Recipes With Maddie Day: Nachos

By Maddie Day

Robbie orders chicken mole nachos in Santa Barbara in Nacho Average Murder. These nachos are a simpler version you can make at home and enjoy with drinks, in front of the game, or as an easy light dinner.



For the Nachos

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 fifteen ounce can refried beans
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 9 ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey jack

For Toppings

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Sour cream, for drizzling
  • Salsa (jar or fresh)
  • Hot sauce (option)
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves (option)


  1. Preheat oven to 425º and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices. Cook for one minute without browning garlic. Add refried beans and water to skillet and stir until combined. (If you’re feeling lazy, omit the onions and garlic and just stir the spices and water into the beans.)
  3. Spread half the tortilla chips on the baking sheet and top with dollops of bean mixture. Sprinkle on half the cheese. Repeat one more layer.
  4. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
  5. Scatter with tomato and avocado, and drizzle with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy hot. Offer hot sauce and cilantro as options. Can omit the beans for those who can’t digest them.

Robbie Jordan is temporarily leaving Pans ’N Pancakes, her country store in South Lick, Indiana, to visit Santa Barbara, California—where wildfire smoke tinges the air, but a more immediate danger may lie in wait . . .
While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. At first, she has fun hanging out with her old classmates and reuniting with the local flavors—avocados, citrus, fish, and spicy Cali-Mex dishes. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery—but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .

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