The Best Game Day Nachos & Drinks You Can Make for Under $30

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Are you low on cash but still want to party like a baller? Well, we’re here to help. Welcome to $30 Dinner Party, Thrillist’s brand-new series created to help people just like you throw killer dinner parties for very little money. Join host Lee Kalpakis as she creates special recipes for you to wow your friends and family on the cheap with new episodes every Monday at 2pm ET on Thrillist’s YouTube channel.

Even if you're not all that into watching sports, there's at least one thing you can always look forward to on game day: the food. A bountiful spread of hot wings, pizza, sliders, and nachos (and beer, of course) has the power to lure just about anyone into the glow of the big screen for some professional-level snacking, so if it's your turn to host a game day party, you'd better be prepared. Thankfully, it's easy to ensure your friends can steadily stuff their faces throughout the game -- only pausing to chant "Dilly Dilly" -- for cheap. 

In a special episode of Thrillist's brand-new series, $30 Dinner Party, host Lee Kalpakis walks you through an easy and wallet-friendly recipe for one of the best game day foods of all time, nachos, as well as a quick recipe for micheladas to help you wash 'em down. Lee makes it simple by breaking down everything you'll need to get, how much everything will cost, and how to throw it all together. The result is a sheet pan overflowing with spicy and savory nachos and a killer first round of micheladas -- all for less than 30 bucks. A mere $29.27, to be exact.

As she explains, the recipe's pickled onion, cilantro, and sliced radish make the nachos super bright while the baked-in beans, cheese, and smoky chorizo make it hearty and delicious. Oh, and don't forget the heat from jalapeños in the salsa and the drizzle of hot sauce on top. One bite put her in the "red zone," you know, like in sports.

The Big Game Grocery List

  • ½ pound chorizo -- $4.17
  • Tortilla chips -- $2.69
  • 1 block Monterey Jack cheese -- $3.69
  • 1 can black beans -- $1
  • 1 red onion -- $.60
  • 2 Roma tomatoes -- $1.50
  • 1 bunch cilantro -- $1.69
  • 1 jalapeño -- $0.24
  • 1 avocado -- $2
  • 1 bunch radish - $2
  • 8 ounces sour cream -- $1.69
  • 2 24-ounce cans Mexican beer -- $6
  • 4 limes - $2
TOTAL: $29.27

Sheet pan nachos

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 links fresh chorizo
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 small block Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-ounce container sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice ½ a red onion and places them in small bowl.  Add vinegar and sugar.  Set aside.
  • In a cast-iron pan, cook chorizo (out of casing) until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • For salsa, dice tomato, ½ the red onion, ½ jalapeno and mix with 1/2 cilantro bunch (roughly chopped), and juice of 1 lime. Set aside.
  • Place entire bag of tortilla chips on a large sheet pan, and cover with shredded cheese, black beans, chorizo, and bake until cheese is melted.  
  • Remove from oven and top with sour cream, remaining cilantro and jalapeño, salsa, pickled onion, avocado and sliced radish.


  • Ice
  • 2 24-ounce Mexican beers, like Corona
  • Hot sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 1 packet soy sauce
  • Tajin for rim
  • Dip rim of 4 pint glasses (or steins?) in Tajin.  
  • Fill glasses with ice and fill halfway with beer.  
  • Add 2 dashes of hot sauce, juice of half a lime, and a bit of soy sauce to each glass.  
  • Garnish with lime wedge.

Do you live in the NYC area and want to throw a killer dinner party but don’t think you can afford it? Well, let us help you out! We’re looking for our next guest to be featured in $30 Dinner Party. Our host will create special recipes for you to wow your friends and family at an ultimate dinner party. If you’re interested in being a featured guest on the show, email with your story!

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Tony Merevick is Senior News Editor at Thrillist and wishes he had an apartment big enough to throw a dinner party. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.