11 Best Cheeses for Nachos

The “nachos and cheese” combination is a staple in the mainstream American culture. To make this snack even more delicious, it is important to choose the best cheese for nachos. The following list is a compilation of some of the best cheeses for melting on nachos. Each nacho cheese brand is broken down by:

1. Availability – places to purchase and available sizes.
2. Ingredientsadditional items mixed with the nacho cheese sauce.
3. How to use – serving the nacho cheese according to its texture.
4. Flavor – smoky, spicy, savory, or plain cheesy.
5. Color – or how the cheese should look, prior and during heating it.
6. Consistency – the way that the nacho cheese feels when you eat or cook with it: liquid, solid, thick, thin or sticky.

11. El Nacho Grande Portion Pak Cheese

This delicious cheese sauce is made with real cheese, which makes it healthier than other similar products. It might be the best cheese for nachos for those who are looking for that “movie-theater” taste. Although it can be served cold or hot, its slightly salty taste is better when warm. The product is available at various retailers, and online.

The spiciness of this nachos cheese sauce is just as perfect for chips, pretzels, or other snacks. Note that the container cannot be used in the microwave. Use a pre-warmer unit that you can use to heat up the cups to 7 times.

El Nacho Grande Portion Pak Cheese

10. El Mexicano Nacho Cheese Sauce

This is the most widely known brand for commercially sold nacho snacks, and one of the best cheese sauce for nachos, based on customer ratings. El Mexicano is available at wholesale retailers, as well as online.

This nacho cheese sauce has no peppers or additional spices added; it is plain. To use, keep the cheese heated up separately, then ladle, and pour over nachos. El Mexicano has a mild cheddar flavor with delicate Mexican seasoning. It has no peppers, so it is not spicy. The sauce color ranges, from dark orange when it is first purchased, to light orange when it is heated. It features a liquid consistency that will slowly solidify as it cools.

You might also like: 10 Best Melting Cheeses

El Mexicano Nacho Cheese Sauce

9. Tostitos Dip-etizers

Also found online as Dip-etizers, these are compact nacho cheese packages made by Frito-Lay. Customers consider these some of the best cheeses for nachos because they come in microwaveable trays that are easy to store, and do not need refrigeration. You can find Tostitos Dip-etizers in supermarkets and online in 10-ounce packages, 2 cheese flavors available. The nacho cheese sauce base is mixed with green and red chilies.

All you do is microwave the cheese, and use it as a dip. You may have to reheat if left out for long periods of time. Both cheese options of the Tostitos Dip-etizers are slightly spicy. The Four Cheese has pepper bits, so it is cheddar flavor with a spike of heat. Spicy Queso also has pepper bits, but it is the spicier of the two. The nacho cheese sauces are a light orange color with bits of green and red peppers. The overall consistency is thick and creamy like dips often are.

Tostitos Dipatizers Four Cheese Queso

8. Rosarita Nacho Cheese Sauce

A popular choice in supermarket aisles, Rosarita is a leading brand in Mexican cuisine, making this sauce one of the best cheeses for nachos in the market.

Rosarita is available at major retailers, and online. It sells in cans of up to 106 ounces, which equate 53 servings of ¼ cup each. The sauce is a plain, mild cheddar base. All you need to do is heat it up, and keep it warm in a cheese warmer. To serve, ladle and pour on chips. The flavors are mild cheddar with light chili powder that is not spicy.

It is a light orange nacho cheese color when cooked, but may appear a bit bright orange on the edges when it is first opened, due to storage. The consistency of Rosarita’s is liquid, so serve it very hot.

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Rosarita Nacho Cheese Sauce

7. Chef-Mate’s ¡Qué Bueno! Nacho Cheese Sauce

Chef-Mate is another manufacturer of some of the best cheeses for nachos and other Mexican dishes, such as chilaquiles. You can find the ¡Qué Bueno! Nacho Cheese online, and in specialty stores in 6 lb. 10oz cans. Each container equates around 50 cheese servings, of ¼ cups each. The base sauce is mild cheddar mixed and cooked with jalapeño peppers.

Our number 7 best cheese for nachos does have a spicy, cheddar cheese flavor that customers rate as “7 out of 10” in heat level. To use, heat it on the stovetop until sauce reaches 160 degrees or microwave it in a covered dish until the center reaches 160 degrees as well. You can heat the sauce separately, and then ladle it over chips. Refrigerate to preserve. This is a light orange color nacho cheese sauce with bits of chilies. You must serve it hot or warm to preserve its liquid consistency.

Chef-mate Que Bueno Sauce Nacho Cheese

6. Daily Chef Food Service Nacho Cheese Sauce

This sauce is used for “lots of nachos” events since it comes in a 6.62 pound can that can render plenty of cheese. You can find the Daily Chef Food Service Sauce in cooking specialty stores and retailers. The 6.62 lb. can give you up to 48 servings, ¼ cups each.

It consists of a mild cheddar base that is to be served in liquid form to pour hot or ladle over nachos. You can refrigerate it after opening. Customers report that our number 6 best cheese for nachos has great flavor, even for kids. It should show a light orange color and liquid consistency when warm.

Daily Chef Nacho Cheese Sauce

5. El Rio Mild Nacho Cheese with Jalapeños

A highly rated nacho cheese sauce in customer satisfaction, El Rio ranks as our number 5 best cheese for nachos due to its hint of spice without overwhelming the palate. El Rio is widely available in supermarkets, retailers, and other sites. The base cheddar sauce is very mild with jalapeño bits. Now, this is not a food service sauce.

This is for home consumption, so use the stovetop, microwave, or regular oven for heating. Customers say the flavor balances out well between the jalapeños and the cheese itself. The sauce should show a light, orange color, with a thick and creamy consistency. It works more like a dip than a “pour over” nacho cheese.

El Rio Mild Nacho Cheese Sauce

4. Campbell’s Condensed Soup Fiesta Nacho Cheese

Our number 4 best cheese for nachos, Campbell’s has added thicker, denser soups. This doubles up as dips and sauces, making them a great alternative for cooking. The new lines of Campbell’s soups are available in supermarkets, retailers, and online. The base cheese sauce of the Fiesta Nacho is a combination of crushed green and red chilies and cheddar.

According to customers, you can control the liquid amount (milk) to conform to your consistency preferences. Customers report that using more milk to mix the soup will make it more suitable for pouring. Short drops of milk, on the other hand, can transform it into a bona fide thicker dip. The flavor is a mild, slightly spicy flavor that is not “spicy hot.” This is a lighter color soup that looks like a bisque rather than a typical dipping cheese sauce, and it does feature those crushed green and red peppers in tiny bits.

Campbell's Condensed Soup Fiesta Nacho Cheese

3. El Mexicano Queso Fresco Casero

Authentic Mexican queso fresco (cheese from fresh cream) is a soft, gooey cheese that can still crumble. It is traditionally used crushed over nachos soft tortillas. The crumbs are full of salty flavor. Queso fresco is not just “any” nacho cheese. You may only be able to get really good ones at Latin markets, retailers with international food sections, or shop for it online.

The ingredients are simple: fresh cream, salt, milk. This is a salty, non-spicy cheese. You can crumble it over nachos, melt it into a queso, or heat up the crumbles and mix them with crushed nachos. The big crumbs feel dry to the touch, so cooking with it is fun. Expect a salty, creamy, and savory finish in a beautiful, ivory white colored cheese that is fun to eat.

El Mexicano Queso Fresco Casero

2. El Mexicano Cotija Cheese

Similarly to Queso Fresco, this other crumbling cheese for nachos is aged, salty, a bit more granular and drier than queso fresco. It also does not tend to soften easily. Cotija cheese is really traditional, unlike other cheeses you may see in a Mexican restaurant. You can find Cotija in Latin markets, international food sections and major retailers.

The homely and simple ingredients of our second best cheese for nachos include salt, fresh cream, milk. Then the cheese is aged, acquiring a somewhat smoky flavor. This cheese does not melt much, so it can be used crumbled over nachos, with salsa and other fixings. Wait for a salty, savory flavor. Do not worry about the granulated crumbs. That is how you should eat them.

El Mexicano Cotija Cheese

1. Ricos White Queso Blanco

This white cheese dip is the quintessential “queso” ordered in Mexican restaurants, but with the convenience of microwaveable packaging. The White Queso Blanco by Ricos is available at major retailers. This is your basic, plain, fresh cream and cheese, with no chilies included that melts super easily, and is so popular at restaurants.

This cheese sauce comes in a microwaveable tray, and you can either heat it in the package or use it in a fondue fountain for dipping. The flavor is salty, savory and very creamy. You can expect an off-white hue, sometimes translucent on top for the color. It changes as you cook it.

Ricos White Queso Blanco Restaurant Style Cheese Sauce

Bonus Product – Carnival King Clear 2 Compartment Plastic Nacho Tray

Eating nachos and cheese will be even more enjoyable with this sturdy nacho tray! Perfect for home and office, as well as carnivals, school fairs, kids parties, church festivals and other special events, the trays keep the nachos and sauces contained. You and your guests can hold the tray in one hand without worrying that it will crack or spill. A pack contains 50 trays and comes at an affordable price.

Carnival King Clear 2 Compartment Plastic nacho tray


Cheeses for nachos are all different. They range from bland to spicy in flavor, and their texture is equally diverse. The best cheese for nachos can be liquid, creamy or even crumbled. We have chosen Ricos White Queso Blanco as the best cheese for nachos. Get your own Mexican experience going, and be the first to tell others which are the best cheeses for nachos available!

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5 responses to “11 Best Cheeses for Nachos”

  1. Bob Henderson says:

    While I can’t remember the first time I had nachos with cheese, I know it was at a sporting event. Since then, I’ve always ordered them whenever I go to a hockey or baseball game because no one makes them like the local arena/ballpark. I’ve been searching for the best cheese for nachos for several years and while they continue to improve, I’ve yet to find one that matches up with “the pros.” That being said, some of these look like they might be up to the challenge so check back soon sports fans as I’m hoping I find my champion on this list of the best.

    • Selena Bates says:

      Hi Bob,

      We recommend you start with Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese which got so many positive reviews even from the pickiest customers. Or, if you prefer a spicier nacho cheese, try the El Rio nacho cheese sauce. Let us know what you chose in the end, and how you liked it!

  2. Soar says:

    Ricos basic nacho sauce is what you are looking for.

  3. Miami Mallory says:

    When I saw your article on the 11 best cheeses for nachos, I hearkened back to the classic Simpsons episode where Homer and Flanders are eating nachos and cheese out of a nacho hat singing, “Nacho Man.” I see Campbell’s mentioned here and I can tell you while I’m not a big fan of Campbell’s soups per se, they are fantastic for recipes and I’m definitely willing to try their Fiesta Nacho Cheese.

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