~ Typical Irish Nachos swap in potatoes for tortilla chips before being piled high with Mexican-style nacho toppings. But our version of Irish Nachos gets even more full-on Irish-y … they’re topped with the ever-popular flavors of a reuben sandwich! Easy to make and seriously delicious (with healthy tweaks all along the way)! A fun appetizer everyone will love! ~
This Recipe Is: • Gluten Free •
These Irish Nachos had to happen. And not just because today it St. Patrick’s Day.
You see, when I was testing the recipe for our Cheesy Pizza Fries, something went horribly wrong at the grocery store.
Somehow, buying 20 pounds of potatoes seemed like a rational decision … an appropriate amount. (An appropriate amount for what, I don’t really know … maybe for feeding a small, hungry army.)
In my defense, they were on sale. A really good sale. But I stared at those two behemoth bags of russets in my cart, all through the shopping trip, and somehow still thought it was all a good idea. It wasn’t until I got them home that I started to realize the epic nature of my miscalculation.
So yeah … we made several (delicious!) batches of Cheesy Pizza Fries. But the potatoes just went on and on …
And here we are today.
Honestly, ever since I’d imagined making Pizza Fries, I’d also been imagining other oven-baked appetizers that could start with a few potatoes and turn into something magical. It wasn’t a big leap to get to these Irish Nachos – especially because I’d also been dreaming up ways to get more reuben flavors into my life, ever since we published that killer-good Reuben Dip last year.
So here’s how it went down: More Pizza-Fry-Like Recipes + More Reuben Recipes = Irish Nachos, of course!
20 pounds of potatoes? Problem solved!
The really funny thing is, I didn’t realize until sometime later that Irish nachos are actually a thing, and not just some crazy idea I’d dreamed up to deal with my potato problem. Plenty of sports bars serve ’em up as a fun twist on the usual, giant platter-o-nachos.
Typically, though, Irish Nachos seem to include normal nacho-y toppings: Mexican ground beef, orange cheese sauce or queso, tomatoes … that sort of thing. Basically, regular-old nachos made with a base of potatoes instead of tortilla chips. The only thing that’s really Irish about them at all is the potatoes.
But, since today is St. Patrick’s Day (and since I already said I need more reuben in my life), we’re going full-on Irish with this version of Irish Nachos. No Irish-meets-Mexican bar food here!
You’ve got seasoned potato slices, crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. (Already good, straight off the sheet pan!) But you don’t stop there – you layer ’em up with tons of reuben flavor from lean corned beef, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and a bit of sauerkraut. And of course, Thousand Island Dressing (although you won’t be surprised to learn that ours is really healthy)!
These are incredible, guys. Seriously. Totally worth having to admit to you that I couldn’t figure out that 20 pounds of potatoes was a ridiculous buying decision.
And just a heads-up: I’ve still got a few potatoes left … you’ve been warned …
More of Our Healthy, Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipes …
- Healthier Reuben Dip
- Fruit Rainbow with a Pot of Gold (Fun Kids’ Breakfast)
- Healthier Shamrock Shakes
- Shamrock Veggie Skewers
- Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O
- 2 1/2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup (natural or organic, see note)
- 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (natural or organic, see note)
- 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ounces extra-lean deli corned beef, chopped (see note)
- 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Swiss cheese
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup sauerkraut (exact amount is personal preference), drained and gently pressed to remove extra moisture
- finely chopped parsley (if desired), for garnish
Thousand Island Dressing
- Preheat oven to 475ºF.
- In a medium bowl, combine dressing ingredients: Greek yogurt, ketchup, relish, vinegar, hot sauce, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon onion powder, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate until needed (can be made up to about two days ahead).
- Cut potatoes evenly into ⅛"-thick slices. (You can use a mandolin for this if you'd like, but I use a chef's knife. Either way, the key is to cut them very uniformly so they bake evenly.)
- In a large bowl, toss potato slices with olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle potatoes with ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon onion powder, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Toss again to be sure spices are distributed very evenly. You may find that it's easiest to do this with your hands, rather than a mixing spoon.
- Place potato slices onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, spreading them out and making sure they don't touch or overlap (see note).
- Bake potato slices for 12-14 minutes. The exact baking times may vary if your potato slices aren't cut to ⅛" or if they aren't uniform in thickness. Check them periodically: you're looking for a warm, browned, toasty bit of color on the bottom of your slices, but you don't want them to burn.
- Carefully flip all slices over and continue baking on second side for about 5-8 minutes more, again checking periodically for doneness. If some of your slices are thinner than others, they may be ready sooner, and you may want to remove them to a plate while the other slices continue baking.
- When your potatoes are done baking, mound them into a pile in the center of one baking sheet, layering them as you do so with corned beef, cheese, and sauerkraut. Return the nachos to the oven for about 5 more minutes, to allow the toppings to warm and the cheese to melt.
- Garnish nachos with parsley, if desired, and serve with Thousand Island Dressing (you can drizzle the dressing on top, serve it alongside, or both).
Ketchup and pickle relish: We recommend purchasing natural or organic brands of these two items whenever possible, in order to avoid brands that have high-fructose corn syrup and other "questionable" ingredients.
Corned beef: What you want to purchase is very lean corned beef, like what you would get at the deli counter, not a large corned beef brisket. While the extra-lean deli slices should weigh in at just a gram or so of fat per ounce, a brisket is often about three or four times that.
Spreading out the potatoes: Spreading the potatoes out is the key to getting them to roast properly. If they're baked in a pile or with too much overlap, they won't develop a toasty, crispy, beautifully browned, roasted exterior. Don't try to squeeze all your fries onto one baking sheet – simply use two baking sheets, and you'll get a much better result.