Nacho cheese is one of the classic sporting-event foods that, for a long time, I never thought to attempt at home. You might be surprised to find out that making it is actually pretty simple and takes only about 10 minutes, start to finish.
Homemade nacho cheese is a béchamel cheese sauce. You start by making a roux — that is, cooking some butter and flour together. Then add milk and cook until the mixture thickens into a luxurious, creamy sauce. The cheese adds body, color and brilliant, salty flavor. The definitive nacho cheese taste is achieved by a few dashes of spices and a hearty helping of RO*TEL — the savory combination of tomatoes and green chilies completes the flavor profile. Without these extra flavorings, what you have is the base for a delicious homemade macaroni and cheese!
This nacho cheese sauce is endlessly adaptable and versatile. You can serve it as a simple dip, use it to top hot dogs or, of course, to finish off a plate of nachos. For a twist on the classic recipe below, try one of these variations:
Makes about 4 cups
Smooth, creamy and bright, this basic but flavorful nacho cheese is an asset to any game day meal. The recipe is easily doubled or halved, depending on the size of your gathering.
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