Recipes: The Ultimate Cheese Sauce, Guacamole, and Other Nacho Accoutrement

Our friends at Food52 know how to maximize each element of the nacho stack. Construction is on you.

  • Nacho Cheese Sauce. All the gooey goodness (and electric coloring) of stadium nacho cheese without the bizarro ingredients list and plastic smell. Hint: It hinges on turmeric for color and buttermilk for tang.
  • Bangkokamole. Tex-Mex, meet Thailand. Lime and chiles offer ample opportunity for common ground, but the real kicker is Thai basil.
  • Grilled Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa. Dried pineapple in salsa? Oh yes. It plays off the smoky heat of the chipotles and the pert astringency of the tomatillos like a pro.
  • Diana Kennedy's Carnitas. The magic of pork shoulder + water + salt.
  • Chili Gumbo. In honor of the host city of New Orleans, a sacred nacho condiment gets a well deserved upgrade built on a dark roux, andouille sausage, and a heap of Cajun seasoning.
  • Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole. A chunky guacamole no one could possibly mistake as store-bought, despite being ridiculously easy.
  • Tuxedo Chili. So called because it’s a white chicken chili with black and white beans, what this version lacks in pigment, it makes up for in punchy flavor.
  • Rosemary Thyme Pita Chips. And just in case you’re feeling fancy, these slightly sweet pita chips just beg for a shower of spicy chili.
  • Nach Waxman's Brisket of Beef.         The secret is in the spectacular quantity of onions and in slicing the meat halfway through so each sliver soaks up maximal sauce. Chop it up, sprinkle over top of your nachos, and wonder why you ever used ground beef in the past.
  • Sugar Steak with Bourbon. If you want beef without the chip-wilting sauce imposed by chili, chopped up flank steak is your best bet. Affordable, flavorful, and quick-cooking, this guy gets bonus points for being marinated in bourbon and brown sugar.

Whether you’re shouting at the television or politely observing, you’re going to need some sustenance during the Big Game. Chewing off the bottom of your lip doesn’t count, and a plain tortilla chip is nearly as bland. Here are 10 ways to step up your nacho game. Click through the gallery above to find recipes for chili, brisket, salsa, and other flourishes that will take your nachos to the next level.

Written by @Food52

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