Real-Food Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Did you know buffalo wing sauce is basically just butter and hot sauce? I was shocked too. Luckily for all of us, that means these homemade buffalo chicken nachos can be made from 100% protopantry real-food ingredients. I can’t say they’re healthy, but homemade tortilla chips and creme fraiche give this party staple a wholesome makeover.

Yield: 6 servings (half-yield shown in photos)

Time: About 40 minutes, plus creme fraiche must culture for 24 hours and refrigerate for at least three hours


For the creme fraiche

  • 8 ounces heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the tortilla chips

  • 12 small corn tortillas

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt to taste

For the toppings

  • 3 medium chicken breasts

  • 2 cups broth or stock

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1/3 cup carrots, grated

  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos

  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced


For the creme fraiche

  1. Add the cream and lemon juice to a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, and gently shake to combine.

  2. Remove the container’s lid and cover the mixture with a dish towel or breathable cloth. Allow the mixture to sit in a room-temperature area with good air flow for 24 hours. The acidity generally inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, but do consult a medical professional concerning all homemade cultured products especially if you are pregnant or otherwise immunocompromised.

  3. Replace the dish towel with the container’s lid and refrigerate the cream for three hours before stirring and using.

For the tortilla chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit), and brush each tortilla with olive oil.

  2. Stack the tortillas, about six at a time, and cut them into quarters (or the size you prefer your chips to be).

  3. Arrange the tortilla pieces on two baking sheets and sprinkle with salt. You can also bake your chips in two batches.

  4. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake until the tortilla chips are golden and the edges begin to curl away from the sheet, or about 12-15 minutes. Every five minutes or so, switch the sheets onto opposite racks, so that the chips do not burn.

For the toppings and to finish

  1. While the chips bake, add the stock or broth and chicken breasts to a stock pot. Add additional water until the chicken breasts are fully covered if necessary.

  2. Heat the stock to a gentle simmer, and then simmer the chicken, covered, for about 15 minutes (until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit).

  3. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks in a large mixing bowl. While the chicken is still hot, add the butter and hot sauce and stir well to create buffalo-wing-flavored shredded chicken.

  4. Add additional hot sauce to the chicken if desired.

  5. Add the carrots and half the cheese to the chicken mixture, and stir well.

  6. Layer the chips in a single large skillet or baking dish. Top the chips with the chicken mixture, the jalapenos, and the remaining cheese.

  7. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake the nachos for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

  8. Top the nachos with additional hot sauce, creme fraiche, and red onion to taste. Enjoy.

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag us on instagram @theprotopantry and use the #protopantry hashtag. Happy cooking!

Everything on is made using our 50-ingredient minimalist pantry list. We have recipes from all over the world and for most dietary needs—explore here.