Nacho Chili Cheese Dip

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Nacho Chili Cheese Dip is perfect for any tailgating weekend. Creamy nacho cheese sauce has chili-spiced ground beef added to it for the perfect chip dip!

nacho chili cheese dip recipe

Nacho Chili Cheese Dip is what couch-gating dreams are made of. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘couchgating,’ allow me to help you out…

couchgating definition

At almost every tailgate or game day watching experience there are the usual Velveeta + Rotel tomatoes melted together. I am judging no one — I love that stuff as much as the mid-west does! But, since experimenting with homemade cheese sauce, I thought a nacho version was necessary. 

Ground beef nacho cheese dip

Nacho cheese sauce is one of those staple recipes you need to know how to make. Not only for all those Taco Tuesdays but for pairing with Easy Pulled Pork Chalupa or Taco Salad


First, let’s talk about cheese sauce. There are a few simple steps to making an amazing cheese sauce. But! You have to be careful… your sauce can turn gritty in no time, and that’s not very appetizing. 

What Do You Need to make Cheese Sauce?

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk or Cream
  • Cheese

Extras you can add to nacho cheese sauce to make it exciting:

  • Green chilis for amazing queso on its own
  • Chipotle peppers for Taco Night
  • Rotel for the *classic* nacho cheese sauce we all know and love
  • fresh jalapenos for a spicy kick

Let’s break down the art of making a cheese sauce…

You’ll begin making a roux with butter and flour in a small saucepan.

A roux is a simple mixture of butter and flour cooked until well incorporated.

The saucepan should be over medium-low heat. Allowing the butter to melt fully, waiting until foamy bubbles appear on top of your butter, then add in the flour.

Stir your roux using a wooden spoon, keeping the flour and butter moving so nothing sticks to the bottom.

You want the butter and flour incorporated well, and the flour to cook for about a minute or so. 

In a separate saucepan (you could even use a small saute pan), you want to heat your cream or milk, just until tiny bubbles form on the outside rim.

Adding cold milk to a hot roux will create a gritty texture in your sauce. Bleck!

Once your roux is ready, slowly add your heated milk and stir well with your wooden spoon.

You want to keep stirring until no lumps appear, and the sauce thickens. Usually, this means you’ll need to bring it back to a simmer or close to a boil.

When you are able to run your finger through your spoon, and not run back on itself, the bechamel is thick enough.

*You’ve just created a bechamel, and you can make a myriad of different recipes.* Woo-hoo!

Let’s add the cheese now!

Finally, take the saucepan off the heat and begin adding your hand-grated cheese, very slowly.

If your bechamel sauce is too hot, your cheese sauce could become gritty. Same with adding the cheese too quickly.

Can you tell this is a simple, yet finicky recipe?!

If you find you need a little heat added to your sauce to melt it better, put your pot over super low heat.

Stir in any additions — today we’re using chili-spiced beef, Rotel tomatoes, and extra green chilis! — and pour into a serving dish, ready to go!

If you’re serving at a party for a longer period of time, use a fondue pot with a low flame underneath! It will keep your cheese sauce warm, and delicious!

Chili Cheese Sauce with tortilla chips

Now, you can brown up some ground beef with onions and using a chili spice packet like this one to flavor the beef. 

I’ve added a can of Rotel Tomatoes + one extra small can of diced green chilis.

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

I sprinkled crushed red pepper flakes on top for a zippy kick – but feel free to leave off! Green chilis are very mild, and not spicy at all. So, if you want a spicy addition, stir in chipotle pepper instead. It will change the cheese sauce to a rich golden-amber color, which is just lovely on a table filled with couchgating food!

Nacho Cheese Dip with Ground Beef



Why not give these fun things a try for your next tailgating party?!

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Nacho Chili Cheese Dip

5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: stove-top cooking
  • Cuisine: american


Nacho Chili Cheese Dip is perfect for any tailgating weekend. Creamy nacho cheese sauce has chili-spiced ground beef added to it for the perfect chip dip!


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili seasononing
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer half and a half)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar (hand grated! No pre-grated stuff!)
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced green chilis
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a cast iron skillet brown the ground beef with the diced onions.
  2. Once the beef is browned and cooked through and the onions are soft, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons chili seasoning.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat melt butter.
  4. While butter is melting, place 1 cup milk in separate saucepan and heat over low heat, until small bubbles form around the rim of the milk. Careful not to burn!
  5. Add flour to melted butter, and using a wooden spoon, stir to combine and cook slightly. About 1-2 minutes.
  6. Once the flour is incorporated, and milk is warm, pour milk into butter/flour roux and stir well with your wooden spoon.
  7. Once your bechamel is thick, turn the heat off.
  8. Finally, add shredded cheese by small handfuls until combined.
  9. Add browned beef and onions + cans of Rotel and green chilis.
  10. Taste, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
  11. Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos, or with a spoon! 

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What are your favorite items to serve at a tailgate?! 


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  1. I remember one year before the Superbowl, there was a Velveeta shortage and people were freaking out! No worries of missing out on on tasty dishes, like this one, with this recipe!

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