The Cheesy Tip That Makes The Crunchiest Nachos Every Time

Whether you're at a Mexican restaurant or a sports stadium, you've probably ordered a plate of nachos as an appetizer to share with a group — or as a meal for one (no judgment here). Nachos are easily customizable, as you can switch up the toppings, sauces, cheeses, and even the type of chips involved. In fact, they were invented out of necessity as a last-minute snack idea, according to Cauldron Foods, when a Mexican restaurateur with the nickname "Nacho" wanted to whip up something for visiting American military wives.

But while they can cater to many different taste buds and are easy to make, you'll want to avoid loading up your nachos so much that they turn mushy. There's a few main ways to prevent soggy nachos – you can try serving the wet toppings, such as guacamole and salsa, on the side. People can add the toppings themselves right before they take a bite, circumventing the soggy nacho dilemma completely. Also, make sure you buy a tortilla chip with some weight to it, as thinner chips can fall apart under your delicious toppings (via Kitchn). And if you want to make sure your nachos come out of the oven with maximum crunchiness, you'll want to follow this technique.

Create a layer of cheese before adding other toppings

Whether you make them in the oven or the microwave, the first step to making nachos is spreading them out in a single layer to heat up — you'll want to use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for the oven, per Mexicali Blue, and a plate topped with a paper towel for the microwave. But before you warm them up, it's essential to add grated or crumbled cheese on top of the chips to prevent saggy nachos, according to Cape Cod Times. The cheese will serve as a barrier between the chips and additional toppings, keeping your nachos crispy.

There are a few key guidelines to follow to make sure your cheese becomes a proper buffer. According to Bon Appétit, it's important to keep your nachos in a single layer — if the chips overlap each other, the cheese may not sufficiently melt (If your chips don't all fit at once, try heating them in multiple batches). Then, when you are piling on the meat and sauces, Thrillist recommends draining any extra liquid beforehand that could lead to unnecessary mushiness.

You can even add a topping or two on top of the cheese when placing the nachos in the oven, if you'd like. In Cape Cod Times' recipe, two tablespoons of pickled jalapeños go on the chips and cheese before melting, while our recipe for Easy Baked Nachos adds in a sprinkle of raw onion.