Do you love indulging in a plate of crispy, hot nachos at the movie theater? The ultimate movie snack is incomplete without a delicious and creamy nacho cheese sauce recipe. But have you ever wondered how to make the perfect theater-style nacho cheese sauce at home? Look no further!
I'll take you through the step-by-step process of creating the perfect cheese sauce. Whether you're hosting a movie night at home or just craving some delicious nachos, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds. And the best part is this recipe uses minimal ingredients and NO processed cheese!!
Essential ingredients for the perfect cheese sauce
My dad was allergic to cheese and the dairy free cheeses at that time were nasty. Half the time the cheese wouldn't even melt. Nachos, pizza....those foods were just not consumed in our house. My mom went with the all or nothing approach. I later learned that approach was because my Dad couldn't resist. If the better foods that we were allowed to eat but not him were in the house, he would eat them. So the whole family embraced Dad's eating habits and lived with his allergy.
I've searched for years for a really good nacho cheese sauce recipe that would be easy to prep. I am not a fan of shredding cheese. This recipe allows you to stick everything on the stovetop for easy prep.
We loved that this cheese stayed soft and creamy even after cooling slightly. A great recipe and one that tastes delicious and is better for you!
Before we begin, let's take a look at the essential ingredients you'll need to make the perfect theater-style nacho cheese sauce. These include:
- pepperjack cheese, cut into cubes
- cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
- cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- evaporated or whole milk
- hot sauce, optional
It's important to use whole milk or evaporated milk as it gives the cheese sauce a creamier texture. You can also use other types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack or Colby, depending on your preference. However, cheddar cheese is a classic choice and is perfect for replicating that delicious movie theater taste.
If you suffer from stomach issues, you can still enjoy this cheese sauce! Just substitute dairy free whipping cream for the milk If you need to, you can also substitute dairy free butter.
If you are looking for a vegan and dairy free version use dairy free cheese and dairy free heavy whipping cream and butter.
This recipe is naturally gluten free as it doesn't contain any gluten.
Preparing the ingredients
In a saucepan, place the cheeses, cornstarch and milk.
Making the roux
Heat the mixture over medium low heat until the sauce becomes smooth, bubbly and thickened. Stir in the hot sauce if using.
Achieving the right consistency
The consistency of the cheese sauce is important. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little bit of milk to thin it out. If the sauce is too thin, you can add a bit more cheese to thicken it up. Keep adjusting until you achieve the desired consistency.
Tips for storing and reheating cheese sauce
If you have any leftover cheese sauce, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating the sauce, be sure to do it slowly over low heat to prevent it from separating. You may need to add some more milk to thin.
Now that your nacho cheese sauce is ready, it's time to serve it up! You can pour the sauce over a plate of hot, crispy tortilla chips for the ultimate nacho experience. You can also use the cheese sauce as a dip for other snacks, such as pretzels or vegetables. The possibilities are endless!
Theater Style Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe
- 4 ounce pepperjack cheese cut into cubes
- 4 ounce cheddar cheese cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 cup evaporated milk can substitute whole milk or lower fat milk versions, see notes
- 1-2 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- In a saucepan, place the cheese, cornstarch and milk. Heat the mixture over medium low heat until the sauce becomes smooth, bubbly and thickened. Stir in the hot sauce if using. Remove from heat and serve in bowls or drizzle over nachos. Use additional milk to thin nacho sauce to desired consistency if needed.
- To store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Heat on stovetop or on low in microwave for several minutes and use additional milk if necessary to thin.
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Simplicity