Nachos with Lager, Cheddar & Jack Cheese Sauce

Pair With
Mexican-style pale lager_icon
Mexican-style pale lager
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India pale ale_icon
India pale ale
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  • Difficulty 2
  • Prep Time 20 mins
  • Cook Time 10 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty 2
  • Prep Time 20 mins
  • Cook Time 10 mins
  • Serves 4
A rich, creamy cheese sauce — souped up with pale lager — gets into all the crannies between layers of crispy tortilla chips. Chopped fresh tomatoes, green onions and cilantro give this game-time snack a fresh hit of flavour, but you can add more of your fave toppers to create a custom app everyone will gobble up. The amounts called for here will give you perfectly loaded, but not overloaded, nachos.

Ingredients for Nachos

  • 1 300 g bag tortilla chips
  • 1 398 mL can refried beans
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) water (approx)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) chili powder
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) Mexican lager or American-style light lager
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk (2% or higher)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 150 g)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded old cheddar cheese (about 150 g)
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) diced tomato
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) diced green pepper
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) finely diced red onion
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro

Custom toppers (optional)

  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole or diced avocado
  • Salsa
  • Mexican-style hot sauce

Directions for Nachos

  1. 1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat broiler. Spread half of the tortilla chips on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. 2. In a small pot over low heat, stir refried beans with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water until smooth. Cook, stirring often and adding more water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, if beans start to dry out, until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and chili powder, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in lager and milk; bring to a gentle boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, 1 handful at a time, stirring after each addition until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. 4. Drizzle half of the cheese sauce over chips on baking sheet, then top with half each of the refried beans, tomato, green pepper and red onion. Repeat layers with remaining chips, cheese sauce, refried beans, tomato, green pepper and red onion
  5. 5. Broil in preheated oven until chip edges are crisp and starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Custom toppers (if using)

  1. 1. Garnish with pickled jalapeños. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and hot sauce, and add to taste at the table.


  • The cheese sauce thickens as it cools, so work quickly while it’s warm and pourable. Make sure all your toppers are prepped and half of the chips are spread out on the baking sheet before you start making the sauce to ensure the crispiest, cheesiest, most delicious nachos. If the sauce thickens or clumps, don’t worry — add a splash of milk and reheat over low heat, whisking constantly until the sauce smooths out.
  • Looking for some heat? Stir finely chopped pickled jalapeños into the cheese sauce. Or add a little smoke with canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • For carnivores, sprinkle nachos with cooked ground beef, chicken or turkey seasoned with taco seasoning or a homemade mix of chili powder, cumin and salt. Crumbled cooked chorizo and spicy sausage are other tasty options. For vegetarians, try a plant-based meatless crumble or sausage.

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