Irish Nachos

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Irish Nachos take the best parts of a loaded baked potato and serve them up hot and crispy on a platter. Fried potato slices are the perfect vehicle for cheese, bacon, sour cream, tomatoes, and anything else you’re craving. This pub food favorite is an ideal snack or centerpiece for St. Patrick’s Day or any game day celebration.

Irish nachos in a silver serving dish.


 

Hailing from Texas rather than Ireland, this Irish Potato Nachos recipe tastes great and are a wholly satisfying party snack. Instead of tortilla chips like traditional nachos, these Potato Nachos are built on a bed of crispy potatoes sliced thin. Think potato chips but with some chew!

Try Irish Pub Nachos for St. Patrick’s Day, game day, or for an epic weekend dinner in. It’s a fun twist on bar food that you can customize with all your favorite nacho toppings. Or, substitute steak fries from the freezer section to bring this recipe to life even faster.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Irish nachos.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: Opt for starchy potatoes like Russets so they’re sturdy enough to slice, cook, and hold toppings. Yukon gold potatoes can work too if you like their semi-waxy texture. For even cooking, cut into slices of equal thickness. I like to use a mandoline (this is the mandoline I have and love). If you scrub potatoes well enough, peeling the potatoes is optional.
  • White vinegar: Parboil the potato slices in water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. The acid will help the potato slices hold their shape while cooking.
  • Oil for frying: Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. Avoid your best olive oil here as it has a strong flavor and will probably set off your smoke detector in the process.
  • Bacon: Crisp it up in a skillet or on the stove; here’s how to fry bacon perfectly.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Using a mandoline or a sharp chef’s knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Rinse the slices under cold water, then store in a large bowl of water while slicing the remaining potatoes.
Slicing potatoes on a mandolin.
  1. Drain the potatoes. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 quarts water; bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Boiling potato slices in water.
  1. Drain well and spread in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets lined with paper towels. Allow the par-boiled potato slices to dry for five minutes. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil to 400 degrees. Lower the potatoes into the oil in batches, turning them over with a slotted spoon until they stop releasing bubbles; depending on the thickness of the slice, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Fried potato slices frying in a pot of oil.
  1. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining potato slices.
Fried potato slices draining on paper towels.
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and arrange the potatoes on a broiler-proof baking dish or pie pan. Top the potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese and cooked, chopped bacon. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
Potato nachos in a bowl before broiling in the oven.
  1. Remove the nachos from the oven, and garnish with sour cream, tomato, green onions, and jalapeno slices, if using.
Irish nachos in a silver serving dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of Irish Nachos, enough for 4 servings, 1 cup each (plus toppings).
  • Storage: Store leftover Irish Nachos in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 450 degrees until the potatoes are warm and the cheese gets melty again, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make ahead: This is best enjoyed hot from the oven, but feel free to slice and store the potatoes in a bowl of water in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before to get a jumpstart on prep.
  • Baked Irish Nachos: To bake instead of fry the potato slices, follow step 1 and 2 as listed. Instead of step 3, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the potato slices in oil, salt and pepper, and arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Then turn the oven up to 450 degrees and proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Waffle fries: If desired, skip the first 3 steps and start with frozen waffle fries, cooked according to package instructions.
  • Cheese swap: Feel free to replace the shredded cheddar with any crumbled cheese, shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack, or a beer cheese sauce that you like.
  • Toppings bar: Consider serving with bowls of sliced avocado, chunky tomato salsa, chopped cilantro, finely diced white onion, sliced black olives, jalapeno peppers, and diced bell peppers so each diner can garnish their serving with personal favorites. Hot sauce, red chili flakes, and fresh black pepper are good too.
  • Round out your ultimate St. Patrick’s Day menu: start with Hot Rueben Dip, and serve a basket of homemade Irish Soda Bread along with your traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage and homemade Guinness Stew. Leftovers can be put to use in Corned Beef Hash for breakfast, a hot Rueben sandwich or Rachel Sandwich for lunch, topped with homemade Thousand Island dressing.
Hot reuben dip in a baking dish.
The ideal appetizer for St. Patrick’s Day, Hot Reuben Dip showcases all the flavors of the famous deli sandwich in one easy appetizer recipe. Scoop up with toasted rye bread pieces to complete the reuben sandwich experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Irish Nachos from?

Irish Nachos originated in Arlington, Texas at a bar called J. Gilligan’s Bar and Grill in 1980. They took the name “Irish” due to the nachos being made from potato slices.

How do you slice potatoes for potato nachos?

If you have a mandoline, that’s the easiest way. If not, a sharp chef’s knife will do just fine.

More crowd-pleasing potato recipes

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Irish nachos in a silver serving dish.

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos take the best parts of a loaded baked potato and serve them up hot and crispy on a platter. Fried potato slices are the perfect vehicle for cheese, bacon, sour cream, tomatoes, and anything else you're craving.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings (1 cup each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Irish
Calories 359
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

For the potatoes:

For the nachos:

Instructions 

To make the potatoes:

  • Using a mandoline or a sharp chef's knife, slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Rinse the slices under cold water, then store in a large bowl of water while slicing the remaining potatoes.
  • Drain potatoes. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine vinegar and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil. 
  • Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well and spread in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets lined with paper towels. Dry five minutes.
  • In a Dutch oven, large pot, or deep fryer, heat oil to 400 degrees. Add ½ of potato slices and cook, stirring and flipping constantly with wire mesh spider or slotted spoon, until potatoes release no more bubbles, about 3 to 5 minutes (smaller chips may cook faster than large ones and should be removed from the oil as they finish).
  • Transfer potato slices to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining potato slices.

To make the nachos:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Transfer potato slices to a broiler-proof pie plate or serving platter.
  • Top with cheese and bacon. Bake until the cheese is hot and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sour cream, tomato, scallions, and jalapeño slices, if using.

Notes

  1. Potatoes: Opt for starchy potatoes like Russets so they’re sturdy enough to slice, cook, and hold toppings. For even cooking, cut into slices of equal thickness (I suggest using a mandoline). Peeling the potatoes is optional.
  2. White vinegar: Parboil the potato slices in water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. The acid will help the potato slices hold their shape while cooking.
  3. Oil for frying: Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. Avoid your best olive oil here as it has a strong flavor and will probably set off your smoke detector in the process.
  4. Bacon: Crisp it up in a skillet or on the stove; here’s how to fry bacon perfectly.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of Irish Nachos, enough for 4 servings, 1 cup each (plus toppings).
  6. Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 450 degrees until the potatoes are warm and the cheese gets melty again, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 18gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 510mgPotassium: 556mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 570IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 416mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

    1. Hi Kimberli! The adaptions probably don’t have specific names, naming recipes is just sort of whatever you want to call them. Adaptations are just random ideas we think of while we are testing that sound good, so we try them out. Thank you! -Meggan