A fun, new twist on a popular appetizer. These Italian Nachos take fried wonton wrappers and top them with sausage, pepperoni, olives, tomatoes, banana peppers & a homemade alfredo sauce.
There's nothing quite like the joy of eating at a restaurant and seeing a giant plate to cheesy loaded nachos coming your way. Nachos are a popular appetizer that are so simple and versatile. There seems to be an endless variety of meats, cheese and veggies that you can melt together on a big pile of chips for a delicious appetizer or game-day food. I'm switching things up with these Italian Nachos by switching some of the traditional Mexican flavors and ingredients for some with an Italian flair. I love creating my own version of "fusion" recipes, remember my Italian Egg Rolls?
A restaurant here in the town I live used to serve a version of these Italian Nachos (surprisingly it wasn't Johnny Carino's), and from the first time I had them I was hooked. The restaurant has closed since then (should've kept serving the Italian nachos!), so I knew I had to recreate them at home. I added a few new touches and thus, these Italian Nachos were born.
Traditional Nachos vs. Italian Nachos
The basic method for traditional and Italian Nachos is the same. Chips topped with meat, veggies & cheese melted in the oven. The switching up of ingredients is what makes these Italian Nachos a fun, new way to enjoy them.
- Chips - swap out tortilla chips for your own deep-fried wonton wrappers. They cook in no time and make a perfectly crunchy vessel for all the nacho toppings.
- Meat - instead of ground beef or chicken, these Italian Nachos are topped with ground Italian sausage and pepperoni. Feel free to use either mild or hot sausage, depending on your spice preference.
- Veggies - if we were drawing a Venn diagram comparing traditional & Italian Nachos, this is where there would be some overlapping. Black olives and tomatoes are often found on traditional nachos and are also used in this recipe. Switch out jalapeno peppers for some banana pepper rings and the nachos will be garnished with fresh parsley instead of cilantro.
- Cheese - let's be honest, the best thing about nachos is the melty, gooey cheese. Instead of cheddar, Monterrey jack or queso sauce, this recipe is topped with an easy homemade alfredo sauce. Yum!
Italian Nachos Prep
- Prep the toppings - before getting started on anything else take the time to cut the pepperoni slices, dice the tomatoes and drain the olives and peppers so they are all ready to go. I like to have everything laid out to make assembly easy.
- Making the chips - cut the wonton wrappers in half diagonally to make a triangle shape. Fry them a few at a time in about an inch of hot oil until light golden brown. They will cook really fast and only need about 30 to 40 seconds total. Place wonton chips on a paper towel.
- Cook the sausage - break the Italian sausage apart in a skillet and cook until no longer pink. Place cooked sausage on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
- Alfredo sauce - in a saucepan melt butter. Add garlic & salt and sauté for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for another minute. Add in heavy cream and half & half. Whisk until the sauce starts to thicken. Then, stir in grated parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted and the sauce is thick.
To assemble the Italian Nachos, start by laying out about half the wonton chips on a sheet pan. Top with half of all the toppings except tomatoes and half the alfredo sauce. Top with another layer of chips and the rest of the toppings and sauce. Place the nachos under the broiler for 3-4 minutes. This goes whenever you are using the broiler, but watch the pan closely! You just want the cheese sauce to get bubbly, and the wonton chips can burn very easily. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the diced tomatoes and fresh parsley. Serve immediately!
Do I Have To Use Heavy Cream?
One of my favorite quotes from Julia Child is "if you're afraid of butter, use cream". The heavy cream is what makes the alfredo sauce thick and creamy. You could use all half & half, but keep in mind that your sauce will not thicken as much. Don't want to buy both heavy cream and half & half? It's simple to make your own half & half! As the name implies, half & half is half cream and half milk. Simply mix together ½ cup of cream and ½ cup of whatever percent milk you have in your fridge. If using skim milk, I'd change the ratio to about ⅔ cream to ⅓ milk.
Can I Use Jarred Alfredo Sauce?
In a pinch, a 15 oz. jar of your favorite jarred alfredo sauce will work for this recipe. If at all possible, I would encourage you to make your own. It's so easy and I think there's truly no comparison.
Other appetizer recipes:
- 25 wonton wrappers
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 # Italian sausage mild or hot
- ⅓ cup pepperoni slices halved
- ½ cup black olives sliced
- ⅓ cup banana pepper rings
- ½ cup tomatoes diced
- parsley for garnish
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half & half
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- First, cut the pepperoni slices, dice the tomatoes and drain the olives and peppers so they are all ready to go. I like to have everything laid out to make assembly easy.
- Fill a skillet with oil until it is about an inch deep. Heat over medium high heat.
- Cut wonton wrappers in half diagonally. Place a few wonton wrappers in the hot oil and fry on both sides until light golden brown, about 30 to 40 seconds. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with all of the wonton triangles.
- In another skillet, break apart Italian sausage into small chunks and cook until no longer pink. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess grease.
- In a saucepan melt butter over medium high heat. Add garlic & salt and stir for about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for another minute.
- Add heavy cream and half & half. Whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Then add parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Preheat broiler to 500 degrees. Place oven rack on the middle shelf.
- On a sheet pan spread about half of the wonton wrappers. Top with half of the sausage, pepperoni, olives, banana peppers & alfredo sauce. Repeat with a second layer. Place pan under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until bubbly. (Watch closely!)
- Take nachos out of the oven and top with diced tomatoes and parsley. Serve immediately.