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I Tested Famous Nachos Recipes To Find The Absolute Best

Wait until you see Guy Fieri's "Guy-talian" nachos...

Hannah Wong/BuzzFeed

Hello word! I'm Jesse, and like many of you, I'm already planning my Super Bowl menu.

Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

And the one thing I'm looking forward to the most (besides a big pan of brownies) is nachos! It's the perfect game day snack!

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So, in an attempt to find the absolute best nachos recipe, I decided to test five popular recipes:

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This was my lineup:

1. Chrissy Teigen: Because her recipe, straight out of her new book Cravings: Hungry for More, swaps out the beef for mushrooms and garnishes the entire thing with homemade crispy shallots — which sounded seriously delicious.

2. Guy Fieri: Because in his nachos (cleverly dubbed Guy-talian nachos), he uses wonton wrappers instead of chips and loads the whole thing up with all kinds of crazy toppings from capers, to ricotta cheese, to salami — so I knew it would take me on a trip to Flavortown. (For better or worse.)

3. Alton Brown: Because he builds his nachos one tortilla chip at a time, making sure that every chip has the perfect ratio of cheese to toppings — which sounded like a ton of work, but also brilliant.

4. Rachael Ray: Because her recipe looked like a classic, hearty nachos recipe done right. It's topped with a homemade pico, cheese sauce, and all kinds of flavorful toppings. I had high hopes for this.

5. Snoop Dogg: Because his recipe (which he calls "Suited and Booted Loaded Nachos") looked simple yet delicious. It loads the chips up with a spiced beef mixture and piles on the toppings, including smashed avocado. It looked hearty and satisfying.

Here are their methods and how they stacked up:

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First up was Chrissy Teigen. She starts by cooking onions and garlic until golden and transferring them onto a plate.

Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images, Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

In that same pan, add mushrooms and cook until tender, then season them up with a slew of spices. Add the cooked onions back into the pan.

Scatter chips onto a baking sheet, top with the cooked mushroom mixture, then sprinkle with shredded cheese and jalapeños, and bake until melted.

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Before serving, garnish with even more jalapeños, tomatoes, green onions, and crispy shallots (which Chrissy makes in the microwave*).

*Full directions for making Chrissy's crispy shallots can be found here.

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So, are mushrooms the ultimate nachos topping?

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

YES. These nachos were banging! The mushrooms were super savory and made the perfect meat alternative — in fact, I think I liked them better than traditional ground beef. The crispy shallots added a nice crunch and were super easy to make. My only issue is that the seasoning on the mushrooms was a bit intense. The heat level was aggressive and made me want to cough, but they still tasted good. Overall this was a great, unexpected nachos recipe.

Rating: 🏈🏈🏈🏈

Get Chrissy Teigen's recipe.

Next up was Guy Fieri's "Guy-talian" nachos. He starts by preparing an "Italian" salsa by combining piquante peppers, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, capers, garlic, and olive oil.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images, Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Set that mixture aside, then cook ground beef and turkey sausage in a pan. Once browned, remove the sausage and add onion and garlic to the pan and cook until softened. Add the beef back, then set this mixture aside.

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Fry up a bunch of wonton wrappers, season them with salt, and scatter them onto an oven-safe baking dish.

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Combine sour cream and ricotta, and transfer it into a Ziploc baggie. Sprinkle the meat mixture over the crispy wontons, cover with mozzarella cheese, and pop it in the oven to melt. Garnish with the ricotta cheese mixture, salami, basil, green onions, sliced pepperoncini peppers, and the prepared salsa.

So, are Italian-style nachos a good idea?

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Yes and no. Yes because they actually tasted pretty good. No because they are not really nachos. It's like Guy wanted to make a hybrid mashup of pizza and nachos and serve it on top of fried wonton skins for some reason. While the flavors were fine, I just can't wrap my head around calling these nachos. I'm confused why this is a thing. And I'm confused why he uses wonton wrappers instead of chips...

Rating: 🏈🏈

Get Guy Fieri's recipe.

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Next up was Alton Brown. He starts by lining a sheet pan with parchment paper, spraying three cooling racks with nonstick spray, and making eight balls out of aluminum foil. (This will all make sense later.)

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images, Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Lay one-third of the chips on a rack and top each chip with a slice of jalapeño, chopped red onions, cheddar cheese, and Oaxaca cheese.

Repeat this process with the remaining chips on the remaining two wire racks, then stack them all on top of each other using the foil balls as support.

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Bake until the cheese is melted and garnish with fresh oregano. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

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So is Brown's unconventional method the key to making perfect nachos?

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

No. While it makes sense in writing, the results are pretty underwhelming. The chips were dry, and they tasted like something you would microwave in the middle of the night to satisfy a nachos craving. The process was a pain, and the fresh oregano was overwhelming. One slice of jalapeño per chip also proved to be way too intense, and I found the spice level to be too high. These nachos were not worth the effort.

Rating: 🏈

Get Alton Brown's recipe.

Then came Rachael Ray. She starts by scattering chips on a sheet tray and preparing a homemade salsa with tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro.

D Dipasupil / Getty Images, Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Set that aside, then prepare a beef and bean topping by cooking garlic, onion, and jalapeño in a skillet. Add ground sirloin, then season it up with salt, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir in beans and set aside.

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In a sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it, then whisk in some milk. Bring to a simmer, and stir in shredded cheese until it's melted.

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Pour the cheese sauce over the chips, top with the beef mixture, then garnish with the prepared salsa, sour cream, green onions, black olives, diced pimento, sliced avocado, and hot pepper sauce.

So, are Rachael Ray's nachos worth the effort?

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Yes! They are a bit of a pain to make (you have to prepare a homemade cheese sauce, salsa, and cook up some ground beef), but the results are totally worth the effort. They were super hearty, messy (but in a good way!), and loaded with all kinds of textures and flavors. The cheese sauce was significantly better than just melted cheese, and it didn't clump up like regular cheese does when it gets cold. Overall I was a big fan of these nachos.

Rating: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈

Get Rachael Ray's recipe.

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And last but not least came Snoop Dogg. He starts by cooking ground beef with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until browned and sets that aside.

Bennett Raglin / Getty Images, Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Then scatter some tortilla chips onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

Top the chips with the prepared ground beef, then garnish with corn, black beans, sliced jalapeños, and shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted.

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

While that's baking, smash the avocado with lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chips from the oven, then garnish with sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, and smashed avocado.

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It certainly looked beautiful, but did it taste good?

Pierce Albernathy / BuzzFeed

Pretty good! I liked the fact that the nachos had several different toppings to give it an array of textures and flavors — but they were a bit dry and without the avocado, I don't think they'd be anything special. The lime juice gave it a nice pop of acid that brightened the whole thing up and made it taste fresh — and to be completely fair, I'm not sure I would like this recipe as much without it.

Rating: 🏈🏈🏈

Get Snoop Dogg's recipe.

SO WHO WON?

Hannah Wong/BuzzFeed

THE WINNER: Rachael Ray

These nachos were traditional, hearty, and loaded with all kinds of classic (and delicious!) toppings. When I picture what my dream nachos would look like, it's this. There's nothing weird going on, and everything works together perfectly. There's a fresh element, a spicy component, and a hearty cheese sauce to tie it all together. Get the recipe.

SECOND PLACE: Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy's nachos are both untraditional and delicious. The mushrooms added a nice meaty element and the crispy shallots added crunch and flavor. The heat level was a bit high, but if you're OK with a bit of spice these nachos are a delicious vegetarian option. Get the recipe.

THIRD PLACE: Snoop Dogg

Snoop's recipe seemed like it would be awesome, but the components just didn't come together right. They were good, but a bit dry — and there wasn't enough cheese and toppings to tie it all together. The mashed avocado added a bright hit of acid (thanks to lime juice) and was the highlight of the dish — and if you took that away, I'm not sure it would be all that great. Get the recipe.

FOURTH PLACE: Guy Fieri

These nachos are really, really weird — but they taste fine. The whole concept is a bit too kooky for my taste, but while the flavors shouldn't work, they're actually not as offensive as they sound. It's like Guy decided to make pizza nachos, but serve them on top of fried wonton skins for some odd reason. I don't like the idea, but the flavors weren't bad. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Get the recipe.

LAST PLACE: Alton Brown

DRY. DRY. DRY. These chips looked like something I would make in my microwave while drunk, and they tasted even worse. One slice of jalapeño per chip is too much, and the heat level was overwhelming. The oregano was also too strong and didn't make things better. This recipe was too much work for such lackluster results. While I appreciate the idea, it just didn't taste all that great. Get the recipe.

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TL;DR: If you want a delicious, classic nachos recipe, Rachael Ray's is just the thing — but if you're looking for something a bit different, Chrissy Teigen's mushroom nachos are the perfect vegetarian alternative.

Previous recipe showdowns:

The Ultimate Mashed Potatoes Recipe

The Ultimate Scrambled Egg Recipe

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The Ultimate Stuffing Recipe

The Ultimate Pancake Recipe

The Ultimate Guacamole Recipe

The Ultimate Omelet Recipe

The Ultimate Mac 'N' Cheese Recipe

The Ultimate Turkey Showdown

The Ultimate Apple Pie Showdown

What ultimate recipes should we test next? Let us know in the comments below!

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