachos that have something special on top of them – making it an over-the-top indulgence. Much better than chips covered in bagged cheese and shoved in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Still not above that though.

summer BBQ chicken nachos with buttermilk onion rings and white cheddar queso I

I cheated and used a store bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. And I’ve gotta tell you. Ever since finding out I had a bun in the oven, I’ve made sure to pick up a chicken at the store because I know that way there is always something for Eddie’s lunches and dinners. However, it’s been the one thing to turn my stomach so even to this day, my game plan is to throw the chicken in the back of the car and drive home as fast as I can while holding my breath. Then I’m like PLEASE TAKE THIS CHICKEN OUT OF SIGHT IMMEDAITELY! And beg him to rip the meat from the bones and dispose of the evidence while I drink bubbly soda. It’s worked out perfectly. And after that: comes nachos. It’s like our reward for driving with chicken and pulling chicken. As long as it isn’t dinner.

My BBQ flavor fantasy includes my favorite sauce with a mix of sweet corn, often some green onions and radishes with a bite. I always like a cheddar, but this time we went with a quick makeshift white cheddar queso and freshly grated cheese – melty in on-so different ways.

It’s just a big pile of love.

summer BBQ chicken nachos with buttermilk onion rings and white cheddar queso I


BBQ Chicken Nachos with Buttermilk Onion Rings

Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

Total Time: 1 hour


buttermilk onion rings
2 sweet onions, sliced into rings
1 quart buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
vegetable oil for frying

2 cups shredded chicken breasts
2/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce, plus more for drizzling
1 standard size bag of tortilla chips
4 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from the cob
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup freshly torn cilantro

white cheddar queso
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup half and half
4 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste


buttermilk onion rings
A few hours or even the night before, add the onions to a baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over top making sure to fully submerge the rings. Place in the fridge until ready to use (at least 2 hours). Stir together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and smoked paprika. Remove the onions from the fridge.

Heat a saucepan with a few inches of oil over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to determine when the heat reaches 350 degrees. Dredge the onions through the flour and drop them in the oil, frying until golden and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Make the queso next!

white cheddar queso
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two to create a roux. Once it's golden and fragrant, slowly whisk in the half and half. Cook for a minute until slightly thick. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese until melted and warm. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep over low heat until ready to use, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the chicken with 2/3 cup of the BBQ sauce. Place the chips on a baking sheet. Cover the chips with a sprinkling of cheese, then add the chicken on top. Throw the corn on next, along with the remaining cheese. Bake the nachos for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and chips and crispy. Remove immedaitely from the oven and cover the chips with the green onions, avocado, tomatoes, radishes and cilantro. Top with the onion rings and drizzle the queso over top. Finish with a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

summer BBQ chicken nachos with buttermilk onion rings and white cheddar queso I

a hug of nachos.

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58 Responses to “Summer BBQ Chicken Nachos with Buttermilk Onion Rings.”

  1. #
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes — July 17, 2014 @ 7:08 am

    I totally know that car smelling like chicken thing. Ha ha, and I would guess that would be kinda gross if you were nauseous. Hopefully that’ll pass soon. Loving the collage of pics at the bottom of the post.


  2. #
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — July 17, 2014 @ 7:18 am

    Yeah, these are totally worth the effort. And they are totally dinner-worthy, too, no matter what Eddie says. :)


  3. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — July 17, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    I also agree about the smell of the chicken! Whenever I buy one I try to get the meat off the bones as fast as possible because it just gets more difficult as the chicken starts to cool. In the end, I tell myself it was all worth it because I have heaps of chicken just waiting to be turned into something delicious, and now these nachos will be added to that list. :)


  4. #
    Kim in MD — July 17, 2014 @ 7:38 am

    I agree about the rotisserie chicken smell. I’m sure it’s 100 times worse for you with your heightened sense of smell during your pregnancy! These nachos are worth it, though!


  5. #
    Sues — July 17, 2014 @ 7:43 am

    I mean, I didn’t think nachos could get much better… But with onion rings on top?? Best idea ever. Oh and nachos for dinner is a common occurrence in my house. Oops.


  6. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — July 17, 2014 @ 7:52 am

    So these were the nachos Eddie didn’t want…I can’t believe it! Get with the plan Eddie because these look amazing! I’m loving this nacho recipe :)


  7. #
    Sara Cobb — July 17, 2014 @ 7:53 am

    STOP IT! This is so happening in our house this weekend. Who knew nachos could be so pretty, too?? Mine look like a hot mess every time I make them!


  8. #
    ashley - baker by nature — July 17, 2014 @ 7:53 am

    I totally want to be at your next burger class! These nachos ————> FOREVER!


  9. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 17, 2014 @ 7:57 am

    The nachos look incredible and are a fine choice for dinner. In fact, seriously ate them for last night’s dinner :) And I am amazed with being pregnant that you’re frying up onion rings. The smell would have killed me. You are amazing!! Pinned!


  10. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — July 17, 2014 @ 7:59 am

    The love and hate relationship with cooked chicken is never ending battle. Another one has to be hot chips for me. My onion ring obsession is now stronger than ever, combined with Mexican? I can hardy wait for my next roast chicken; I will save some just for this recipe!


  11. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — July 17, 2014 @ 8:03 am



  12. #
    Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — July 17, 2014 @ 8:51 am

    I think nachos are awesome for dinner! And these nachos sound awesome as well, cannot wait to give them a try – yum! :) Pinning


  13. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — July 17, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    I made my husband nacho dinner last night.
    It’s just like a broken down taco ,but without the salsa down his shirt.
    So really ,you have no cravings ??????
    It just has to be something you really enjoy right now.


  14. #
    Jana H. — July 17, 2014 @ 9:16 am

    Onion rangs! Yes, please and thank you, all day long. :-D

    My 14-year-old niece would eat nachos for breakfast, lunch and supper if she could get away with it. Everywhere we go out to eat, if nachos are on the menu we can rest assured that’s what she’s having.


  15. #
    Jules — July 17, 2014 @ 9:27 am

    We could all use a hug of nachos every once in a while. Especially fancy ones like this!


  16. #
    Michelle Hill — July 17, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    now, you, stop it over there with those buttermilk onion rings!! Looks devine!!


  17. #
    Cindy — July 17, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    I’ve totally craved onion rings my entire pregnancy! What’s that about?

    These look amazing and you totally deserve to take a cheat here and there. I mean, you ARE growing a whole, human person in your body. Seriously.


  18. #
    Jessica @ A Happy Food Dance — July 17, 2014 @ 10:10 am

    Yum! Don’t blame you on the smell of the rotisserie chicken. There’s no bun in my oven and I’m still not fond of the smell.


  19. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — July 17, 2014 @ 10:19 am

    HA! I actually love the smell of rotisserie chicken… even though I don’t eat it. Same with burgers. It’s weird.

    I love margaritas and, therefore, I love nachos. The two just go so perfectly together. Have always been a little nervous about making onion rings… even though I have a deep fryer to help me through the process. Need to get over that.


  20. #
    La Cuisine d'Helene — July 17, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    We do have nachos, for dinner, once in a while on Friday when I don’t feel like cooking a big meal. What a great idea to add onion rings, we like them a lot here.


  21. #
    Meg Jones | The Spatularette — July 17, 2014 @ 11:41 am

    Ummm, I think I actually need these right now. Not want, need.


  22. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — July 17, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    looks SO good!


  23. #
    Alex @ Kenzie Life — July 17, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

    I need those onion rings now. No seriously. My stomach audibly rumbled when I saw those pictures


  24. #
    Eileen — July 17, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

    Wait, there are people out there who refuse to eat nachos for dinner?? WHAT. Nachos are definitely one of our lazy weeknight dinners in normal rotation! I love the idea of punching it up with bbq seasonings and onion rings.


  25. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — July 17, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    OMG the photo series block is AMAZING!
    And seriously, those chickens make the car SMELL so gross. So, I don’t blame you.


  26. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — July 17, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

    why would you not want to eat nachos for dinner….? nachos are life. and these look really delicious.


  27. #
    Larry — July 17, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

    Seriously. I could go into any Mexican place and have to talk myself out of ordering the nachos for dinner. Sometimes I don’t, and do. Ugh. So good! And onion rings on top? I think I’ll gaining some sympathy weight.


  28. #
    Kara @ The Beantown Aardvarks — July 17, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

    Is it wrong that I want to construct my own grid of nacho photos and set it as my desktop? Mmmm…


  29. #
    Katya @ Little Broken — July 17, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

    I love bright and happy food! All the textures and colors are so delicious looking :)


  30. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — July 17, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

    What a great idea of a wonderful summer dish—-I am craving those onion rings.
    It’s boiled meat smell that often gets to me. But thanx for figuring away around it and producing a note worthy dish.


  31. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — July 17, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

    OMG ONION RINGS. On nachos. OMG. Eddie is nuts.


  32. #
    Natalie — July 17, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

    I literally told my husband I was making chicken nachos for dinner and he groaned. He did not want to “eat nachos for dinner…” What is with these men!? Either way, I made it over rice – apparently rice vs. tortilla chips makes some huge difference.


  33. #
    Amanda — July 17, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    I need this recipe in my life (and mouth) right now! The onion rings with chicken and cheese…OMG I love nachos!


  34. #
    Jamie — July 17, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    Oh man! This looks delicious!


  35. #
    Marjie — July 17, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

    These nachos. OMG, but that collage pic of the nachos. Dying. Rotisserie chicken has been my life the past month. But only from whole foods. One time I walked around whole foods for 30 minutes piling things I didn’t need I’m my cart to wait on the chickens to cook. And isn’t the whole purpose of them to save time?


  36. #
    Angel Reyes — July 17, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    I love it. It looks absolutely appetizing.


  37. #
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout — July 17, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

    Who refuses nachos for dinner?! That’s crazy talk. These look amazing oh my goddd.


  38. #
    olivia — July 18, 2014 @ 6:52 am

    Looks amazing !


  39. #
    Nathalie C. @ Devoted Foodie — July 19, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    Wow! I need these in my life!


  40. #
    Ambar — July 20, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

    Buttermilk onion rings! Love it!


  41. #
    Cheyenne — July 21, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    ohhh i want this, now! totally craving nachos right now.
    xo, cheyenne



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