Quick Microwave Nachos

Easy microwave nachos

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 6 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
348 Calories
24g Fat
15g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 348
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 466mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 18g
Calcium 516mg 40%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These microwave nachos make the perfect after-school snack, game-day appetizer, or to settle that craving with a late-night snack. They are so quick and easy to prepare, and you can vary this recipe in 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 processed cheese. Avoid using hard cheeses for these nachos, because they can seize up in the microwave.

This is a perfect recipe to have your kids help make—especially when they want some!

We have added some of our favorite toppings to these microwave nachos, but get creative, and add yours to this quick and easy recipe.


  • For the Nachos:
  • 2 to 4 ounces tortilla chips (any kind)
  • 1 to 3 cups cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican cheese blend, shredded)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño peppers
  • For the Toppings:
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh salsa (homemade)
  • Black olives (sliced)
  • Fresh tomatoes (chopped)
  • Guacamole

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for microwave nachos
    The Spruce
  2. 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.

    Tortilla chips on a microwave safe plate
    The Spruce
  3. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chips.

    Sprinkle cheese over chips
    The Spruce
  4. Top with the jalapeño slices, if desired.

    Top with jalapeno slices
    The Spruce 
  5. 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.

    Heat until cheese is melted
    The Spruce 
  6. Serve immediately with sour cream, fresh homemade salsa, sliced black olives, chopped fresh tomatoes, and/or guacamole. Enjoy!

    Chips with melted cheese and jalapeños on a plate
    The Spruce


  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Some other ideas for toppings include cilantro, sliced avocado, sliced green onions, and shredded lettuce. These ideas are just to get you started, the sky's the limit depending on your cravings.