Copycat Naked Chicken Nachos from Taco Bell

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copycat naked chicken nachos

What’s Up, Hungry People

Remember back when Taco Bell had these amazing things called NAKED CHICKEN NACHOS? Here’s how you can make a copycat recipe at home!

I was straight-up obsessed with these nachos. And for some reason, Taco Bell decided to take these amazing taco-shaped nuggies off their menu! With 4/20 being today and quarantine in full effect (peep that 2020 post date), we decided it would be best to DIY our favorite T-Bell dish at home.

Fortunately for us T-Bell Heads, naked chicken nachos are actually surprisingly easy to recreate. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some patience, and you are well on your way to naked chicken nachos! In fact, I might just prefer the homemade version over the ones sold in-store.

But not going to lie, I will totally go back to Taco Bell the second they re-release these! You just KNOW they will bring these back someday. Also, if we are putting in requests, I’d love it if they brought back breakfast taco waffles too!

Are you listening, Taco Bell?

naked chicken nachos taco bell copycat

Here’s What You Need

  • Ground chicken: Forms the base of your nacho chips.
  • Flour: Helps create a crispy coating.
  • Egg + water: Binds the flour to the chicken.
  • Turmeric: Adds color and subtle flavor.
  • Chili powder: Gives the chips a little kick.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a savory depth.
  • Cumin: Introduces a warm, earthy taste.
  • Coriander: Adds a hint of citrusy flavor.
  • Onion powder: Complements the other spices.
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil: Used for frying the chicken.
  • Salt & pepper: Essential for seasoning.
  • Nacho/queso dip: Perfect for dipping.
  • Salsa: Adds a fresh, tangy taste.
  • Sour cream: Cools down the heat.
  • Taco Bell hot sauce packets: Brings the authentic Taco Bell flavor.
nacho cheese naked chicken nachos

Let’s Cook

Lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap and place the ground chicken in the center. Place another long sheet of plastic wrap on top. Use your hands to spread the ground chicken out into a single layer, about a half to a quarter of an inch thick. Place the thin layer of ground chicken onto a baking sheet or similar flat surface (avoid anything that curves around the edges). Freeze for 8-10 hours or until the chicken is frozen.

Shape Up

When the chicken is frozen solid, remove it from the freezer and defrost for about 5-10 minutes, just long enough to be able to peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Flip the chicken over onto a cutting board and remove the bottom layer of plastic. Using a sharp knife, cut the thin layer of chicken into triangle shapes about 1-2 inches wide (think: the size of a chip). Return the triangles to the freezer while prepping the rest of the ingredients.

Flavor Town

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and coriander. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Set aside.

Fry, Baby, Fry!

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 160°F. Working quickly in batches (leave batches of the chicken triangles in the freezer as you work), dredge each chicken triangle in the flour, then in the egg, then back into the flour. Repeat as necessary to get a thin crust around the chicken. Place the breaded triangles onto a large plate in a single layer.

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

The oil should be about a quarter inch deep. Again, working in batches of 3-5 (don’t overcrowd the skillet), fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, until the crust is golden brown and the chicken is cooked all the way through. Place the cooked chicken chips onto a plate lined with paper towels to blot up any excess oil. Transfer to a baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Keep the cooked chicken chips warm in the oven while you cook the remaining chicken.

Live Más

Serve the chicken chips in a pile and top with queso/nacho cheese, sour cream, salsa, and your favorite hot sauce packets from Taco Bell.

taco bell copycat chicken nachos

Extra Tips for Perfect Naked Chicken Nachos

  • Freezing is key: Make sure the chicken is completely frozen before cutting; it helps in maintaining the shape.
  • Thin coating: Don’t overdo the flour coating; a thin layer ensures the chicken cooks through and the crust is crispy.
  • Oil temperature: Maintain medium-high heat; too hot, and the crust will burn before the chicken cooks through.
  • Batch cooking: Fry in small batches to prevent the oil temperature from dropping too much.
  • Keep warm: Use the oven to keep cooked nachos warm while frying the rest, ensuring every bite is hot and crispy.
baked chicken nachos

When Taco Bell took naked chicken nachos off the menu, it felt like a personal loss. But thanks to some quarantine creativity, we’ve got a DIY version that’s just as good, if not better. Whip up a batch and top them with all your favorite sauces.

And who knows? Maybe one day Taco Bell will hear our pleas and bring back there AND those breakfast taco waffles too.

naked chicken nachos

Copycat Naked Chicken Nachos from Taco Bell

The Starving Chef
Spicy, crispy chicken nachos just like Taco Bell's, perfect for topping with queso, salsa, and sour cream.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Copycat Recipes, Snack
Cuisine American, Finger Food, Snack
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz ground chicken
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • nacho / queso dip for serving
  • salsa for serving
  • sour cream for serving
  • Taco bell hot sauce packets for serving

Instructions
 

  • Lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap and place the ground chicken in the center. Place another long sheet of plastic wrap on top. Use your hands to spread the ground chicken out into a single layer, about a half to quarter of an inch thick. Place the thin layer of ground chicken onto a baking sheet or similar flat surface (avoid anything that curves around the edges). Freeze for 8-10 hours or until the chicken is frozen.
  • When the chicken is frozen solid, remove it from the freezer and defrost for about 5-10 minutes, just long enough to be able to peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Flip the chicken over onto a cutting board and remove the bottom layer of plastic.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the thin layer of chicken into triangle shapes about 1-2 inches wide (think: the size of a chip). Return the triangles to the freezer while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and coriander. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 160°F.
  • Working quickly in batches (leave batches of the chicken triangles in the freezer as you work), dredge each chicken triangle in the flour, then in the egg, then back into the flour. Repeat as necessary to get a thin crust around the chicken. Place the breaded triangles onto a large plate in a single layer.
  • The oil should be about a quarter inch deep. Again, working in batches of 3-5 (don't overcrowd the skillet), fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, until the crust is golden brown and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  • Place the cooked chicken chips onto a plate lined with paper towels to blot up any excess oil. Transfer to a baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Keep the cooked chicken chips warm in the oven while you cook the remaining chicken.
  • Serve the chicken chips in a pile and top with queso/nacho cheese, sour cream, salsa, and your favorite hot sauce packets from Taco Bell. Enjoy!
Keyword chicken, copycat
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