thanksgiving leftovers nachos in baking dish

Ohmygoodness, do you know what is happening here? Pretty much the combination of my favorite foods into one dish: Thanksgiving leftovers, and nachos. I just… I can’t even… ugh. I wish I still had leftovers of these leftovers.

Funny story about these nachos: I actually made them on Halloween. So while we were handing out candy to the costumed kids, we were simultaneously munching on Thanksgiving-themed nachos. Then we had Halloween candy for dessert. My head was so confused by the holiday mash-up, though my belly was all, “GOOD GRAVY GIMME MORE.” (Except there is no gravy on these nachos. Because that would be gross.) (Also, that’s my food baby talking. My real baby will be much more well-behaved.)


ingredients for nachos on table
mixing ingredients for thanksgiving nachos in a bowl

I made these nachos for a project with Old El Paso that combines Mexican flavors with holiday leftovers. In theory, coming up with such a recipe should be an easy task — Mexican food is awesome, and holiday leftovers are awesome, so anything mixing the two should be doubly awesome, right? But then you realize that mashed potato tacos sound disgusting, and green bean casserole with fajita seasoning would be horrendous, and the list goes on. So it took some serious thinking to come up with a recipe that actually tastes good. And I’ll be honest — even as I went to make these nachos, I worried that they would taste all sorts of weird.

thanksgiving nachos in baking dish ready for oven
thanksgiving leftovers nachos in baking dish on a table

But you know what? They proved me wrong in a very, very delicious way.

I think what really makes these nachos pop, besides all the melty cheese that melts my heart, is the cranberry-jalapeno salsa on the side. It offers just enough sweetness and tartness to balance out all the salty-savory flavors in the nachos. And pro tip: Mix it with a little sour cream. You won’t be sorry.

thanksgiving leftovers nachos on a plate

Instead of the classic Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich the day after the holiday, I suggest you mix it up and make these nachos instead. Or, make both! and let the over-eating continue into the weekend. It’s how I plan to do, anyway.

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thanksgiving leftovers nachos

Thanksgiving Leftovers Nachos

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  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb chopped turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Old El Paso® original taco seasoning
  • 1 (16 oz) can Old El Paso® refried beans
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Place a layer of tortilla chips in the bottom of the pan; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Top with more tortilla chips (you may not use the whole bag).
  2. Lightly toss turkey with taco seasoning; sprinkle half of the turkey over the cheese. Top evenly with refried beans. Top with remaining turkey. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  3. Bake 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and ingredients are warmed through. Meanwhile, make the cranberry-jalapeno salsa: In a small bowl, combine cranberry sauce, cilantro and lime juice. Seed and finely dice one jalapeno pepper; stir into salsa. Add salt to taste.
  4. Slice remaining jalapeno; sprinkle over top of baked nachos, along with sliced green onion. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Disclosure: I received compensation from Old El Paso for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.