Nacho cheese is one of the best snacks for watching a football game, entertaining a crowd, or just having your own Mexican fiesta — but not all nacho cheese recipes are the same. If you don’t already have a nacho cheese machine. its simple enough to make! A good batch is all about following directions. Cheese in general can be difficult to cook without ending up with clumps or burning it. If you do it right, however, making your own signature homemade nacho cheese is easy as pie — well, actually easier.
If you are going to make cheese sauce, you have to keep some general rules in mind:
- When making nacho cheese, you need to combine and cook the butter and flour together for one minute to give it a “consistent” and creamy flavor.
- Don’t use sharp cheddar cheese; rather opt for medium cheddar. Medium cheddar is easier to break apart and isn’t as “grainy” as sharp cheddar, which means that it will melt more uniformly.
- When you are ready to stir the cheese, make sure to remove the pan from the heat. If you overheat the cheese, it can become super thick and clumpy. When you are initially heating it, have patience and use only low heat so that it can melt fully.
The ingredients you will need are:
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
6 ounces medium cheddar cheese (the shredded variety)
1 cup milk (whole)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
- To begin, add both the butter and the flour together in a saucepan. While it is heating, use a whisk and continually whip the mixture until it has a creamy consistency. Make sure that you don’t let it sit or it can cause clumping and risk burning the mixture. The cooking time should be about a minute and no more.
- Add in the milk and begin to whisk it with the butter and flour. Increase the heat a little. You will want to get a slight simmer in the milk, all while whisking it constantly. Once you are satisfied that it is thick enough, remove it from the heat altogether and place to the side.
- Gradually add the cheddar cheese. You will want to add small amounts into the sauce and wait for it to melt before adding more. If you are having a hard time getting it to melt, you may put the saucepan back on the stove; just make sure that it is at the lowest temperature possible. If you overheat the cheese, you are going to get clumps, and it will have a “burnt” taste.
- Once you have melted all the cheese and you have a good sauce mixture, add in the spices. If it starts to become too “thick” for your taste, then you can add warm milk to thin it out. Make sure to keep tasting it and add more spice as you see fit.
If you want to forego the cheddar and make it easier on yourself, try this alternative:
2 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
2 tablespoons butter
7 slices American cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (whole)
1 can chilis
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the flour and stir until it is a thick paste.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and continue to stir until the consistency is thick, making sure to stir constantly.
- While still heating, add the American cheese and the salt. The mixture should take about 15 minutes to cook entirely. At the end, you can add some green chilies to give it that extra kick, depending on the amount of heat you want it to have.
Nacho cheese is an excellent snack and a cheap one, too. If you follow the directions carefully, you can make it just like the pros. The key is to understand how to melt the cheese. Cheddar cheese might take a little extra TLC and time, but it just can’t be beaten. If you are on a time constraint or just don’t want to go through the hassle, American cheese is an excellent substitute for cheddar.