Make Next-Level Nachos by Melting Shredded Cheese in Queso

Make Next-Level Nachos by Melting Shredded Cheese in Queso
Photo: nelea33, Shutterstock

Usually, when one makes nachos (or cheese fries), there comes a point when you have to choose between a creamy, saucy queso and a gloriously stretchy cheese pull. Queso does not stretch like melted, shredded cheese, and shredded cheese has a tendency to grease out and solidify quite quickly — but, with their powers combined, you can have the best of both cheeses.

By melting shredded cheese into a bowl of store-bought queso, you get a creamy, saucy cheese with a crazy amount of stretch. I mean, just look at this cheese pull. Look at it and be wowed by its magnificence.

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

A shredded cheese that melts well works best here — think Oaxaca cheese, pepper jack, or even mozzarella — but even shredded cheddar turns out pretty great (stay away from super hard cheeses like parm or aged gouda, however). The melting salts and emulsifiers in the jarred cheese sauce keep everything nice and fluid. Even at room temperature, the combination is still dip-able and scoop-able, which are two very desirable qualities for something you transport to your mouth with somewhat fragile corn chips.

For best results, use one part shredded cheese and two parts jarred queso (by volume), then heat it up in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, or in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave using 30 second bursts until everything is hot, flowing, and stretchy. When you can pull off a cheese pull like the one pictured above, you’re there. Pour your cheesy hybrid over a pile of carbs to make nachos, tot-chos, or fries, or just dip stuff in it. (Chips are an obvious choice, but have you considered vegetables? Bell pepper is particularly nice.)

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