Nacho cheese is one of the most loved cheese sauces in the world. Originating from Mexico, this famous dip is present in almost every household and movie theatre. Currently, there are many different types of nacho cheese with various add-ons and seasonings to spice up the flavor.
However, the answer to “is nacho cheese gluten-free” is a little complex. People with gluten intolerance, may not be advised to consume this cheese sauce as it contains processed cheese and other flavorings that include gluten.
What Is Nacho Cheese?
Most commonly associated with nacho tortilla chips; nacho cheese dip goes hand-in-hand with the snack. The sauce is a mixture of processed cheese with spices and chopped chili peppers, preferably jalapenos. It can be found in stores usually in cans, and can even be made at home using your own ingredients.
If you’re looking for gluten-free nacho cheese, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the ingredients list so you know exactly what is present in its contents. This ensures you’re on the safe side before you consume anything that might cause trouble for you later.
What Are The Ingredients In Nacho Cheese?
Different brands have their own spin on making nacho cheese, some gluten-free and some not. Here are the most common ingredients present in our everyday nacho cheese sauce.
Cheese is what makes your nacho sauce gooey and thick. A nacho sauce involves a fusion of three types of cheese, mainly Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozarella. When melted together, they form a cheesy sauce. Some manufacturers season the dip with chili powder to enhance the flavor.
The next ingredient that is used in nacho cheese is tomato sauce. This sauce improves the taste and increases the viscosity of the cheese dip. Tomato sauce uses tomatoes, a highly nutritious fruit. It contains antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and even dietary fiber.
A nacho cheese dip is incomplete without onions. They give a tangy blend to the sauce, that complements the flavor of all the ingredients.
Chilli peppers bring up the heat of the nacho cheese dip. They are used to add a spicy kick to the sauce, making it even more delicious. Chilli peppers come with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
How To Identify If Nacho Cheese Is Gluten-Free?
To make sure that you’ve selected a nacho cheese dip that is gluten-free, you must first read the ingredients label of the product. Many of these cheese sauces contain wheat flour which is used as a thickening agent. Such cheese dips contain gluten, so you have to be careful when picking one.
Does this mean people with gluten allergies have to quit on nacho cheese? Not at all. There are gluten-free nacho cheese options too, or you can make one at home. These are usually made of the following ingredients:
Corn And Rice
One way to ensure that you pick a gluten-free nacho cheese is to check that rice and corn are included in its ingredients list. If it contains corn and rice, then this nacho cheese is gluten-free. You don’t need to check any further whether it’s not gluten-free. This is because nacho cheese that contains corn and rice doesn’t contain gluten.
Maltodextrin and Modified Food Starch
Look for nacho cheese dips that mention maltodextrin and modified food starch on their ingredients list. Both of these ingredients are used to make a gluten-free nacho cheese sauce. They act as thickening and stabilizing agents to give the nacho dip a cheesy and gooey look.
For maximum reassurance, look for nacho cheese dips with the ‘gluten-free’ label on them.
What Are Some Gluten-Free Nacho Cheese Options?
Here are some gluten-free nacho cheese dips that you can try with your nachos:
Ricos mentions on its website that its nacho cheese dips are gluten-free. The sauces come in a variety of flavors, which include Gourmet Nacho, Hot and Spicy, and Cheddar. This brand is known to achieve the taste of theater-quality nacho cheese dips.
El Mexicano is one of the safest nacho cheese options for people with celiac disease. Their nacho cheese products are certified gluten-free. This means that the products have to meet the FDA’s defined guidelines in order to keep them gluten-free.
Their nacho cheese dips come in only one flavor, Salsa De Queso, which is very popular amongst nacho cheese enthusiasts.
Siete Dairy-Free Mild Nacho Cashew Queso
Siete’s Nacho Queso dip is made from dairy-free and gluten-free ingredients. It’s a perfect choice for vegans and gluten intolerant individuals, giving them a healthy and delicious substitute for the original cheese dip.
La Preferida Zesty Nacho Cheese Sauce
La Preferida Nacho Cheese dip comes with a gluten-free label, making them another best gluten-free cheese option. They’re available in 15 lbs sizes, a great option for a nacho party or late-night snack.
The best part is that you can easily customize your cheese sauce with a few other ingredients and make it all the more exciting for your tastebuds!
How To Make Your Homemade Gluten-Free Nacho Cheese Dip?
To make your own delicious gluten-free nacho cheese dip, you must have the following ingredients.
- 1 cup of diced green onions
- 2 cups of sour cream
- 8 oz. of cheddar cheese
- 1 diced jalapeno
- 1 juiced lime
Once you have the following ingredients, you’re now ready to make your own cheese dip.
Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 350⁰F.
Step 2: On an ungreased baking tray, spread a layer of cheddar cheese.
Step 3: Add a layer of sour cream onto the cheddar cheese layer. Then, sprinkle some diced green onions and jalapeno on top of the sour cream layer.
Step 4: Keep repeating the layering mentioned in Steps 2 and 3, until all of the ingredients have been finished.
Step 5: Bake the nacho cheese mixture in the oven for 25 minutes.
Step 6: Add some slices of juiced lemon onto your cheese dip. Voila! Your nacho cheese dip is ready for snacking.
Takeaway – Is Nacho Cheese Gluten-Free?
While nacho cheese is a common household staple, people with celiac disease must take caution when picking a nacho cheese dip. Not all nacho cheese dips are gluten-free. Read the dip’s ingredients label to check for any glutenous contents and find the most suitable option to satisfy your cheese dip cravings.