Irish Nachos Are The Perfect Food To Eat On St. Patrick's Day If You Don't Like Corned Beef

Not a big fan of corned beef with boiled cabbage? There's no need to be ashamed of that fact, even on March 17, since the dish is actually not a traditional Irish one. Irish people, who typically make less of a big deal out of St. Patrick's day than we do here in the U.S., would much rather observe their patron saint's feast day by dining on such fare as lamb stew; beef and Guinness pie; the potato pancakes known as boxty; and a big breakfast fry-up of sausages, eggs, bacon, and black pudding.

Do none of those dishes sound like quite what you had in mind for a St. Patrick's Day meal? Well, we have another idea. How about an Irish(ish) bar food classic that was invented 40+ years ago at a bar in Texas? Irish nachos are always the perfect accompaniment to a round of green beers, although they pair just as well with Green River soda, too.

These nachos may be Irish in name only, but they're still pretty tasty

Irish nachos were invented in 1980 at an Arlington, Texas watering hole known as J. Gilligan's (via The Shorthorn). The bar was famous for french fries, but one day when the cook was frying up round ones, he ran out of baskets to put them in. For some reason, he felt that fries served on a plate should be topped with melted cheddar (from Wisconsin, not Ireland) as well as a sprinkling of jalapeños, onions, and tomatoes. It turned out to be the right call, since the newly-dubbed "Irish nachos" were a hit. Four decades later, the bar is still serving its signature appetizer, as are numerous other bars nationwide, and the snack has even caught on in Ireland, as well.

J. Gilligan's current version of Irish nachos also includes bacon and chives in addition to the original ingredients and can also be ordered with ground beef or grilled chicken. If you don't want to venture out to Texas to try them, though, and you're not in the mood to hit up a closer bar, you can easily make this dish at home. Our Irish nacho recipe calls for baking the potato slices instead of frying them, while air frying is yet another option. For toppings, we're adding salsa and sour cream to the cheese, chives, and bacon, but you can mix and match from any of the aforementioned items or else come up with your own.