Best Nacho Cheese Sauce Ever!
Cheese Sauce never had it so good. This simple Queso recipe loaded with jalapeños, chipotle peppers and smoked cheddar cheese is the best nacho sauce I’ve ever made. You’ve got to try this!
You say party, I say nachos.
Party! Nachos! Party! Nachos!
Sorry… when we get to the end of football season, everything tends to come out in chant format.
What I meant to say, was that it would be a shame to have a Super Bowl party and forget the spicy cheese sauce.
I’m sure you’ve tried the 2 ingredient version with one unnamed block of highly processed cheese product and one can of tomatoes and chiles.
I’m not knocking either of these products, or the queso they make.
I’m just saying… you can do better.
This my friends, is the best queso I’ve ever made.
Start with fresh onions, garlic and jalapeños, sautéed until soft, then add creamy half & half, smoky chipotle peppers, and three fabulous California made cheeses, including smoked cheddar to add a huge punch of flavor.
The reason so many people stick with said processed 2 ingredient cheese sauce is that it’s nice and smooth. However, if you know how to thicken your queso and use quality cheeses (without fillers) you can create the best cheese sauces you’ve ever tried.
We’re using cornstarch, not flour, and the thickening agent. It can be tricky to know when to choose cornstarch and when to choose flour. But the general rule of thumb is that if you plan to cook something a long time, use flour, and if you need your thickening agent to act quickly, use cornstarch.
Flour produces a much better flavor over time, but must be cooked quite a bit to insure your recipe is smooth, not gritty.
In this queso, there are so many bold ingredients to add flavor we don’t need to rely on the flour to build flavor, so cornstarch is the answer for a very smooth creamy consistency.
It’s also important to mention, that block cheese shredded at home produces a much better texture than pre-shredded cheese covered in additives to ward off clumping.
Once you’ve scalded the half & half (also important for texture) keep the heat down and be patient as you slowly stir in the fresh shredded cheese. You’ll be amazed and how rich, creamy, and zesty, this smoky homemade cheese sauce is.
Pour it over tortilla chips, fries, broccoli, burgers, yourself…
Just kidding, let’s stick to food.
Pour it over all things food, and you will be in cheese-lovers paradise.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
The Best Queso Cheese Sauce
- 1 Tb. butter
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
- 2 chipotle chiles, diced (canned in adobo sauce)
- 1 1/2 cups California half & half (or evaporated milk)
- 1 Tb. cornstarch
- 4 oz. California cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
- 2 tsp. yellow mustard
- 8 oz. California smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. California sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 3-4 minutes to soften, then add the half & half and chipotle peppers.
- Whisk in the cornstarch. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, so the half & half can scald (not necessary with evaporated milk) then lower the temperature to medium-low. Then stir in the cream cheese and mustard.
- Slowly start adding the shredded cheese. Stir and add by the handful, until the sauce comes together. If you prefer your cheese sauce a little thinner, add an extra splash of half & half. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a slow cooker or fondue pot.
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