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Ina Garten's Fresh Crab Nachos

Quentin Bacon

Chef notes

When we were testing these, my assistant Kristina remarked, "If you serve these when the football game is on, no one's going to watch the game!" These nachos are seriously that good — layers of chips, fresh crab, chiles, cheddar, pickled jalapeños, avocados and tomatoes. They're crunchy, spicy and cheesy and perfect for sharing.

Technique tip: I prefer jumbo lump crabmeat instead of shredded because you can really taste the crabmeat. Pick through the crabmeat to remove any shells. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the chiles and pickled jalapeños so you don't get the spicy oils in your eyes.


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellmann's
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 3/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 to 5 scallions)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 lime, zested
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces sturdy yellow corn chips, such as Garden of Eatin'
  • 6 ounces freshly grated extra-sharp white cheddar
  • 6 ounces freshly grated Monterey Jack
  • 4 ounces canned pickled jalapeño pepper slices, drained
  • 5 large plum tomatoes, seeded, cored and small-diced
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño; seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 large ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and 1/3-inch diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced, for serving



Preheat the oven to 375 F.


In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream until smooth. Gently stir in the crabmeat, scallions, chiles, lime zest, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, and set aside.


Distribute half of the corn chips on a large (12- by 18- by 2-inch) ovenproof serving platter (or a sheet pan). Spoon half of the crab mixture over the chips in dollops and then sprinkle with half of the cheddar, half of the Monterey Jack, and all of the pickled jalapeños. Sprinkle with the remaining chips, then distribute the remaining crab mixture and cheeses on top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.


Meanwhile, prepare the topping. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, olive oil, avocado, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Spoon onto the nachos, sprinkle with lime juice, and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of "Modern Comfort Food." Copyright © 2020 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.