The Easiest Way To Transform Game Day Leftovers (Hint: It's Nachos)

People tend to put a lot of time and effort into preparing food for a big event like a game day watch party, but does anyone ever consider what they'll be having for dinner on the day after the Super Bowl? Leftovers, most likely, at least if they've prepared a surplus of food. While we have an entire canon of Thanksgiving leftover recipes, there's a dearth of ideas about what to do with leftover game day snacks. Well, here's one that's pretty simple as long as you've got a bunch of tortilla chips and a chunk of cheese in the fridge: Turn those leftovers into nachos. (Yes, we already said this in the title, but sometimes we like to be both redundant and repetitive.)

Developer Christina Musgrave's sheet pan chicken nachos aren't (necessarily) intended to be made with leftovers — except, perhaps, rotisserie chicken, as this seems to be its natural state — but her recipe makes a great template for use with any kind of toppings you have on hand. One piece of advice she has about those toppings, however, is, "Try to space [them] out ... as much as you can so you get maximum flavor and texture in every bite." She also tells us that the fact that you only need one pan for this recipe "helps a ton with cleanup and makes it super easy."

Pair your leftovers with complementary toppings

Depending on what you have on hand post-game day, you can make several different kinds of nachos. If you've got leftover chili, that works well with standard nacho toppers like shredded cheddar, jalapeños, and salsa, whereas leftover Buffalo wings would be great with blue cheese crumbles and Louisiana hot sauce. For pulled pork or ribs, try using barbecue sauce and cheddar, or make pizza-style nachos with mozzarella, pepperoni, and marinara sauce.

Of course, even if you have leftover nachos — a dish that, as Musgrave points out, is "great for a crowd" — you can actually repurpose those as — get this — nachos. Very meta, we know. But how? Well, you just need to start with a fresh base of chips, then cover them with the leftover toppings. They may look a bit messy, true, especially if they include sour cream, guacamole, or other mushy dips, but that's okay. The new nachos may not taste exactly the same but will instead transform into a different but equally tasty dish (and an extra layer of cheese can cover up any cosmetic flaws). As for the original chips, you can even give these a makeover. Break them into bits, put them into the oven to re-crisp as best you can, then crumble them into dust and sprinkle this on top of the reincarnated nachos for some extra crunch and flavor.