Take St. Paddy’s South of the Border With Irish Nachos

Mj 618_348_tk irish nachos
Courtesy Pork Slope

Nachos are a classic bar-food stable, but have you ever given your nachos an Irish spin?

Irish Nachos are a fun pub food twist on the traditional, replacing your tortilla chips with potatoes. Depending on where you are lucky enough to find this addictive snack, your base can be anything from thin-sliced potatoes to fun twists like tater tots. From there, the build can take many forms, but at its essence, it’s Tex-Mex meets Emerald Isle, and it’s fantastic.

Mj 390_294_tk nachos for all

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"Eating Irish nachos is a really fun and great way to celebrate St. Paddy's day because if you think about it, what combination of flavors better to accompany a really fantastic beer than potatoes, cheese, and a variety of other spicy and delicious toppings? Even though Irish Nachos are not traditionally from Ireland — I didn't see them during my adventures traveling through places like Dublin, Cork, Killarney, and Limerick — they do have roots in America. For me, its really a perfect way to enjoy St. Paddy's by merging elements from each culture," says Zak Higson, Co-Founder, Brothers Provisions, San Diego, CA.

Irish Nachos

"Everyone loves tater tots as they grew up eating them from the school cafeteria — a time in one’s life when things were much simpler. I love nachos and love the idea of swapping out the chips for tots. Nachos are also the ideal party food as you can set up a nacho bar and let people create their own, based on personal preferences. It’s the best food for a sports event, and an easy and economical way to fill some bellies!” says celebrity chef Dale Talde, co-owner of several restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, including Brooklyn’s Pork Slope, where this dish can be found.


  • 1 bag of frozen Tater Tots
  • cheese sauce, recipe follows
  • chili, recipe follows
  • onions, diced
  • tomato, diced
  • pickled jalapenos, recipe follows
  • lime sour cream, recipe follows

Cheese Sauce ingredients 

  • 3 tbsp butter          
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour      
  • 4 cups milk  
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper    
  • 1 cup Grafton sharp cheddar


  1. In a sauce pot, bring milk up to a slow simmer. In a separate pan melt butter and add the oil.
  2. Pour flour into melted butter and oil and whisk until combined. Cook for 1 minute over high flame, stirring constantly.
  3. Add roux to milk and whisk to combine. Gradually add the cheese and stir in until it is completely melted.
  4. Add hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until flour is cooked out.

Chili ingredients  

  • 2 lb ground beef     
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 small white onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 tbsp chili powder             
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander, ground      
  • 1 tsp cayenne          
  • 1 pc ancho chili, toasted and ground
  • 1 pc guajillo chili, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp salt                                           
  • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 small can 2 oz tomato paste                                
  • 1 12-oz can Negro Modelo beer                
  • 1 12-oz can canned tomato, chopped                   
  • 2 pcs chipotles, pureed                               
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 cups water                                                 
  • 1 12-oz can Navy Beans, canned                           


  1. Dust ground beef with all-purpose flour and sear on a plancha.
  2. Remove and reserve. In a large shallow pot, lightly caramelize onions and garlic.
  3. Lower heat and add chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, ancho, guajillo, salt, and black pepper and toast in oil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and raise the heat to caramelize.
  5. Deglaze with negro modelo. Add remaining ingredients and bring up to a simmer. Cover with foil and put in the oven at 250º for 3 hours.                        

Ingredients: Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup sour cream                             
  • ¼ cup whole milk                             
  • 1 large lime, zest and juice  
  • 1 tsp Salt                                          


  1. Combine in mixing bowl and stir with whisk.

Ingredients: Pickled Jalapeños

  • 1 cup jalapenos, sliced        
  • 4 oz vinegar                        
  • 4 oz sugar                                        
  • 3 oz salt                                            


  1. Mix all and pickle overnight.


Pork Belly Irish Nachos

"Our Irish nachos keep the traditional component in tact, but we've cranked it up a few notches. Living in San Diego gives us access to amazing fresh and local ingredients and allows us to make everything in house, including our potato chips, which definitely makes it feel upgraded while still keeping it classic comfort food. We add jalapeno cheese sauce, smoked pork belly, pickled onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and chipotle crema to top it all off,' says Zak Higson, co-founder of Brothers Provisions.


  • 6 oz cooked pork belly, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sriracha glaze**
  • 4 cup russet potato chips
  • 1 cup jalapeno cheese sauce**
  • ¼ cup pickled onions**
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos, diced
  • 3 tbsp chipotle crema**


  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Coat chopped Pork Belly with sriracha glaze, set aside.
  3. Layer russet chips on an oven-proof plate or sheet pan. Evenly spread over jalapeno cheese sauce.
  4. Top with glazed pork belly. Cook in oven until sauce begins to bubble, 10–15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining items, serve immediately. 

 Chipotle Crema ingredients

  • 3 tbsp chipotle in adobo
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 cup sour cream
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste 


  1. Blend all ingredients except sour cream in blender or food processor until mostly smooth. Add sour cream and blend until incorporated. 

Jalapeno Cheese Sauce ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup diced pickled jalapenos
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour and continue whisking the roux for 2–3 minutes. Slowly pour in Milk while continuously stirring.
  3. Once sauce thickens (3–7 minutes), stir in shredded cheddar and cream cheese.
  4. Add pickled jalapenos and salt and pepper to taste. 

Sriracha Glaze ingredients


  • 1 cup sriracha
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Pickled Red Onion ingredients

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp whole mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns


  • Combine all ingredients except onion and bring to a boil. Pour hot mixture over sliced onion. Let sit on counter until cool, then refrigerate.



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