Arizona Cheese Crisp: A Southwestern Classic

The Arizona Cheese Crisp is a beloved Southwestern dish that’s simple, delicious, and perfect for any occasion. This cheesy delight is made by toasting a large flour tortilla until crispy and topping it with a generous layer of melted cheese. It’s a great appetizer, snack, or even a light meal. Add your favorite toppings to make it your own!


  • 1 large (10-12 inch) flour tortilla
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup diced green chilies (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)
  • Salsa, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving


Preheat the Oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F).

Prepare the Tortilla: 2. Place the large flour tortilla on a baking sheet. Brush it with the melted butter on both sides. This will help it get crispy and golden brown.

  1. If using, sprinkle the garlic powder and ground cumin evenly over the tortilla for added flavor.

Add the Cheese: 4. Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the tortilla, making sure to cover it all the way to the edges for maximum cheesy goodness.

  1. If using, sprinkle the diced green chilies and chopped green onions over the cheese.

Bake: 6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and starting to turn golden brown, and the tortilla is crispy.

Serve: 7. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a minute or two.

  1. Cut into wedges and serve hot with salsa and sour cream on the side.

Nutritional Information:


  • Provides carbohydrates for energy and a base for the crisp.

Cheddar Cheese:

  • Rich in calcium, protein, and healthy fats, contributing to bone health and satiety.

Optional Toppings:

  • Green chilies add a dose of vitamin C and a spicy kick.
  • Green onions provide a fresh flavor and additional nutrients like vitamin K.

Tips and Variations:

Customize Your Cheese Crisp:

  • Add cooked bacon bits or diced ham for a meaty twist.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or jalapeño slices for extra flavor.
  • Use a mix of cheeses like pepper jack, mozzarella, or a Mexican blend for different tastes.

Make it a Meal:

  • Serve alongside a hearty soup or a fresh salad for a more substantial meal.

Healthy Twist:

  • Use whole wheat tortillas for added fiber and nutrients.
  • Substitute with a reduced-fat cheese to lower the calorie content.

Serving Suggestions:


  • Perfect as a starter for a Mexican-themed dinner party or any casual gathering.


  • Ideal for an afternoon snack or a game day treat.

Light Meal:

  • Serve with a side of guacamole and a simple bean salad for a light and satisfying meal.

Cooking Tips:

Even Melting:

  • For even cheese melting, make sure the cheese is spread in a single, even layer.

Watch Closely:

  • Keep an eye on the cheese crisp as it bakes to avoid burning the cheese or the tortilla.

Crispy Perfection:

  • For an extra crispy texture, broil for the last 1-2 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.

Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of the Arizona Cheese Crisp. This versatile dish is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen for its ease of preparation and satisfying flavors. Bon appétit!

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