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Perfect Microwave Nachos

Posted July 21, 2015 by Stephanie
perfect microwave nachos recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

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 - www.iamafoodblog.com

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
  • salsa

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!

perfect microwave nachos recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com


  1. used to do this too! i’ve never liked that fake orange nacho sauce (it doesn’t taste like cheese to me), and we always had sharp cheddar in the house (even now we get this huge block from costco), so they were my favorite snacky nachos afterschool.

  2. Gemma says:

    I don’t now why, but I never though to microwave my nachos. I’m going to give it a try next time I just don’t want to bother with making full-scale nachos. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Nachos will forever be amazing. Your microwave version looks FAB!

  4. YES! Ratio is everything.

  5. omg i can totally relate!! there was a time some friends and i were hangry but didn’t have much food…so we ended up microwaving torn up cheese slices and tortilla chips. so simple yet devoured so aggressively.
    thanks for sharing steph!

  6. cynthia says:

    YESSSSS microwave nachos!!!!!!!!! This is my entire childhood, but dressed up and made WAY better. Those individually topped scoops make my soul happy. You are amazing.

  7. Karishma says:

    microwave nachos was like my thing growing up.. i literally did it all the time. and when i did, i definitely just ate melted cheese on tortilla chips 90% of the time, too haha.

    this is sounding so good right now, i might make myself a batch as a midnight snack!

  8. Amanda M says:

    YES! Microwave nachos are the best. Thank you for taking my favorite college dinner and glamming it up :) The photos make me hungry :)

  9. Daisy Tribe says:

    Nachos have never looked more delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. Trude says:

    Yummmm. This looks like the perfect way to use up leftover taco meat! :)

  11. Trude says:

    Yummmm. This would be the perfect way to use up last night’s leftover taco meat! :)

  12. I’m a big fan of the too-tired-to-really-cook nacho. It is quick and it is easy, two things of which I adore. Thanks for sharing this loaded recipe!

  13. Jenna says:

    This post made me smile because I love taking tostitos scoop chips and piling on the the nacho toppings!

  14. Looks absolutely delicious!

  15. charlotte says:

    This is just perfect, I will try the recipe at my next apéro (drink and finger food at home with friends)
    thank you so so much

  16. You have a beautiful blog dear. I have got your blog from thedailymeal and fell in love with it instantly. Stunning photography and innovative recipes. I am gonna try your nachos soon! Loved the idea.

  17. Charlene Aranda says:

    Thanks! Brought back a few travel memories for us. My Mexican mother-in-law taught me how to make every food you can think of from menudo to home made tortillas, but microwave nachos? I didn’t even realize you didn’t have to make a big deal out of it! Thanks again!

  18. andrej says:

    I make these all the time. Its great if you cover the chips in microwave cos then the cheese melts easily and you get this slightly leathery tortilla chip thing going on with the cheese. i add guac instead of just avocado……this is just great!

    1. Stephanie says:

      microwave nachos really are the best :)

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