The Only Nacho Cheese Sauce You Need During The Big Game

There are essentially two main types of nachos, one of which consists of a mountain of toppings — meats, beans, cheeses, and condiments — piled atop a platter of tortilla chips. This one tends to be a meal in itself, but the other type. Often known as ballpark nachos (although they're also sold at other sporting events, movie theaters, and anywhere else people gather to be entertained on seats that can be easily wiped clean), is a simpler snack made from cheese sauce and chips alone.

While ballpark nachos can come with the cheese sauce already drizzled over the chips, this, too, can make for soggy chips if you don't eat quickly. Susan Olayinka, who developed this creamy nacho cheese sauce recipe, instead prefers to serve her chips on the side for dunking in a sauce she describes as "absolutely delicious." It's also far less messy to eat while your attention is on the TV, and you need not fear the chips losing their crunch if you're too focused on the game to gobble them up right away.

Making these nachos won't take too much time out of your day

The best gameday recipes (like these Super Bowl snacks) won't require you to spend hours in the kitchen or do any last-minute fiddling that might take you away from the game at a crucial moment. As per Olayinka, however, one great thing about her nacho cheese sauce is "how fast and easy it is to make." She goes on to say, "It only takes a few minutes to prepare" — about 10 in all, even if you shred the cheese yourself. (Olayinka suggests using sharp cheddar, but adds "You could try a blend of cheeses for a different flavor.") You can also prepare the dip in advance as Olayinka says it can last for two weeks in the refrigerator.

As nacho cheese sauces go, this one's extra creamy since it's made with three different dairy products: butter, milk, and half-and-half. Olayinka explains that "The milk provides creaminess while the half and half adds richness" to the sauce, while the butter combines with flour to make a thickening roux. Apart from the sauce's cheesy tang, though, its flavor is a mild one since Olayinka opts to use a small amount of chili powder for what she calls "a little bit of a kick." If you prefer your nachos kickier, however, feel free to add cayenne, chipotle powder, or hot sauce, or top the nachos with a generous scoop of pickled jalapeño slices in the best ballpark tradition.