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Best Nacho Recipes: Healthy Recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos

Healthy Recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos

Nachos is a favorite for many people - for dinner or for a snack/appetizer. With this healthy recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos, you can eliminate the guilt of making nachos or eating them!

This is a recipe that I found on Cooking Light Magazine's email earlier this summer. It was tucked somewhere into another recipe as an ad to try it.  I watched the video and then went in search of the recipe! It is one of their revamped recipes - taking an old standard and making it healthier. 

I have tried it now several ways and have decided it is perfect - no matter which way I make it.

Although there are several prep stages for different parts of this recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos, it is really not that labor intensive - but that said, if you are in a super rush and want to cut corners on the prep time, see my hints below on shortcuts and/or variations that I tried.

All in all, this recipe is fantastic as an appetizer or as a meal.

The full recipe will make enough for dinner for 4 (with maybe a few Baked Chicken Flautas thrown in for the overly large appetites) or cut in half, it is a perfect dinner for 2.

Check out Cooking Light for many other tantalizing recipes and videos on how to remake popular recipes. See the stats below on this healthy recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos. (Cooking Light calls this recipe Recipe Makeover: Pork and Pinto Bean Nachos)

Public Domain image

Public Domain image

Recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos



  • 1 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of white membrane and fat
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper if desired
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic


  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (or substitute 1/2 to 1 mini-cube of Knorr chipotle cubes, crumbled)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder (to taste)
  • Salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or substitute fresh dried, cooked beans)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled - optional (recipe called for applewood smoked but I thought it was a bit too powerful that way so used center cut no nitrite bacon)

SALSA TOPPING: (Reserve and use after cooking nachos)

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes, drained on paper towels
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • 1/2 cup chopped jicama
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion (or substitute green onions)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Up to 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt


  • 6 ounces of sturdy tortilla chips (About 8 cups)
  • 1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced fat Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack or other reduced fat cheese - or combination of several
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (or substitute canned slices) – optional


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  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Cook pork roast first. Rub pork with about tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Coat cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan with vegetable spray and place pork on pan.
  3. Bake at 500 degrees for about 20-25 minutes – thermometer should register 160 degrees.
  4. Remove from pan – let set for about 10 minutes. Shred pork with 2 forks (need 2 cups) – or use kitchen shears to cut into small pieces.
  5. Put meat in small bowl and mix with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, a little salt, 2 tablespoons of juice and garlic. Add a dash of ground cumin if you like. Set aside.
  6. Prepare beans. If substituting fresh cooked beans, cook until tender, rinse and drain to equal 2 15-ounce cans of beans. Otherwise rinse and drain 2 cans of beans as above.
  7. If using canned chipotle chiles, use only 2 chiles and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce (reserve the rest for another use). Put chiles in a food processor and pulse about 3-4 times. Add adobo sauce, water, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and beans. Process until smooth. Sprinkle in bacon when done and stir to combine - if using.
  8. Preheat broiler.
  9. Combine all topping ingredients and set aside.
  10. Arrange tortilla chips in more or less a single layer (should be some overlap) on a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Using 2 spoons, dot the bean mixture as evenly as possible over chips but haphazardly. Doesn't have to be perfect but just make sure you use all the beans and drop small spoonfuls on as many chips as you can.
  11. Top with the pieces of pork tenderloin meat mixture.
  12. Sprinkle with cheese.
  13. Broil for 4 minutes – until cheese melts.
  14. Remove from oven. Top with the salsa topping ingredients, cilantro, and jalapenos and serve with salsa and sour cream.
  15. You can also add shredded lettuce to the topping when ready to serve!

Attribution: This recipe was published in October 2009. I did make a few changes to this recipe by personal preference.


  • This recipe does not lend itself to reheating well so if you make it, try to make sure that it is made size appropriate for your needs.
  • If making enough for 2 people, cut the recipe in half.
  • If you do make the whole recipe and end up putting it in the fridge, reheat in the oven. It is still delicious but the refrigeration and reheating makes the chips go limp and you will be heating the salsa topping ingredients as well.
  • If cutting the recipe in half, use half of all the ingredients. Do as the method dictates above but use a smaller pan or shallow ovenproof dish to broil the nachos and assemble them.
  • If making half, cook the pork tenderloin as above. Use half for the healthy recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos and save the other half after shredding for pork tostadas (see my separate recipe).
  • Freeze the other half of the shredded pork tenderloin if desired for another day or another use.
  • If making half the recipe of Pork Tenderloin Nachos and plan on making pork tostadas with the other half of the pork, make the same amount of beans as above but only use half of them in this recipe, cover and save for the pork tostadas recipe.
  • Same goes for the topping. If you want to use the same ingredients for pork tostadas, make or use only half of the topping and reserve the rest for tostadas.


  • Use a roasted chicken. Shred the chicken to make 2 cups and then prepare as above.
  • Use small red beans, black beans, or even kidney beans for the bean portion of the recipe
  • If you are in a real pinch, substitute canned refried beans for the rinsed, drained, pureed beans above. Select refried beans that are fat-free if at all possible and without spices if you plan on using the spices and chiles above. Substitute 2 cans of processed refried beans for the 2 cans of rinsed and drained beans (if making the full recipe).
  • If you use spiced refried beans already prepared in a can, eliminate all the other bean ingredients and just use the canned, spiced refried beans.
  • Substitute pulled or shredded beef for the pork tenderloin for beef nachos (2 cups)
  • Substitute shredded turkey for the pork tenderloin (2 cups)
  • For vegetarian nachos, prepare the beans as above but then add about 1 extra can of rinsed, drained black beans, pinto beans or small red beans and scatter them WHOLE over the other bean mixture

Old Way versus New Way for Nachos

Statistics on Cooking Light for Pork and Pinto Bean Nachos












2199 mg

991 mg


12 ounces full fat

5 ounces reduced fat


Ground Beef

Shredded Pork Tenderloin

Summing Up Pork Tenderloin Nachos

Trying to watch our diet and eating healthier doesn't have to be all pain and it also doesn't mean giving up everything! 

Nowadays, there are great recipes out there that take out the bad stuff like calories and all that fat and still give us the option of eating some of those foods that we crave. 

Here is a recipe that proves that - by eliminating the bad portions of this favorite food, we can still enjoy it and feel good about making it! That is a win-win situation. 

Whichever variation you try of this great healthy recipe for Pork Tenderloin Nachos, I think you're gonna love it! It may be a little more on the prep side but the end result is truly worth it. 

NOTE:  You also can prepare the parts of this recipe a day or hours ahead and then assemble right before cooking.  Just allow the ingredients to stand out to come to room temperature for about 30-45 minutes before assembling.

Nachos Supreme Recipe

Pork Nachos Another Way

Slow-Cooked Pork Taco Recipe

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Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 14, 2010:

The fajitas sound good too! Thanks for a great idea....and for the read.

Holle Abee from Georgia on August 14, 2010:

We love fajitas with roast pork, so I'm sure we'd enjoy these, too!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 12, 2010:

Chuckling - what would we do without them though?

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on August 12, 2010:

Yep, same exact thing-that's amazing.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 12, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by, HH - hope you like it!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 12, 2010:

Sounds great - must try it. Thank you.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 12, 2010:

Lorlie - Ah yes - the X chromosome! It is also known to cause "I can't see anything in here" syndrome - while gazing into the refrigerator or cupboard and the blasted item is right in front of their face! My boys have it too!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on August 12, 2010:

That's because he's a guy. You know that! :)

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 11, 2010:

Thanks, Laurel for stopping by - I did hesitate to try it because pork and nachos did not 'ring' for me - but it is absolutely delicious! Hope the Nacho King likes them - my Nacho King loves them and actually nachos are one of the ONLY things he cooks. I was a bit afraid to step on his nacho toes but he now begs me to make them - so I guess it worked! What I can't figure out though - if he likes them SO well and they are SO good....why can't he learn how to make them that way? Ah ha!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on August 11, 2010:

Gawd, akirchner-this sounds amazing. My hubby will be especially taken with this since he's the nacho king!


Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 11, 2010:

Thanks, GL for stopping by - hope you enjoy it!

G L Strout from Ohio, USA on August 11, 2010:

Another great recipe to try. Thanks.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 11, 2010:

Bayoulady - Thanks so much for stopping by - and glad they do, too as I bookmark quite a few myself!

Rkhyclak - They are delish - but any of the variations are!

CM - I know - who would have thought but I learn something new every day - thankfully it is not only because I am senile!

Pamela - Great recipe - and hope you enjoy it as much as we have now several times!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 11, 2010:

Audry, This recipe sounds and looks perfect. I have copied into my recipe folder. Thansks!

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 10, 2010:

Let's see.... PORK... NACHOS.... where do I sign? LOL

rkhyclak from Ohio on August 10, 2010:

mmm nachos! These sound great :)

bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on August 10, 2010:

I'm so glad hubpages has a bookmarking function! These sound yummy!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 10, 2010:

Darlene - hugs and love to both you and your daughter. Thanks so much for checking in!

BJ - You are as always just lit up like a Christmas tree with your wonderful humor. You light up my life - hey I think that was a song wasn't it?

As to the roadkill, I guess I could try and round up some squirrel or possum out here in sticksville that get runned over by dem dar motor vee-hick-kels - and try that for a change....or maybe pick up a dead crow or two and see if they taste like chicken!

No worries though, BJ - we are both safe....we can open a bag of beans and NO - Jack 'n the Beanstalk isn't coming but we can make VEGETARIAN nachos! I put that in the suggestions part so if I didn't happen to want to use real meat, I could satisfy myself that I was only killing BEANS. I wonder if beans scream like carrots do when they are picked? I seriously need to see someone I suppose about these screaming carrots, etc!

Seriously, I don't have a problem with meat - it's just the thought of meat that makes me a bit goofy and how it got into those nice, neat packages. I would make a wonderful farmer and rancher because I believe in back breaking work and will work sun up to sundown but if it came to eating what I raised - I'd probably be sunk!

Micky - That sounds like a good thing or bad thing however you want to look at many folks stop and 'harvest' road kill while they are biking? You would have to have some really, really plastic fanny packs - not to mention BIG ones if they were hauling meat! Who knows though - you might start a new fad - and a whole new line of biking apparel/accessories!

Katie - You can also do the vegetarian one with beans but I think Micky's idea of tofu would be a good one - IF I could get my husband near tofu without him gagging. He can smell it I swear at 5 miles!

Thanks guys for stopping by Audrey's little kitchen in Prinetucky!

Katie McMurray from Ohio on August 10, 2010:

My Mom loves Nachos and Pork so I will pass this on to her and get much hugs and kisses. I mean she loves Nachos Supreme with everything. Thanks :)

Micky Dee on August 10, 2010:

Yo drbj! Follow me around as I ride my bicycle and we'll see some. Maybe follow the cyclists in your area.

I might substitute tofu! Thank you Ma'am!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 10, 2010:

Dear Buckie-baby, I got all excited about your tantalizing recipe until I realized you were talking about a pork roast - from a pig - from a dead pork pig.

Now that I realize my favorite meat food comes from an animal that has been killed on purpose, I am trying to confine my meat-eating to road kill - animals that die by accident.

This has put a severe crimp in my ingestion of animal protein since I live in a very urban area where number one - there are hardly ever, probably never, any animals lying comatose on the city streets. And number two, if there were, about one or two million other desperate citizens would beat me to the prize.

So I'm just going to have to enjoy your lovely recipes vicariously and use my imagination to visualize you-all chomping away on those tasty dead-meat-treats.

Bon appetit!

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on August 10, 2010:

Thank you for this yummy hub, I love Nachos thanks girlfriend, I am still at my daughters, I thought I would check in. Love darski

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on August 10, 2010:

Thanks for stopping in, alekhouse - I'd never tried pork either and was a little skeptical but it was delicious!

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on August 10, 2010:

I love Cooking Lite magazine. It's one of my favorites, along with Bon Appetit and Gourmet. I make Nachos all the time, but never used Pork Tenderloin. I'll have to try it. Thanks.

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