The Grilled Trash Can Nachos assembled and served.

Time to step up your nacho game with these Grilled Trash Can Nachos. This dish was made famous by Guy Fieri’s Flavortown kitchen, but  has grown to have quite the national appeal. It’s a fun recipe for the whole family, and can feed quite a few people! Don’t let the ‘trash can’ verbiage fool you. We’re basically giving everyone a bucket to build their favorite mountain of nachos. Yeah, count me in for that!

Why You’ll Love Grilled Trash Can Nachos

The nachos before adding on the final garnishes.

If you’re a fan of celebrity chef Guy Fieri, then you’re in for a real treat. Today we’re cooking his signature trash can nachos over the open fire! It adds mouthwatering marinated steak to a homemade nacho cheese sauce with some freshly made tortilla chips.

The skirt steak after being flipped on the grill.

It’s the perfect combination that makes a beautiful plate of nachos! Pile these famous trash can nachos high and you have a feast for 4.

There are so many hot meals I love to create for tailgates and cookouts, but this deluxe nacho recipe is even fun for special occasions. Now let’s learn how to make classic trash can nachos so you can feel like the Mayor of Flavortown!

Grilled Trash Can Nacho Ingredients

The whole thing begins with skirt steaks marinated in a combination of cilantro, green onion, soy sauce, sweet onion, garlic cloves, orange juice, lime juice, and vegetable oil for 4-24 hours.

The marinade ingredients set out so we can assemble the mixture.

To add some savory goodness, you’ll create your own homemade, super melty cheese sauce made out of mild cheddar cheese and Jack cheese, light beer, whole milk, all purpose flour, butter, garlic powder, and cayenne powder.

Of course, tortilla chips will form the base. I made my own tortilla chips, which is not essential, but definitely elevates the fresh flavor. Then, you’ll top them with shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.

For other fun nacho recipes, check out my Surf and Turf Nachos, Loaded Huevos Rancheros Nachos and Pulled Pork BBQ Nacho Table.

How to Make Grilled Trashcan Nachos

Marinate the Steak

The three steaks set in the marinade.

We’ll start this Grilled Trash Can Nachos recipe by mixing together all the ingredients for the marinade. Then add your steak to a food safe container and cover them evenly with the marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.

Once the steak is marinated, preheat your grill for direct cooking at medium heat (about 350F).

Cook the Tortilla Chips (Optional)

The sliced tortillas so that we can fry them into chips.

To create your own homemade tortilla chips, start by adding a cast iron skillet with frying oil to the grill to warm until about 350F. Take some small corn tortillas and cut them into four segments.

Frying the tortillas for the Grilled Trash Can  Nachos.

Add the tortillas into the frying oil in batches to fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Then, pull them off and season with a little bit of kosher salt. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Create Your Beer Cheese Sauce

Next, it’s time to create your beer cheese sauce, because no mountain of Grilled Trash Can Nachos is complete without cheese. Add a skillet to the grill, then add your butter, flour, garlic powder and cayenne powder to the skillet to melt and mix for 1-2 minutes. 

Mixing together the beer cheese.

Once thickened into a paste, slowly add your light beer in batches to fully integrate it and let the mixture thicken. 

Finally, add both types of your shredded cheese and keep stirring until fully integrated and smooth. If needed, you can thin out the sauce with the milk at the end. Once the sauce is done (about 10 minutes), pull it off and keep warm.

For more cheesy recipes, check out my Beer Cheese Smash Burgers, Smoked Venison Burgers with Beer Cheese and Cheesesteak Quesadilla.

Cook the Steak

Adding the raw steaks to the grill.

Pull your steaks out of the marinade and add to a high heat grill for direct cooking (about 400F). Cook for 2 minutes per side or until they are 120F internal. Once they are done, pull them off the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes. 

Assemble the Grilled Trash Can Nachos

The sliced and cubed steak.

Slice your steaks against the grain and into bite sized pieces. This is an important, but sometimes difficult process with skirt steak. I recommend slicing the steak into 1-1.5in sections, then rotate those sections and cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces from there. 

Start building your nachos with a small metal bin lined with some wax paper. 

Assembling the grilled trash can nachos in the bucket.

First, add a layer of cheese sauce, salsa/pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos or similar and a handful of steak. Remember, what you put in first will be the top of the nachos. So it’s good to start with your favorite toppings before adding in the chips.

Next, add a large handful of your chips, then repeat the process until the bin is full. 

The grilled trash can nachos after being flipped out of the bucket.

Place a plate underneath the bin and quickly flip it over. Pull off the bin carefully and garnish your Grilled Trash Can Nachos with sour cream, guacamole, more cheese or whatever your desire. Alternatively, you can build them from the chips up on some sheet pans. 

Serve and enjoy Guy’s BBQ trash can style nachos!

To find more delicious recipes for the next time you pull out the smoker, check out my cookbooks Flavor X Fire and Food X Fire!

Needing more spice in your life? My spice line can help with that. Check them out here.

The Grilled Trash Can Nachos assembled and served.

Grilled Trash Can Nachos

Grilled Trash Can Nachos for a mountain of delicious nachos!
Author:Derek Wolf
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 People

Ingredients 

Steak & Marinade:

  • 2-3 Skirt Steaks
  • 1 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • ½ cup Chopped Green Onions
  • ½ Cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup Grated White Onions
  • 5-6 Minced Garlic
  • 3 Oranges juiced
  • 3 Limes juiced
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1.5 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1.5 cups Shredded Jack Cheese
  • 12 oz Light Beer
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Powder

Nacho Toppings:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sliced Jalapeños
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole

Instructions 

  • Begin by adding your steak to a food safe container with all the ingredients for the marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight.
  • Preheat your grill for direct cooking at medium high heat (about 350F).
  • *Optional* Add a cast iron skillet with frying oil to 350F. Take some small corn tortillas and cut them into four segments. Add the tortillas into the frying oil in batches to fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Pull off and season with a little bit of salt. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Add a skillet to the grill. Add your butter, flour, garlic powder and cayenne powder to the skillet to melt and mix for 1-2 minutes. Once thickened into a paste, slowly add your Light Beer in batches to fully integrate it and let the mixture thicken. Finally, add both of your shredded cheese and keep stirring until fully integrated and smooth. Thin out the sauce with the milk at the end. Once the sauce is done (about 10 minutes), pull it off and keep warm.
  • Pull your steaks out of the marinade and add to a high heat grill for direct cooking (about 400F). Cook for 2 minutes per side or until they are 120F internal. Once done pull off and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice your steaks against the grain and into bite side pieces. Start building your nachos with a small metal bin lined with some wax paper. First, add a layer of cheese sauce, salsa/pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos or similar and a handful of steak. Add a large handful of your chips, then repeat the process until the bin is full. Place a plate underneath the bin and quickly flip it over. Pull off the bin carefully and garnish your nachos with sour cream, guacamole, more cheese or whatever your desire. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 831kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 2330mg | Potassium: 1068mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1739IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 790mg | Iron: 5mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!

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