Sunday, October 9, 2016

Italian Nachos with Sausage and Chicken (Johnny Carino's Copycat)



Crispy wonton chips are topped with sweet Italian sausage, shredded chicken, olives, tomatoes, peppers, and then smothered in a creamy alfredo cheese sauce. This restaurant copycat is easy to make at home and is a crowd pleaser!

Y'all, I miss Johnny Carino's. They are nowhere to be found near me anymore! I know they are a typical chain Italian place but they had some dishes no one else had - including these nachos! For one, wonton chip > tortilla chip anyday but then that alfredo cheese sauce? Yup. Amazing.

At Johnny Carino's, you can choose chicken, sausage, or both. Obviously we go with both in our house but you could up the amount of either and eliminate the other if you'd like. I typically use shredded rotisserie chicken and, if I've just pulled some from the fridge or freezer, I warm it up in the skillet with the browned sausage.

We love these nachos and consider them a great weeknight dinner! You could easily use them as a twist on the traditional nacho bar, too, and just keep the cheese sauce warm in a small crockpot. They are so delicious!

The chips and cheese sauce cook quickly so prep your meats and toppings ahead of time so you're ready to serve as soon as the cheese is finished.


Italian Nachos (Johnny Carino's Copycat)

1 package wontons, cut on the diagonal to make triangles
1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage, browned and cooked through
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, grilled and thinly sliced or 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno peppers
oil, for frying

For the cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2.5 cups half & half
2.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a Dutch oven, add about 1 inch of oil and heat over medium-high until hot enough to fry (around 350 degrees). Once ready, add a batch of sliced wontons - being careful to not overcrowd the pan - and cook about 15-20 seconds on each side, or until brown and crispy. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all chips are fried.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and then sprinkle in the flour; whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Spread wonton chips on each plate then top with sausage, chicken, and desired toppings (olives, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc). Drizzle with the warm cheese sauce and serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

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