How To Make State Fair Nachos At Home

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Fair food nachos aren’t like any nachos we’ve had anywhere else. No fancy sauces or piles of extra toppings. No impressive presentation or attempts to win us over. We’re simply handed a paper tray of corn chips that have been drizzled with the creamiest, saltiest, and most strangely addictive cheese sauce imaginable.

Wandering between booths with the sun on our faces, this is heaven.

The secret ingredient to that extra-oozy, gooey sauce is our old frenemy, American Cheese. More specifically Velveeta. Love it or hate it, this cheese melts beautifully. It never separates or gets oily, and it coats food like nothing else.

You won’t win any gourmet food challenges with these nachos, but we guarantee you’ll make a lot of friends. Just try serving up a big bowl of them at your next cook-out or movie night, and see how fast they disappear. Like we said, “strangely addictive” is definitely an accurate description.

Fair Food Nachos
makes enough to use one large bag of chips and feed several salt-craving adults

1 16-ounce block of Velveeta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1-2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
1-2 hot peppers, finely chopped (optional)
1 16-ounce bag corn tortilla chips

Cut the block of Velveeta into cubes and put them into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the cheese is completely melted. This should take about 3 minutes total.

Chop all of the vegetables as finely as possible. Stir them into the melted cheese, and microwave the sauce for another 30 seconds. If the sauce seems too thick to you, stir in a little milk, sour cream, or mayonnaise.

Arrange the a layer of chips in the bottom of your serving bowl. Spoon on some cheese sauce. Add another layer of chips and cheese sauce, and continue until your bowl is full. You can serve nachos in a communal bowl, individual bowls, or set the cheese sauce out for dipping.

Even Shorter Shortcut Variation: Combine the cubed Velveeta with a jar of salsa and microwave in 30 second intervals until the cheese has completely melted.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)