This quirky snack is quick, easy, and shockingly delicious. You wouldn’t think the flakes would stay crisp, but they really do!
For the latest edition of Fountain Avenue Kids, my younger son, Christian, steps behind the camera to demonstrate the after-school snack he has made for himself countless times over the years. It’s a great recipe to try with young kids–one that they will be able make all by themselves!
Sometimes, a recipe seems so wacky that I feel compelled to try it.
Such was the case when my kids were little and their preschool published a cookbook. The recipes covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and were the time tested treasures of school community members–teachers, parents, grandparents, and even the students themselves.
One boy shared a recipe for corn flake nachos, and I must say the combination of cereal and cheese –cooked in the microwave, no less–struck me as odd. Wouldn’t the crisp flakes become mushy when blitzed in the microwave? And would cheese really taste good on them?
At the time, my younger son, Christian, was passionate about cheese but rather particular in the way he ate it. For example, his favorite lunch was a plain cheese sandwich. No mayo, no mustard…just cheese and bread. Every day. Oh, and the cheese had to be cold.
Given Christian’s love of cheese and his discriminating tastebuds, corn flake nachos seemed like a fun recipe to test with him. So we did it…and he loved them.
I enjoyed the novel twist on the usual nachos too. Despite what one may think, corn flakes aren’t sweet, and the salty, sharp cheese complements them quite well. Moreover, the flakes maintain their crispness in the microwave. Plus, the aroma when cooked is an unexpectedly delicious combination of toasted corn and cheese.
Corn flake nachos quickly became Christian’s after-school snack of choice and an easy way to tide himself over to the next meal when he was hungry. From a young age, he could do it all by himself, and he liked the crispy, cheesy snack well enough that he continued to make them as he grew older.
Christian is 20 now, a junior in college, and he still makes corn flake nachos on occasion.
Christian will tell you that there does need to be a proper balance of crisp flakes to shredded cheese. If there’s too much cheese, it will overwhelm the flakes. Pre-shredded is fine, but as he mentions, a finer shred works better.
So, while the recipe is nearly foolproof and he never officially measures, when we first shared the recipe years ago, we quantified the ingredients. If trying for the first time, with your kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews–or to satisfy your own hunger pangs–follow the guidelines in the recipe card or in Christian’s video. After you make them once, you’ll be able to eyeball the layers.
Corn flake nachos prove that some crazy ideas are worth trying–and once given a chance, maybe they won’t seem so crazy after all. If you dare to try, perhaps Christian’s longtime after-school snack will become a favorite with a child you know, whether a little kid or a kid at heart.
At the very least, it will at least be a fun experiment!
- 1⅔ cup corn flakes
- 1½ ounces (about ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) shredded cheese (our favorites are Sargento’s Mexican blend and sharp cheddar – mozzarella works well too; one of the finely shredded options works best)
- Optional: salsa or any other traditional nacho toppings
Sprinkle half of the corn flakes on a microwave-safe plate. Scatter half of the cheese evenly over the top. Repeat the layers. These amounts will get you started with a good cheese-to-flake ratio, and you can eyeball it going forward. The key is not overdo the cheese, or the light corn flakes will be overwhelmed.
Microwave on high for 44 seconds – Christian’s “perfect” timing. Microwaves do vary, so figure 40-50 seconds, adjusting as needed until the cheese is fully melted. Christian enjoys them as is, although you could top with a little salsa or other toppings of choice. Enjoy!
• Sometimes, Christian adds a third layer. In that case he recommends an extra 5-10 seconds, noting that all microwaves vary and after a time or two you’ll figure out the perfect amount of time for your masterpiece ; )