Low Sodium Nacho Cheese Sauce – Queso
One of the most mentioned items that people miss on a low sodium diet, is cheese. Not just any cheese mind you, but people miss that neon orange gooey “cheese-like” sauce that they used to get in the movie theater with tortilla chips and jalapenos. People miss the taste of chips and cheese. The problem is that that gooey orange “cheese” sauce is comprised mostly of chemicals and sauce. So I went on a quest to create the version of that sauce we can still have and have it still taste as decadent as we remember. So here is my low sodium nacho cheese sauce – queso.
Mastering Low Sodium Cheese
Most people who are told to go low sodium think that they have to remove all cheese from their life. That is just not true! Like all products out there, there are low and high sodium options. Cheese is harder as most don’t easily have a nutrition label on the packaging. We must be diligent though in reading labels. It is how we can find and then share our low sodium options.
Swiss on a burger works just as well as a saltier Cheddar or American Cheese. But some people are trained that a “yellow” Cheese is better somehow. Um, you know that cheese comes from milk, and that milk is white, right? Yellow coloring has been added to cheese to help it stand out. True yellow color comes from milk fats congealing and fat has a yellow color. We all know we should be watching our fat intake.
I first mastered my Swiss Potatoes Au Gratin when I wanted a cheesy dish to replace the usual Au Gratin Potatoes served for the holidays. But then I had fans that told me; “Well that’s a start, but it’s not my yellow cheese!” So, I went and perfected that yellow cheese sauce for my Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese. The reviews were that I had a HIT! So without further ado, we now have a low sodium nacho cheese sauce – queso for your low sodium nachos or chips and cheese.
The Secrets To Crafting Great Cheese Sauce
All great cheese sauces come from a base or “mother sauce” in culinary speak. Ours starts with a Bechamel Sauce. A Bechamel Sauce starts by creating a roux. Which is melted butter and flour mixed together. The roux is added to milk, cheese, and spices to make it a cheese sauce.
I will warn you now that this stuff is addicting! It was perfect with unsalted tortilla chips and salt free pickled jalapenos. You can use some beef or turkey seasoned with my salt free taco seasoning for tacos or nachos.
The Recipe For Low Sodium Nacho Cheese Sauce – Queso
A low sodium version of the classic cheese sauce for nachos and chips and cheese
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp Yellow Onion minced
- 2 tbsp Green Chiles chopped (you can use no salt added rotel)
- 2 tbsp Tomato seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour can use a gluten free flour mix
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Low Sodium Greek Yogurt
- 2 oz Low Sodium Swiss Cheese grated
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over low heat in a sauté pan.
Add the onion, green chile or rotel, tomato, turmeric, paprika and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the onion softens completely.
Add the remaining butter and the flour, and continue to cook on low for another 2 minutes.
Add the cream, ½ cup of the yogurt, lemon juice, and cheese and stir to until the cheese melts. Add in the remaining yogurt a little at a time until you get a velvety sauce, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse until completely smooth. Stream in the olive oil and continue to blend.
Season with pepper to taste.
Serve with chips and pickled jalapenos.
You can make this sauce a day ahead and keep it in a sealed jar. Reheat in the microwave for a minute, stir, and finish heating another minute to serve.