One of the best feelings in the world is cleaning out your kitchen when making a meal.
That can of diced tomatoes you’ve had lingering in the back of the cabinet? Throw it in. Half-used bags of shredded cheese? Let’s get rid of them! The greatest meals I’ve ever whipped together were ones where I picked and chose random ingredients I already had hanging around my pantry and fridge.
That’s where this meal comes in. It started simple enough, then grew and grew and grew. I started throwing all sorts of things on the baking sheet, hoping and praying they ended up tasting fine together. Guess what? It worked!
I kept seeing potato nacho recipes on Pinterest. Things like using tator tots with chili and cheese and sour cream. They all looked so good, but I wanted to try something different. I found a bag of steak fries at the grocery store and went from there. Steak fries are really thick and wide and perfect for a faux nacho dinner.
I wanted to do an Italian theme because it was really similar to Mexican nachos. A can of diced tomatoes went in, along with two chopped zucchinis. I used mozzarella cheese to make the cheesy part of the nachos, but also used some leftover Monterey Jack because I didn’t have enough mozzarella. I was going to make a Greek chicken soup weeks ago and had bought all the ingredients for it, but ended up changing my mind (I’m not really a soup girl), so I was able to use some of those ingredients: kalamata olives and capers.
Fresh basil and Italian-herb smothered chicken rounded out the dish. I ended up piling my sheet pan pretty high with toppings, but everything ended up well-cooked and tasty. Even with all of those flavors, they all came together. Success!
You should definitely use steak fries with this recipe, though. You shouldn’t use thin fries like shoestring, you want to make sure all that good stuff gets on the potatoes. The thicker, the wider, the better.
Cheese…well, cheese is a different story. I think you could really use whichever cheese you might have hanging out already in your fridge, as long as it’s a good melting cheese. Topping these nachos off with Parmesan would be the best, too. I wish I would’ve thought of that…
Italian Potato Nachos
Everything but the kitchen sink style nachos, served on potato wedges instead of chips.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 TBS. olive oil.
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper
- 1 (1lb.) bag frozen steak fries
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup capers
- 1/2 cup diced kalamata olives
- Fresh basil, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place steak fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon basil, salt and pepper and olive oil. Place zucchini on top of potatoes and bake for 25-30 minutes, until crisp.
- Cook the chicken: season with remaining basil, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium heat and add chicken, cooking about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove from pan and cool, then slice into thin strips.
- Remove potatoes and zucchini from oven. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, then add chicken. In a small bowl, stir together balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, olives, and capers. Sprinkle on top of potatoes.
- Return pan to oven for at least 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with torn fresh basil.
I was bad and didn’t really take any pictures of the process. Forgive me! I’ll leave you with some drool-worthy pictures, though.