Turkey Nachos From Turkey Leftovers: Quick, Easy, and All in Pictures

Leftover turkey? ¡No problemo! Bruce Tretter takes turkey Tex-Mex.

Got turkey leftovers? No problem! Here are step-by-step picture book directions showing how to make turkey nachos quickly and easily. All it takes is your favorite corn (or any) chips, leftover turkey, canned beans (optional) and melted cheese topped with your choice or a combination of sliced avocado, chopped tomato, chopped onion, sour cream or plain yogurt and/or salsa.

Preparation Time: 2-10 minutes depending on number and type of ingredient choices
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes


(for 2-4)


  • Cooking Spray
  • Favorite Corn (or any) Chips
  • Cooked Turkey
  • 12-Ounce Can of Beans (optional)
  • Favorite Sliced, Shredded or Grated Cheese (I’m using shredded cheddar cheese, but any cheese will work)
  • Ripe Avocado (optional)
  • Medium Sized Tomato (optional)
  • 1/4 Onion (optional – I like using either red or sweet onions for this, but any onion will work)
  • Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)



  • Baking Dish
  • Colander (if you’re using canned beans)
  • Can Opener (if you’re using canned beans without a pull tab)
  • Spatula or Big Spoon
  • Small Sharp (Paring) Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Tablespoon
  • Timer
  • Pot Holder or Folded Dish Towel


1. Place an oven rack half way up from the oven bottom, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Celsius).

2. Open, drain and rinse a can of beans (optional) with cold tap water in the sink.

3. Spray a baking dish with a light coat of cooking spray and top with a generous, even layer of your favorite corn (or any) chips.

4. Top the chips with a generous, even layer of shredded turkey meat,…

beans and shredded cheese until what you have looks about like…


5. When the oven has warmed to 350 degrees (180 C), put the baking dish in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.


6. While the nachos cook, prepare your choice or a combination of ripe avocado, tomato and/or onion as follows:

i. Avocado: Cut a ripe avocado in half lengthwise around the seed and twist the two avocado halves apart.

ii. Remove the seed by holding the avocado half with the seed still attached seed side up on the cutting board—making sure your fingers are not in the intended knife path—and driving the knife blade into the seed. Twist and lift the seed from the avocado half. Remove the seed from the knife edge by pinching the down on the seed from the back, dull side of the knife as shown.

iii. Cut the avocado half again in half lengthwise into quarters, and peel off the skin. Cut each avocado quarter into slices 1/4 – 1/2 inch (6-12 mm) wide, and cut the slices in cross section into pieces also 1/4 – 1/2 inch (6-12 mm) wide.

iv. Tomato: Rinse and shake a tomato dry in the sink. Then carefully make an upside cone shaped cut around the stem patch to remove the tomato core as shown in the third picture below.

v. Cut the tomato in half lengthwise. Cut each tomato half into lengthwise slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) wide. Then cut the slices in cross section into pieces also about 1/2 inch (12 mm) wide.

vi. Onion: Cut a red (or any) onion in half, and cut one of the onion halves in half again.

vii. Cut off the tough onion stem and root ends and peel the onion skin.

viii. Cut slices about 1/4 – 1/2 inch (6-12 mm) wide, making sure not to cut through the back of the onion to keep the slices bound together, and chop those slices into pieces also 1/4 – 1/2 inch (6-12 mm) wide.


7. When the timer sounds, carefully remove the cooked nachos from the oven with a potholder or folded dish towel.

The nachos are done when the cheese on top has melted as shown here.

8. Scoop the nachos from the baking dish onto a plate with a spatula or big spoon, and either have them as is or…

…top them with your choice or a combination of sliced avocadochopped tomatochopped onionplain yogurt or sour cream and/or salsa.


Read more on Thanksgiving and Food on The Good Life.

Images courtesy of Bruce Tretter

About Bruce Tretter

Bruce Tretter helps people feel comfortable making practical, flavorful and quick & easy meals for themselves---even if they’ve never boiled water---through Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book and short video directions. He’s a father of 3, Former Naval Intelligence Officer, current school board member, and avid cyclist.

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