Tropical Chicken Nachos are a deliciously simple sheet pan nacho recipe, served with a Tropical Salsa that will have you feeling like you are in the islands.
You guys. I haven’t been this excited to share a new recipe with you in a really long time. I have kept these Tropical Chicken Nachos with Tropical Salsa under wraps for almost two months! It’s been so hard keeping them from you!
But no more! Today is the day. The day you get to hear all about the tropical make-over basic sheet pan nachos received with the help of both a spice rub and a sauce that comes from the Islands.
This post is sponsored by Spice Isle Sauces, but the love of their products and the opinions are all my own.
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When it comes to my favorite tailgating foods, and snack foods in general, nachos always rank way up there. I mean, what’s not to love about nachos? Tortilla chips smothered in cheese, sometimes spiced meats, and if you’re like me, piled with peppers and salsa.
When Steve and Heidi, of Spice Isle Sauces, asked me to develop a tailgate worthy recipe for them, my mind went bonkers with ideas …but I kept coming back to nachos.
^Love them? Pin Them!^
Because when it comes to tailgating … nachos are always the way to go, and here in Nebraska, and all over the country, it’s football season, and we take our football snacks very seriously.
No basic nachos are going to do. I wanted a nacho recipe that was going to knock your socks off. One that you could enjoy from your couch, in front of the TV in the comfort of your own home, or a recipe that you could prepare right on your tailgate grill outside the stadium.
These Tropical Chicken Nachos here? They are far from basic, my friends.
This nacho recipe uses both of these Spice Isle products. The flavors in here are unreal. I have never tasted anything like them, and when you put them together, it’s like you can almost hear the island breezes, right here in the corn fields of Nebraska.
Tell me more about Spice Isle Sauces!
Steve and Heidi Nolan, live in Lincoln, Nebraska. You may ask how they ever got started making and marketing authentic Caribbean Sauces and Rubs?
Like my husband and I, Steve and Heidi love to travel. They would frequently visit many islands in the Caribbean. Their favorite, a bucket list destination of mine, is Providenciales in Turks and Caicos.
On November 1, 2013, Steve and Heidi opened their own Island business, Crackpot Kitchen Restaurant on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. It was a dream come true!
In November of 2014, they began bottling and selling their first specialty sauce, Crackpot Kitchen Tropical Tamarind BBQ Sauce. They sold the sauce at the restaurant and it quickly became a hit with locals and tourists alike. They could barely keep up with the demands of the grocery stores and gift shops on the island, and production became difficult.
In January of 2015, Steve and Heidi began working with a company just outside of Memphis, TN to produce the sauce here in the United States. The original sauce has since been retired, and has made room for them to add to their collection.
What flavors do the Spice Isle sauces and seasoning rubs come in?
- Tropical Seasoning Rub & Tropical Tamarind Sauce
- Tropical Jerk Seasoning Rub & Tropical Jerk Sauce
- Tropical Heat Seasoning Rub & Tropical Heat Sauce
For these Tropical Chicken Nachos and the Tropical Salsa, I used both the Tropical Seasoning Rub and the Tropical Tamarind Sauce.
We will begin by using the rub for the chicken, then placing it in a marinade of a little oil, cilantro and lime.
Zest and juice two limes, add to the oil and chopped cilantro.
Rub the Spice Isle Tropical Seasoning into both sides of two chicken breasts. Then add them to a gallon sized ziplock bag.
Add your lime mixture, and seal. Place in the fridge to let those flavors get all nice and acquainted.
Chop and dice all of your ingredients for your Tropical Salsa.
Mix it all together, and place it in the fridge, until you are ready to serve.
Cut a pineapple in half, and hollow it out to make a super fun bowl for your salsa.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, and place on a grill. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I love my new Thermapen Mk4 Meat Thermometer. It reads almost instantly!
I like a little char on the outside of the meat. Now it’s time to shred it and add the sauce so we can build our nachos!
Shred the chicken and toss it with the Tropical Tamarind Sauce.
On a large sheet pan, covered with parchment paper, place your tortilla chips, then cover them with cheese and chicken. Leave a little hole in the middle, that’s where your pineapple will go!
Bake the nachos, or place the pan on a heated grill until the cheese melts, top with cilantro and jalapeños, and serve with your cute pineapple bowl full of Tropical Salsa!
Look at that cheesy goodness right there. You’re sure to win an award for best tailgating grub with these babies!
Tell Me More about the flavors of this rub and sauce:
The Tropical Seasoning Rub and Tropical Tamarind Sauce are tropical fruit flavored. You’ll taste cherry, orange and Tamarind.
What is Tamarind? Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit, not native to the United States. It’s native to Africa, is grown in India, Pakistan and all over in the islands in the Caribbean. Tamarind is said to have many medicinal properties, and has played an important role in traditional medicine.
It is used in sauces, marinades, drinks, chutneys and desserts. It’s also one of the ingredients of Worcestershire sauce.
The sauce is delicious on any and all meats, chicken, beef, pork and seafood. Stir it into your little smokies use as a topping on meatloaf. It’s perfect for dipping, too!
Try the rub sprinkled over popcorn. So good!
Be sure to follow along with Spice Isle Sauces and Seasonings Online
Steve and Heidi spend many weekends traveling to festivals and shows throughout the United States, promoting their product line and introducing folks to an authentic Taste of the Islands. Maybe you’ll see them at one near you!
Where can I get my hands on Spice Isle Seasoning & Sauces?
I don’t know about you, but I’m starving!! Let’s get to the recipe!
For the Chicken Marinade
- 2 chicken breasts, about 1 pound
- 2 small limes, zested and juiced
- 1 Tablespoon Cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Spice Isle Tropical Seasoning & Rub
For the Tropical Salsa
- 1 cup pineapple, diced
- 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup strawberries, diced
- 1 cup mango, diced
- 1 cup watermelon, diced
- 1 Tablespoon jalapeño, chopped fine (more if you like more heat)
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 small lime, zested and juiced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Spice Isle Tropical Seasoning & Rub
For the Nachos
- Corn Tortilla Chips
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Spice Isle Tropical Tamarind Sauce
- Jalapeño and Cilantro for serving, if desired
- Fresh Pineapple "Bowl" for serving, if desired
- To Prepare the Chicken: Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Coat with Spice Isle Tropical Seasoning & Rub on all sides and place in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Add in the rest of the ingredients, zip shut and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- To Prepare the Tropical Salsa: Add diced fruit, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice to a bowl. Stir to combine. If you want to make a "pineapple bowl" for your salsa, lay your pineapple on its side and make a cut with a sharp knife from the bottom of the pineapple through the leaves, cutting it into two halves. Make small cuts into the fruit part of the pineapples and around the edge, taking care not to cut all of the way through. Use a spoon to remove the fruit. Depending upon how pig your pineapple is, your salsa may or may not all fit inside.
- Preparation of the Chicken Continued: When chicken has marinaded for a minimum of 3 hours, remove it from the bag, discarding the marinade. Place on a grill, heated to 375 degrees F. Grill approximately 5 minutes per side, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove and shred chicken. Combine with Spice Isle Tropical Tamarind Gourmet Sauce.
- Preparing the Sheet Pan Nachos: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a large sheet pan with a good quality parchment paper. Lay tortilla chips in a single layer over the parchment. Note: if you are planning to lay your pineapple in the middle, like I have, leave a small space in the middle with no chips. Top chips with chicken and cheese. Bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro and jalapeño slices if desired.
- Serve with Tropical Salsa. Enjoy the taste of the Islands!
If grilling the chicken isn't an option, heat a skillet up to medium high, sear chicken on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees before shredding.
Nachos can also be prepared on the grill. Lay sheet pan on a 425 degree grill and remove when cheese is melted.
Everything can be prepped ahead of time, and cooked right at your away tailgates!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 52mg Sodium: 896mg Carbohydrates: 15g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 17g