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Copycat Johnny Carino's - Italian Nachos

Made with homemade tortilla chips topped with melted pepper-jack cheese, a combination of Italian-flavored sausage and chicken, juicy tomatoes, briny olives and banana peppers, a spicy crunch of jalapenos, and then they are all topped with a creamy garlicky Alfredo sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 549kcal
Author: Clean Fingers Laynie


  • 20 Corn Tortillas *
  • 4 cups Oil or Lard for frying
  • 2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese Grated
  • 1 cup Italian Sausage
  • 1 6 oz Chicken Breast
  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup Tomatoes about 2-3
  • 1 6 oz Black Olives, canned
  • 1 medium Jalapeno **
  • 1/4 cup Banana Peppers, jarred
  • 2 cups Alfredo Sauce prepared


Homemade Tortilla Chips

  • Heat lard in deep fryer until lard reaches 350 degrees F.
    Heat 1-inch of high-head oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350 degrees F.
  • Stack the tortillas and cut into 6 equal wedges (like a pizza).
    Tortillas Cut into Wedges for Italian Nachos
  • Fry a few chips at a time, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon, until crisp and lightly browned, about 1 minute or less. Drain chips on a paper towel-lined plate; sprinkle immediately with salt.
    Fried Tortilla Chips for Italian Nachos

Nacho Toppings

  • Brown sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drain and remove sausage from pan. 
  • Dice chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and cook in the same skillet used to brown the sausage. Season with Italian Seasoning, and cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink. 
    Cooked Diced Italian Chicken for Italian Nachos
  • While meats are cooking, finely dice tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, and banana peppers. 
    Diced Tomatoes, Jalapenos, and Banana Peppers

Assembly and Cooking

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Evenly distribute chips in the bottom of a half-sized baking sheet (13 x 18 x 1 inch)
    Tortilla Chips on a Half-Sized Baking Sheet for Italian Nachos
  • Sprinkle the grated pepper-jack cheese in an even layer on top of the chips. (The cheese will bind the chips and the other toppings together without making the chips soggy).
    Nacho chips layered with cheese, Italian sausage, and chicken
  • Distribute the remaining ingredients in the following order on top of the chips: meats, tomato, olives, jalapeno, and banana peppers.
    Nacho Chips topped with pepper-jack cheese, Italian meat, tomatoes, jalapenos, and banana peppers
  • Drizzle Alfredo sauce over the top of the nachos. 
    Alfredo Sauce topping Italian Nachos
  • Cook nachos in the oven until for about 10 minutes until the pepper-jack cheese is melted and Alfredo sauce is warmed. 
    Close Up of Italian Nachos
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


*Tortilla chips can be substituted for the corn tortillas and oil. Pork Rinds or chicharrones can be substituted for a low-carb alternative. 
**To reduce the heat from the jalapeno, remove the ribs and seeds when dicing.