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Indulgent Arizona Cheese Crisp Recipe You Need in Your Life

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A dish as gorge-worthy as its name suggests, our Arizona cheese crisp recipe gives you everything you need to whip up this cheesy, buttery, and crispy snack from the comfort of your own home.

Arizona Cheese Crisp with green chillies

Arizona Cheese Crisp Recipe

Crunchy toasted tortilla, oozing melted cheese, and a fiery but welcome kick of chili – what’s not to love about this Mexican-influenced Arizonan favorite?

Incredibly, finding Arizona cheese crisp is rare beyond the state borders. So we wanted to inspire you to make this simple southwestern dish at home, and give everyone a mouthful of cheesy magic they won’t forget in a hurry!

What is Traditional Arizona Cheese Crisp?

At its simplest, a cheese crisp is an open flour tortilla, covered in cheese, and placed on a metal pan, coated in butter, to be baked until crisp in the oven. It really is that simple!

Variations

Cheese: cheddar, monterey jack, and oaxaca are just three of the many kinds of cheese used to make this dish. If it melts, it’s worth a shot!

Peppers and chilis: To add some heat and kick, some people will add peppers to their cheese crisp, as we have done in this recipe. We’ve used green chili, but you can give any type of hot pepper or chili a try.

Other toppings: We’ve used diced tomatoes, avocado, and lime juice in our recipe. Sliced onion and cilantro are two other common toppings used for cheese crisps.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our Arizona cheese crisp recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Arizona Cheese Crisp basic ingredients
  • Flour Tortillas – 2 flour tortillas (get the thinnest tortillas you can find)
  • Butter – 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Cheddar Cheese – 3.5 oz (100 grams) cheddar (or your favorite melting cheese)
  • Green Chilies – 2 tbsp diced

Optional

  • Avocado – 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Tomatoes – 1 tomato, diced green chillies
  • Lime Juice – 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt – to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).

Step 2 – Shred the cheese. While you can use pre-shredded cheese, it doesn’t melt as well, and it doesn’t taste as good as real cheese! We used a mix of mature and extra-mature cheddar. But you can use sharp cheddar, monterey jack, asadero, or any cheese you like that melts well.

shredded cheese

Step 3 – Melt the butter in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds (in 5-second increments, so it doesn’t make a mess in the microwave).

Step 4 – Poke holes with a fork in the flour tortillas.

flour tortillas

Step 5 – Brush the flour tortillas on both sides with the melted butter. If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can use the back of the spoon to spread the butter around the tortilla.

brushing tortillas with melted butter

Step 6 – Place the tortillas on a baking sheet or pizza stone and place it in the oven, baking for about 6-7 minutes until it’s your desired crispness. Pull them out of the oven.

placing the tortillas on a pizza pan
tortilla after being baked in the oven

Step 7 – Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

Step 8 – Add the cheese and the diced green chilies to the tortillas and place back in the oven until the cheese is melted (about 4 minutes).

adding shredded cheese to the tortilla
adding green chillies to the tortilla and cheese
cheese crisp with the melted cheese

Step 9 – Add any optional toppings. We used diced avocado, diced tomatoes, lime juice, and flaky sea salt.

Cheese crisp with avocado, tomatoes, and green chilies

That first bite is a thing of wonder, it really is! Straight away, you get the satisfying crispy crunch of the tortilla, followed swiftly by the salty, gooey goodness of whatever cheeses you chose.

Cheese crisp with green chillies

If you want to add a little depth, get those sweeter, zesty flavors in there with tomato, avocado, and lime juice, and prepare for a snack that will have you coming back for more.

Cheese crisp with avocado, tomatoes, and green chilies (adding lime juice to it)

Arizona Cheese Crisp Recipe Card

Yield: 2

Arizona Cheese Crisp

Arizona Cheese Crisp
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 flour tortillas (get the thinnest tortillas you can find)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) cheddar (or your favorite melting cheese)
  • 2 tbsp diced green chilies
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1 tomato, diced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (optional)
  • Salt – to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).
  2. Shred the cheese. While you can use pre-shredded cheese, it doesn’t melt as well, and it doesn’t taste as good as real cheese! We used a mix of mature and extra-mature white cheddar. But you can use sharp cheddar, monterey jack, asadero, or any cheese you like that melts well.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds (in 5-second increments so it doesn’t make a mess in the microwave).
  4. Poke holes with a fork in the flour tortillas.
  5. Brush the flour tortillas on both sides with the melted butter. If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can use the back of the spoon to spread the butter around the tortilla.
  6. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet or pizza stone and place it in the oven, baking for about 6-7 minutes until it’s your desired crispness. Pull them out of the oven.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
  8. Add the cheese and the diced green chilies to the tortillas and place back in the oven until the cheese is melted (about 4 minutes).
  9. Add any optional toppings. We used diced avocado, diced tomatoes, lime juice, and flaky sea salt.

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Arizona cheese crisp with optional toppings (avocado, tomatoes, and lime juice)

Author

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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