BBQ Nachos with Carolina slaw

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 1:37 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Football season is here, and Registered Dietitian and Chef, Jessica Ivey is here to show us how to serve us a winning tailgating menu that’s also nutritious.

Tailgating season doesn’t have to be a nutritional fumble. Today, I have an easy-to-prepare lineup that will tackle fans’ hunger while scoring points in good nutrition.

Every coach knows in a tough game you go with your first string, and when I think tailgating, I think chips and dip. But today we’re going to up our game and serve up some BBQ Nachos with Carolina Slaw.

I’ve got my pan here lined with parchment paper to make it easier to clean, and then I’ve just spread out some corn tortilla chips as the base. Next I’m going to add not one, but two kinds of cheese. Besides the fact that I think everything is better with cheese, cheese is a winning addition to any meal. I love working with the Alabma Dairy Farmers because dairy foods, including milk, cheese and yogurt pack a powerful nutrient punch with thirteen essential vitamins and minerals including protein, potassium and calcium. For these nachos I’m using Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers and sharp Cheddar cheese, but you could use any variety of cheese you like. Natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss contain minimal amounts of lactose, so these nachos can be enjoyed by tailgaters with lactose intolerance as well.

Next I’m going to add some chopped barbecue pork. To save time, I just picked up some pork from my favorite local barbecue joint. I prefer my barbecue chopped, and it’s easier to eat on the nachos, but if you prefer it pulled that’ll work too. Now you just bake the nachos at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the cheese melts.

While the nachos cook, you’ll want to mix up the slaw and sauce for topping. I’m from North Carolina, and there slaw never has mayonnaise, so we’re going to make a Carolina Slaw. Carolina Slaw is sweet and tangy, so you start with apple cider vinegar and sugar, and bring that to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then I’m going to stir in some vegetable oil, yellow mustard, celery salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. This slaw really is the ideal topping to cut the fattiness of the pork. It’s best if you can mix this up in advance and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

Lastly, we’re going to make a Tangy White Barbecue Sauce. These nachos feature my two favorite barbecue accompaniments, one from my home state and then one from my current home of Alabama. Most white barbecue sauce is mayonnaise-based, but we’re going to make a substitution and use plain Greek yogurt. When you substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise in a recipe, you increase the nutrients and decrease the fat and calories- something everyone can cheer about! To the Greek yogurt I’m going to add some apple cider vinegar, sugar, ground black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, celery salt, and paprika. We’ll just stir it up, and it’s ready to go. This sauce would also be delicious on grilled chicken or smoked turkey.

So now we’re ready to plate up our nachos. When they come out of the oven, just top them with some of the slaw, and we’ll drizzle it with the white barbecue sauce. And then you can add

whatever other toppings you might like. I like sliced pickled jalapeno peppers for a little heat and thinly sliced red onion.

Whatever team you’re cheering for this weekend you can serve up a winning meal when you include nutrient-rich dairy. For more or quick and easy tailgate recipes and nutrition tips visit

BBQ Nachos with Carolina Slaw

Makes 12 servings


BBQ Nachos

● 1 (11-ounce) bag tortilla chips

● 4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers

● 1 pound chopped barbecue pork

● 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

● Toppings: Carolina Slaw, red onion, jalapeños, cilantro, Tangy White Barbecue Sauce, red barbecue sauce, mustard barbecue sauce

Carolina Slaw

● 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

● 2 tablespoons sugar

● 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

● 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

● 1⁄2 teaspoon celery salt

● 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

● 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

● 1 (10-ounce) package angel hair cole slaw mix

Tangy White Barbecue Sauce

● 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt

● 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

● 1 tablespoon sugar

● 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

● 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

● 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

● 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt

● 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika


BBQ Nachos

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Divide chips between two lightly greased parchment paper-lined half sheet pans. Layer each pan with 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers, 1/2 pound pork, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake in batches, 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Top each pan with 1 cup Carolina Slaw and desired toppings.

Carolina Slaw

1. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk in next five ingredients; pour warm dressing over slaw mix tossing to coat. Chill 1 hour.

Tangy White Barbecue Sauce

1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.

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