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By Sarah Spigelman Richter
Today

Ah, nachos. The party, bar and late-night snack staple started simply — a few tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and maybe some pickled jalapenos — but has evolved into one of America's favorite indulgence foods, topped with everything from BBQ pork to kale to chocolate chips. 

Need a reason to dig into a cheesy, gooey plate of 'chos? Nov. 6 is National Nacho Day. But do you really need an excuse? Whether you're looking to make your nachos healthier, serve them for breakfast or take them on an international flavor journey, you're sure to find a new favorite way to top your chips here. 

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Dessert nachos: Marye Audet, of Restless Chipotle, takes nachos for a sweet spin with her grilled dessert nachos, topping fried wheat tortilla strips with caramel sauce, white and milk chocolate chips, chopped pecans and fresh cinnamon sugar. Don't feel like frying up your own tortilla chips? The sweet and salty combo would work just as well on store-bought chips. 

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Vegan nachos: Meatless Mondays shouldn't always mean salad. Ilene from The Colorful Kitchen loads crispy baked kale on corn chips and tops the dish with melted vegan cheese, sliced avocado and salsa. Take this recipe a step further by adding vegan refried black beans, tofu sour cream and fresh cilantro for the ultimate vegan comfort food.

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Breakfast nachos: Stephanie of I am a Food Blog uses Tater Tots as a base for nachos instead of chips, then bakes them with plenty of cheese, fresh jalapenos and green onions, and tops them with fried eggs. The recipe would be great with straight-up chips instead of Tots, too. 

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Chinese barbecue nachosAndrea Muth of Recipes for Divine Living seasons pork shoulder with cinnamon, garlic, cloves, and other spices, then braises it, shreds it, and mixes the meat with sweet hoisin sauce. She tops it with a tangy Napa cabbage slaw and then puts both components onto a freshly fried wonton crisp. These nachos might not have any cheese or guacamole, but they mean a party, anyway!

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Buffalo chicken nachosGet the fire extinguisher for this spicy bar-food hybrid. Jessica of How Sweet Eats layers shredded chicken, cheddar and Gorgonzola cheese and plenty of spicy buffalo-wing sauce on baked tortilla strips, then tops them with chopped scallions and avocado slices. Feel free to add some chopped celery or even fresh, diced habaneros.

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Healthy nachos: Instead of fried chips, these healthy nachos from Can You Stay for Dinner are made with homemade baked whole-grain tortilla chips topped with black beans, tomatoes, avocado and a relatively modest amount of cheese and sour cream. They'd be just as tasty with store-bought baked tortilla chips, and you can further slash fat and calories by using low-fat sour cream and cheese.