These microwave nachos make the perfect after-school snack or game day appetizer, because they are so quick and easy to prepare, and you can vary this recipe lots of different ways to suit your needs. The key is to use the right type of cheese. We like a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack or pepper jack, but any soft or semi-soft, melting cheese will do, even a processed cheese. Avoid using hard cheeses for these nachos, because they can seize up in the microwave.
This is not the kind of recipe you want to leave alone while it's cooking. Cooking times can vary dramatically from one microwave oven to another. It's best to watch the nachos through the glass door. As soon as all of the cheese is just melted, remove the plate from the microwave oven.
Remember, microwave cooking continues for several minutes after you remove the food from the oven. If you take the nachos beyond the point where the cheese is just melted, the cheese could end up getting over-cooked and hard.
Although most microwave recipes call for covering the food, it is not necessary with these nachos.
Feel free to try different types of toppings with this recipe. Black beans, refried beans, cooked chicken, cooked steak or sauteed vegetables would all be nice. Just make sure the food is cooked before you put it in the microwave. We usually layer any toppings on top of the tortilla chips, then add the cheese and proceed as the recipe directs.
- 2 to 4 ounces tortilla chips (any kind)
- 1 to 3 cups shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
- Spread the tortilla chips in an even layer on a microwave-safe plate. Important: Never use a metal sheet pan or metal dish of any kind in the microwave. There are no set quantities of these nachos. The important thing is to spread the tortilla chips in an even layer on the plate, with just a little overlap. If you stuff the plate with too many tortilla chips, you won't be able to cover them all with the cheese.
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chips. Top with the jalapeno slices, if desired.
- Heat on high for 1 minute, just until the cheese is melted. Be sure to watch the nachos as they cook. Microwave ovens vary dramatically, and so your cooking time will also vary. Let the nachos stand for a few minutes to finish cooking. Serve immediately with sour cream, fresh homemade salsa, sliced black olives, chopped fresh tomatoes and/or guacamole.