You can make chips and cheese into a fully balanced meal! This is one of the great things about it – that and melted cheese. What cheese lover can resist that? :-) (Note of our foreign friends – the kind of chips used for this are corn tortilla chips, just in case you don’t know that.)
To make the loaded chips and cheese pictured above I fully cooked some chicken breast strips and seasoned them with Mexican type seasoning (garlic, onion, red pepper, cumin, oregano) and salt.
Then, after spreading the corn chips on a baking sheet, I added the chicken, sliced black olives and grated cheese. I added some more spices to make the entire batch more flavorful. I baked it in the oven (350F-375F) just till the cheese melted and then sprinkled it with fresh, diced tomatoes before serving it. Supper in one pan! :-)
Pinto or black beans from a can or precooked (rinsed and well drained) could be used here in place of the chicken meat, or added to it to “stretch” it. You could also use cooked, drained ground beef.
Other toppings you could use to make a complete meal of it:
- mozzarella; pepperoni; fully cooked, crumbled sausage (drained and patted dry with paper towel); mushrooms; olives and other pizza toppings (use the sauce for dip if you want it, or sprinkle basil, garlic and oregano on top of the cheese before baking).
- good melting cheese of your choice, thin sliced steak (fully cooked); chopped, canned artichoke hearts (well drained and patted dry); and sautéed garlic cloves (drained). Add fresh chopped tomatoes after removing it from the oven. Season with herbs of your choice – maybe fresh, chopped basil? Mmmm.
- fully cooked, drained ground beef (drain on paper towel); garbanzo beans; pitted kalamata olives; lightly sautéed garlic; crumbled feta cheese. (You could use mozzarella with this as well.) Top this with fresh, shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber, and/or tomatoes. You could also spray the top lightly with olive oil before to add flavor.
- cheddar cheese; cooked, drained ground beef; and finely chopped dill pickles. Add chopped, diced tomatoes; shredded lettuce; and diced onion or chopped green onions after it is finished baking. "Sprinkle" ketchup and mustard over it. (This is for a cheese burger type taste.) :-)
Obviously all the cheese needs to be grated, or in the case of feta crumbled, before use.
You could use leftover meat for this such as shredded chicken, turkey, beef, or pork.
Anything you want fresh needs to be added after removing from the oven.
I have not tried all these toppings. I’m just thinking these through as I write. Be adventuresome and think up some of your own that sound good to you. Just remember not to use anything very wet or oily or the chips may get soggy.
Also, using safe cheese and other ingredients, this recipe can be made gluten free.
First published here 1/2011. Edited.