These shredded chicken nachos feature all the classic nacho components just with a Korean flare! This Mexican–Korean fusion nacho recipe is packed with savory flavor, fresh ingredients, and crave-worthy textures. 

nachos on a baking sheet topped with cilantro, tomatoes, kimchi, melted cheddar cheese and a sauce

This recipe is: 

  • Savory 
  • Slightly spicy
  • Fresh
  • Filling
  • Versatile

Cook smarter: timesaving tip

For this recipe I call for cooked, shredded chicken. You can certainly cook a whole bird, a few breasts, and/or thighs and then shred the meat.

Or, which I recommend, you can make your life easier by picking up a done-for-you rotisserie chicken at the store, effectively cutting most of the work out of this recipe! Also keep in mind—this is a great recipe to use leftover cooked chicken in.

someone picking up a loaded chip from a sheet pan of nachos

Korean “Pico de Gallo”

I took the classic nacho topping—pico de gallo—and gave it a Korean makeover with kimchi, scallions, and tomatoes. If you’re new to buying kimchi, look for it in the refrigerated area of the produce or health market section of your grocery store. Often times it’s stocked next to the tofu. 

Creamy Gochujang Sauce

Every great nacho recipe needs a good sauce! For these Korean nachos I whip up a simple sauce made with mayonnaise, soy sauce, gochujang, toasted sesame oil, and a touch of minced fresh garlic. Drizzled over top, this creamy sauce adds a savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor.

The ingredient list is simple, but dang it’s got great flavor! 

Close up picture of all the toppings on korean nachos including cilantro, tomatoes, chicken, cheddar, kimchi, green onions, and charred corn.

How to make shredded chicken nachos

Nachos are a fun, easy and adaptable dinner/appetizer! 

  1. Char the corn cobs in a cast-iron skillet (or use charred frozen corn); let cool slightly then cut the kernels from the cobs. 
  2. Whisk up the creamy sauce! Shred the chicken then toss it with some of the sauce. 
  3. Arrange chips in an even layer on a baking sheet. Top chips with chicken, corn, and cheese. 
  4. Broil nachos until the cheese is melty and bubbly. 
  5. Finish the nachos with the fresh toppings—tomatoes, kimchi, cilantro, and scallions. Drizzle with reserved sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Share and enjoy! 
step-by-step grid showing how to make shredded chicken nachos—toss chicken with sauce, layer chips with chicken, cheese and corn, make the pico

Tips for making the best shredded chicken nachos 

Two of the biggest complaints when it comes to nachos: soggy nachos and naked chips. Let’s tackle both issues. 

How to avoid soggy nachos: use a protein that’s not overly juicy (chicken, beans, cooked ground meat that’s been drained). If you’re tossing the meat with a sauce make sure it’s pretty thick, and don’t use too much of it. 

It’s also important to consider how you build your nachos. Start by layering the chips with the toppings that are drier and with shredded cheese—once melted, cheese acts as a barrier between the chips and the wet ingredients.

Right before serving, finish the nachos with the toppings that have more moisture. Alas, make sure you eat nachos right after assembling. This is key. 

someone picking up a loaded chip from a sheet pan of nachos

How to avoid naked chips: if you’re a human being on earth you’ve certainly analyzed a tray of nachos and strategically snagged the chip with the perfect ratio of toppings and cheese (also probably the chip with the most toppings). Who can blame you?

But here’s a radical idea—let’s make it so you don’t have to search because every chip is adequately stacked. I find one of two things causes naked chips—either the nacho-maker used too many chips or too small of a pan (or both!).

Here’s the deal, don’t be afraid to leave some chips in the bag! You don’t have to use a whole bag of chips when making nachos. And spread out the chips! Use a sizable pan so your chips can spread out.

Alternatively, if you want to use all the chips or you have a small pan, layer, layer, layer. If you want to use the layer method for this recipe, arrange half of the chips on the bottom of the pan, top with half of the chicken, corn, and cheese. Broil the nachos for a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt.

Layer the last half of the chips over top followed by the remaining chicken, corn and cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.

With layered nachos you can do one of two things—reserve some of the fresh toppings to sprinkle over top when you’ve gotten down to the bottom layer. Or, you can pile them all on and count on some of the toppings to fall onto the second layer when chips are picked up. 

nachos on a baking sheet topped with cilantro, tomatoes, kimchi, melted cheddar cheese and a sauce

Variations on Korean Nachos:

  • Vegetarian: skip the chicken and instead use plain prepared jackfruit or rinse and drained black beans. 
  • Make it super veggie: add diced zucchini to the mix! Add it with the corn and chicken. 
  • Pork it up: instead of chicken, use ground pork, seared pork belly, or crispy bacon!
  • Bulgogi Nachos: Instead of the shredded chicken, top these nachos with bulgogi beef or bulgogi chicken. Skip tossing the meat in the creamy gochujang sauce—just drizzle that over top before serving. 
  • Wonton Chips: skip the tortilla chips and use fried wonton chips instead.

You may also like: 

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Don’t forget, if you make these shredded chicken nachos, leave a comment and rating below!

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Korean-Inspired Shredded Chicken Nachos

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 –8 servings (½ cup sauce)
Category Appetizer
Cuisine Korean
Author Lauren Grant


Korean-inspired nachos featured saucy shredded chicken, fresh veggies, kimchi, and a flavorful creamy gochujang sauce. This Mexican-Korean fusion appetizer is one you’ll come back to time and time again!


  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar (4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 10 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped kimchi
  • ½ cup chopped scallions, 2 scallions
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (204ºC) with rack set in middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat corn with nonstick spray and cook in skillet until charred on all sides, 10 minutes. Transfer corn to a cutting board to cool slightly; cut kernels from cobs.
  • Mix mayonnaise, soy sauce, gochujang, sesame oil and garlic together for the sauce. In a medium bowl, toss together chicken and ¼ cup of the sauce.
  • Place tortilla chips in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  • Top chips with corn, chicken mixture, and cheese. Bake until chicken is heated through and cheese is melted, about 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile combine tomatoes, cilantro, kimchi, and scallions.
  • Top nachos with tomato mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle nachos with additional Gochujang Everything Sauce and serve immediately.


  • This recipe is gluten-free.
  • To make these paleo: use grain-free tortilla chips such as Siete and skip the cheese.
  • To make these vegetarian: skip the chicken and use plain prepared jackfruit or rinse and drained black beans instead.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipeCalories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 18gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 336mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
nachos on a baking sheet topped with cilantro, tomatoes, kimchi, melted cheddar cheese and a sauce

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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