10 Best Cheeses for Nachos
The “nachos and cheese” combination is a staple in the mainstream American culture. It is one of the most popular combination snacks in the country. Low-cost and easy to make, nachos are slowly replacing popcorn as the fast food of choice in ballparks, amusement parks, and even movie theaters. That’s why it is important to choose the best cheese for nachos, to make this snack even more delicious.
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. Ingredients – additional 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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!