I have an obsession with nachos. When they’re done right, I think they’re the perfect food: hot and crispy corn tortilla chips, melty cheese, and all the toppings. I like my nachos fully loaded – seasoned ground beef, avocados or guacamole, salsa, sour cream, green onions, cilantro – I want it all. Even though I’m obsessed with the perfect nacho, I’m so obsessed with nachos in general that I’ll take whatever I can get.
Truth: I’ve even been known to eat just tortilla chips with melted “cheese” on top. A couple of years ago, when Mike and I were in Madrid, I was overcome by an intense craving for nachos. Luckily, they had tortilla chips at the store right around the corner from the Airbnb we rented. There wasn’t any shredded cheese, but they did have some squares of unidentifiable queso and jars of “American” salsa. My need for melted cheese on tortilla chips was so great that I didn’t care that the whole thing was questionable. And hells yeah that plate of Spanish nachos hit the spot.
That memory kind of makes me miss Europe. It goes to show that it’s the random things in life that are completely memorable, like making microwave nachos in your European apartment. Yup, we could have gone out for cervezas (claras for me!) and jamon at midnight, but sometimes, it’s those down home things that really matter, especially when traveling.
Speaking of microwaves, microwave nachos are the way to go, especially when your house is so hot that you feel like you’re melted cheese. Knock them all you want, microwaves are an awesome invention, especially when it comes to melting cheese on chips. Just be careful not to microwave too long – you want melty stringy cheese, not crispy. Also, the point of these nachos is that each chip is perfectly topped. It takes a little bit of extra effort to layer each chip individually, but it is totally worth it because when you sit down to eat, you can just shove them in your mouth without thinking about which chip has the most cheese. Heck, you don’t even need to scoop up the salsa, because it’s already dressed. Pure nacho perfection.
Perfect Microwave Nachos Recipe
serves 2, generously
prep time: 15 minutes
active time: 5 minutes
total time: 20 minutes
- tortilla chips of choice
- 1/2 cup cooked seasoned ground taco meat
- 1/2 -3/4 cups shredded cheddar and mozzarella
- sliced green onions
- jalapeño slices
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- roughly chopped cilantro
- sour cream
Arrange your chips in a single layer on a microwavable plate. Add a bit of ground beef to each chip then top with a generous amount of cheese. Add one slice of jalapeño and a pinch of sliced green onions to each chip. Microwave (1-2 minutes, depending on microwave) until cheese is melty, but not over cooked and crispy. You want the cheese to be still stringy. I start with 1 minute and then do 30 second intervals until it’s melted to my liking. Top each chip with a cube of avocado, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a dab each of sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!
Notes: I was inspired by this post to use scoops tortilla chips. Previous to this I would obsessively arrange toppings on flat round tortilla chips, which wasn’t as neat and tidy. Scoops are a total game changer! For the ground beef, I just browned some up with a bit of garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Feel free to make up a big batch with taco seasoning. Or, even better, if you have left over taco meat, this is perfect!