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Beef Nachos: Kid Friendly and So Easy!

This delicious Beef Nachos recipe is a tasty, nourishing kid-friendly meal. It’s a protein rich meal, jam packed with vegetables. This recipe is quick and simple, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. And even better – this is a generous family-sized recipe. If there are any leftovers these can be bulked out with rice. My Beef Nachos are also a great option for school lunches or as a base to make tasty quesadillas for a satisfying work lunch. 

Hands up who else is looking for quick and nourishing weeknight meals that your kids will love? I know I am. And if you are too, look no further than this recipe for Beef Nachos – it’s a great addition to your meal rotation.

And what kid does not love nachos?

Well if I am being completely honest with you, my eldest does not 🙄. But I will often make this recipe without the pinto beans and he will happily eat this beef nacho mix. ONLY IF THERE ARE NO BEANS. And because apparently he does not like the corn chips with the nachos, he will then only eat the nacho mix in wraps with salad.

Interesting observation…he will eat corn chips by themselves.

Just not with nachos…because he does not like them….

Beef Nachos Recipe topped with sour cream, jalapeño, coriander and avocado

This Beef Nacho recipe uses ground beef or minced beef along with lots of veggies – pinto beans, carrot, capsicum, onion and tomatoes. This makes my nacho recipe a more nourishing and complete dinner recipe than most nacho recipes.

And it is quick!

My Beef Nachos come together in less than 30 minutes. So it’s truly a great weeknight meal. You can also prepare the nacho beef mix in advance for an even quicker option on busy weeknights as it stores well in the fridge or freezer.

Ingredients and Substitutions

This recipe uses readily available ingredients with a home-made nacho spice blend. You can find the quantities for the ingredients in the recipe card.

  • Olive Oil – I use a small amount of olive oil (you could also use another vegetable oil or butter) when sautéing the vegetables so they do not stick to the pan.
  • Brown Onion – adds depth of flavour to the Beef Nachos recipe. If your kids don’t like onion you can omit.
  • Carrot – adds fibre, vitamin A and beta-carotene which is important for healthy vision.
  • Red Capsicum – also known as bell peppers, this powerhouse vegetable is a good source of vitamin c and antioxidants and they also assist with iron absorption.
  • Beef Mince – I choose a lean beef mince for this recipe. If regular grade mince is more suited to your budget you can very lightly brown the mince first, drain off the excess fat then set aside to use after you have sautéed the vegetables. If you would like a vegetarian option you can omit and replace with cooked red lentils.
  • Pinto Beans – are a great source of protein, fibre and carbohydrates and bulks this recipe out. I use a prepared canned variety which I rinse and drain off before I cook them. I often will use Red Kidney Beans interchangeably, however I prefer Pinto Beans as these are smaller and have a soft and creamy texture. If you are using Red Kidney Beans recommend cooking these for 5-10 minutes longer so they soften further. You can also omit the beans altogether but it will reduce the amount of beef nacho mix.
  • Garlic – adds more flavour to this recipe, you can omit or use 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Home Made Nacho Spice Mix – for the spice mix I use 1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and dried oregano (or use mixed herbs) with 1/2 tsp salt and a small pinch of cinnamon. You can make this spice mix in bulk ahead of time using the above ratios and keep the mix in an airtight jar.
  • Pepper – I use freshly ground black pepper which my kids enjoy but you can omit from the mix if your children do not like pepper.
  • Tomato Paste – adds a deeper tomato flavour to the recipe. You can omit but the tomato flavour will not be as pronounced and you may need to add more seasonings. 
  • Passata – this is an uncooked tomato sauce which is pureed and has a smooth and silky texture. You can replace with 400g canned diced tomatoes.

How to make Beef Nachos

This Beef Nacho recipe is truly so quick and easy. First, finely dice the onion and capsicum and peel (optionally) and grate the carrot. Preheat a large frypan with a little olive oil over medium-low heat.

Add the prepared vegetables into the preheated pan and sauté over a medium low heat for around 5 minutes. During this time, rinse and drain the pinto beans.

When the vegetables have softened add in the beef mince and with a wooden spoon break the mince apart into your desired consistency, mix the vegetable mix with the beef and brown the mince for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

sauté the vegetables then brown beef mince

Add the pinto beans to the beef and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Then mix through the homemade nacho spice mix, and the garlic through the beef nachos allowing the spices to cook for around 30 seconds to develop the flavours.

Next, add in the tomato paste and passata, season with ground pepper and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and serve over corn chips and load with your favourite toppings. You may also wish to top corn chips with cheese and grill before serving with the beef nacho mix and your desired toppings but I do not bother with this step.

stir in the tomato paste and passata and cook the beef nachos for a further 5 minutes

What to serve with Beef Nachos

You are really only limited to your imagination with toppings! Some ideas for toppings for beef nachos include:

  • sour cream
  • grated cheese
  • salsa
  • black beans
  • black olives 
  • fresh or pickled jalapeños
  • pickled red onions
  • sliced spring onions
  • diced red onions
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped coriander
  • lettuce
  • guacamole or avocado

Can I reheat beef nachos?

You can definitely reheat the beef nacho mix! It is, if anything, even more flavourful the following day. You can even prepare the nachos in advance and store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or ziplock bag for an even quicker weeknight meal.

To reheat the beef nachos, microwave the mixture on high for three-five minutes (you may need to stir the mixture part way through reheating) or back on the stove top for around 5 minutes or until piping hot. If you have frozen your beef nachos, defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating using the above method. It’s important to note that reheating times may differ depending on your microwave so make sure the mixture is steaming and heated the whole way through.

As well as making more beef nachos with any leftovers, you can also use this beef nacho mix in tacos (you may wish to omit the passata for tacos), in quesadillas. Or one of my favourite ways to serve this beef nacho recipe is to serve in a bowl with rice and topped with cheese, lettuce, avocado, carrot, diced tomatoes, sliced spring onions, coriander and corn chips on the side to make nacho bowls.

Looking for more quick and easy weeknight dinners?

  • Your whole family will adore this delicious Veggie Pasta Sauce recipe – its as packed with veggies as it is with flavour and is so quick and simple to prepare. You will never need to buy jarred sauce again.
  • This hungry-family-sized Zucchini Mac and Cheese is a healthier twist on everyone’s favourite and comes together so quickly for those busy weeknights.
  • My oil-free Zucchini Slice is a winner. It is so nourishing and filling with a deliciously light and creamy texture. And the leftovers are perfect for school lunches.
  • Or if you are looking for more stove-top recipes why not try these Corn Fritters, super simple and simply delicious.

Loving this recipe? Remember to rate it ★★★★★

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Beef Nachos: Kid Friendly and So Easy!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Bernadette - Goodie Goodie Lunchbox
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


These healthier Beef Nachos are the perfect family friendly meal. Quick and simple to prepare and loaded with vegetables these nachos are so tasty! They can even be prepared in advance for an even quicker to table meal.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion finely diced
  • 1 large carrot (100g) grated
  • 1/2 large red capsicum (75g) diced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 400g can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato pasta
  • 1 cup passata
  • ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the vegetables and heat the oil over medium low heat in a large frying pan.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and capsicum to the preheated pan and sauté for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the pinto beans and set aside.
  3. Add the beef mince and with a wooden spoon break apart the mince to your desired consistency, mix through the sautéed vegetables and lightly brown. This will take a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the pinto beans and mix through then add the oregano, spices, salt and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds – one minute to develop the flavour of the herbs and spices.
  5. Mix through the tomato paste and passata and gently simmer for a further 5 minutes over medium – low heat stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with corn chips and your desired toppings.

I hope you love my recipe for Beef Nachos. As always I would love for you to share pictures of you enjoying my recipes with me on Instagram or Facebook.

Bernadette x

Beef Nacho


  1. Made this recipe for 2adults and 4yr old was so quick and tasty to make, I will definitely make this again! Clear plate for the little one and got some veg in with no fuss. Win!

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