How to Make Canned Nacho Cheese Better

nacho cheese dip with chips

Love a good nacho cheese dip, but the kind you get in a can just doesn’t always hit the spot.  No worries, though. We’re here to show you a few simple tricks that can take that store-bought canned nacho cheese from blah to amazing. So, let’s get started and make that canned nacho cheese the star of your next gathering.


Table of Contents

How to Make Canned Nacho Cheese Better

Choose the Right Cheese

The base of your canned nacho cheese is likely made with processed cheese, but you can improve the taste by mixing in additional cheeses. Consider adding a combination of the following types:

  • Sharp cheddar: for a tangy flavor
  • Monterey Jack: for a creamy, mild taste
  • Pepper Jack: for a spicy kick

When selecting cheeses, ensure that they are of high quality and freshly grated for the best results.


Add Some Flavor Enhancers

One simple way to give your canned nacho cheese a flavor boost is by adding spices and herbs.

  • Cumin: Add a pinch of cumin to give it an earthy and smoky flavor.
  • Chili powder: Sprinkling a little chili powder into the mix will add some heat and depth to your nacho cheese.
  • Paprika: A dash of paprika can enhance the overall taste, particularly if you opt for smoked paprika.
  • Fresh cilantro: Finely chop some cilantro and mix it in to give your nacho cheese a refreshing and light flavor.


Additional Ingredients

nacho cheese dip with chips and jalapeno

Apart from spices and herbs, incorporating additional ingredients can make your canned nacho cheese taste even better.

  • Diced jalapeños: Finely chop some jalapeños and add them to the cheese for an extra kick.
  • Sautéed onions and garlic: Sauté some onions and garlic in a bit of oil, then mix them into the cheese for added texture and flavor.
  • Tomatoes and green chilies: Mix in a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies to create a zesty, chunkier nacho cheese.
  • Sour cream: For a creamier consistency, try stirring in a dollop of sour cream.


Improve the Texture

To give your canned nacho cheese a better texture, start by slowly heating it up in a saucepan on low heat. Stir frequently to ensure an even distribution of heat and prevent the cheese from burning.

You can enhance the smoothness of your nacho cheese by adding a small amount of milk or cream. Remember to add them gradually, about a tablespoon at a time, and continue stirring until the desired consistency is reached.


Nacho Cheese Pairings

hot nacho cheese dip

Pair with Snacks

When it comes to enhancing your canned nacho cheese experience, think beyond the standard chips. Consider these delicious options for your next cheesy adventure:

  • Crackers and Pretzels: A variety of crackers and pretzels add both crunch and flavor to your nacho cheese. Try whole wheat crackers, flavored pretzels, or even cheesy breadsticks.
  • Vegetables: Add a healthy twist to your plate by pairing nacho cheese with veggies like carrots, celery, and bell pepper slices.
  • Loaded Nachos: For a more filling pairing, cook up some ground beef or shredded chicken and layer it on top of your nacho cheese-covered chips.


Pair with Drinks

Now that you’ve got your nacho cheese snacks sorted out, let’s discuss pairing them with drinks:

  • Beer: A cold beer is a classic option for pairing with nacho cheese. Try an amber ale or a Mexican-style lager for a great match with your snacks. Lighter beers, such as a crisp pilsner or a citrusy IPA, can cut through the richness of the cheese.
  • Wine: If you prefer wine, a chilled white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pairs well with nacho cheese. For a fun twist, try a sparkling wine or a fruity sangria for a refreshing complement to your snack time.
  • Soda or Lemonade: You can’t go wrong with a refreshing soda or lemonade to balance out the creamy and savory nacho cheese flavors.



Queso made with Velveeta cheese

How do you thin nacho cheese for a smoother dip?

To thin out nacho cheese for a smoother dip, gently heat it with a bit of milk or cream and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Be sure to add the liquid gradually and stir continuously to avoid lumps or uneven texture.


What can I mix with canned queso for a unique flavor?

You can mix various ingredients with canned queso to create a unique flavor—try adding diced tomatoes and green chilies, cooked ground beef, or sautéed onions and peppers. For a spicy kick, mix in some hot sauce or diced jalapeño peppers.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.