Ready in 30 minutes, these easy tuna nachos are a family favourite – and perfect for busy days when you want a quick dinner! In this fun version of Mexican nachos, corn chips are topped with a Mexican-spiced tuna melt layer mixed with sweetcorn and capsicum (peppers). An added bonus with nachos – you don’t have to eat them with cutlery, so there is less washing up too!
On busy summer days when I have nothing planned for dinner, I often turn to these no cook vegetarian nachos. But when the weather is cold, we crave warm nachos, and using tuna in them is a quick and delicious way to turn them into a filling feast. Tinned/canned tuna is an ingredient I always have on hand as it can be used for so many things, from this 15 minutes tuna pesto pasta, to comforting tuna pasta bake, tuna croissants or sandwiches, and of course, these nachos.
Why we love this recipe
- Easy – mix the spicy tuna melt layer, pile on corn chips, and bake!
- Uses store cupboard ingredients – tinned/canned tuna and corn, corn chips and mayonnaise.
- Great hidden veggie recipe – you could also add some leftover cooked veggies such as leftover roast carrots or pumpkin, or cooked broccoli.
- Spicy, but not too spicy – Add spice later on in the form of jalapeños, making this one dish both toddler and kids enjoy, and adults too!
Ingredients and Ingredients Notes
- Corn chips – I often use round corn chips from Aussie supermarket Woolworths, but use whatever corn or tortilla chips you like. Make sure they are thick otherwise they can go soggy. Use plain or lightly salted corn chips.
- Tuna – canned/tinned tuna, in water or olive oil.
- Cheese – I use block cheddar cheese and grate it myself – ready grated cheese contains stabilisers which, as well as not being nice to eat, prevent the cheese from melting as well.
- Veggies – these go well with any leftover veg: roast carrots and pumpkin, sautéed mushrooms, red capsicum/pepper. Or you can add your vegetables to the nachos once cooked: top with pico de gallo – if mangos are in season try with this mango pico de gallo, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion.
- Yogurt – Use plain unsweetened yogurt, I find Greek yogurt works the best. If you don’t have any yogurt, use extra mayonnaise.
- Spices – I’ve kept the heat spice low for younger family members, but you can increase the spice to suit you. You can use store bought taco seasoning instead.
How to make this recipe
- Mix the spices with yogurt and mayonnaise.
- Add tuna, corn, pepper/capsicum and half the grated cheese.
- Spread half the corn chips in the bottom of a baking dish.
- Top with half the tuna mix.
- Add the rest of the corn chips, tuna and the rest of the cheese and bake.
- Whilst it’s baking mash the avocado with lime juice.
Choose a cheese that melts well, such as tasty, Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, or a combination.
Buy thicker chips which will hold up to toppings better than thin chips, and add your cold ingredients (avocado, sour cream if using) afterwards, or immediately before serving.
No. Put the salsa on just before serving, or serve it on the side for people to help themselves.
Yes you can! Line the tray with foil and place a layer of corn chips, your topping and then some cheese. Cook at 180˚C / 356˚F for 5-7 minutes until heated through. I have a small air fryer so this recipe requires cooking the nachos in 2 batches.
My Recipe Tips
- Use freshly grated cheese – it melts better and not coated in stabilisers like ready grated cheese is 🙁
- Building nachos in layers helps prevent no thick layers of dry nachos with no topping.
- Don’t use thin corn chips, these will become soggy.
- Other topping ideas: pico de gallo, fresh coriander, guacamole (or this delicious Venezuelan guacamole)
More quick and easy family dinner recipes
When time is limited, try these easy recipes all ready in 30 minutes or less.
- 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- 185g (6.5oz) tin tuna in water or oil
- 100g (½c) tinned sweetcorn
- 1 green capsicum finely diced
- 100g (1c) cheese, grated
- 200g (7oz) corn chips
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- 1 avocado
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (from ½ lime)
- jalapeno for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan/180˚C / 320˚F convection / 356˚F
- Mix the greek yogurt with mayonnaise, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne.
- Add the tuna, sweetcorn, diced capsicum/pepper, half the cheese, and mix well.
- Lay half the corn chips over a 25cm x 20 cm (9.8" x 7.8") baking dish in an even layer.
- Top with half the tuna mix.
- Cover with the rest of the corn chips, then the rest of the tuna in an even layer, and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese.
- Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the tuna mix heated through.
- Whilst it's cooking prepare your toppings: finely slice the spring onion, mashed the avocado with a tablespoon lime juice and prepare the jalapeno.
- Take the nachos out of the oven, and serve straight away, with the mashed avocado on the side.
Making tuna nachos in the air fryer:
- Line the tray with foil – depending on size of your air fryer you may need to do two batches.
- Add an even a layer of corn chips on your foil, followed by your tuna topping and then some grated cheese.
- If your air fryer needs preheating, preheat it to 180˚C / 356˚F.
- Cook at 180˚C / 356˚F for 5-7 minutes until heated through and the cheese is golden.
- Serve straight away.
- I often use round corn chips from Aussie supermarket Woolworths, but use whatever corn or tortilla chips you like.
- Make sure they are thick otherwise they can go soggy.
- Use plain or lightly salted corn chips.