The Secret Ingredient for Making Taco Bell's Famous Cheese Sauce at Home

Maybe you haven’t considered making cheese sauce before, but it’s actually easier than you might think. Plus, when you make the crowd-pleasing cheese dip at home, you can always replenish the bowl when it inevitably disappears.

Don't know where to start? TikTok creator Eitan Bernath claims to have discovered the trick to nailing copycat Taco Bell cheese sauce at home. And lucky for you, his secret ingredient is something we can all pick up at the store before the Super Bowla jar of pickled jalapeños.

Related: The 90 Best Super Bowl Dip Recipes

Why You Should Make Nacho Cheese Sauce with Pickled Jalapeño Brine

The pickle brine from a jar of pickled jalapeños adds a touch of spice to nacho cheese sauce, but not as much as if you added the peppers themselves. It’s also salty, so it seasons the nacho cheese sauce, while the vinegar from the brine adds a punch of acid.

Acid is essential in any well-balanced dish, and in nacho cheese sauce, it cut through the fattiness of the cheese and milk. Though other acids, like white vinegar or lime juice, can have a similar effect, you get the double duty of spice and salt with pickled jalapeño brine.

Related: The Secret Ingredient for Crispy, Crunchy, Perfectly Golden Grilled Cheese Every Time

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How to Make Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce with Pickled Jalapeños

In his TikTok video, Eitan enthusiastically shows us how he makes his incredibly gooey cheese sauce (the shot of his cheese sauce-coated tortilla chip at the end is enough to send me to the store to pick up pickled jalapeños and American cheese ).

Here's how you can make Eitan's copycat Taco Bell nacho cheese sauce: Start by making a roux, which is a fancy French culinary term for a mixture of equal parts melted butter and flour. This will help thicken your cheese sauce and help it stay creamy without separating. From there, slowly pour in about two cups of whole milk, whisking constantly as you pour. It’s important to stir while you add the milk so you break up the roux and incorporate it into the milk. Once the milk comes up to a simmer, it will thicken pretty quickly. Be sure to keep stirring as the mixture simmers to prevent the milk from scorching.

Next up is the secret ingredient: a glug of pickling liquid from a jar of pickled jalapeños. Finally, tear up plenty of good old American cheese (the orange kind) and add it to the pot. Though you can use other kinds of cheese for nacho cheese sauce, American cheese melts beautifully and is very stable, which will give you a smooth, velvety cheese sauce that stays dippable for a good long time.

Related: Donna Kelce's Upgraded 7-Layer Dip Is a Super Bowl Party Winner

What to Serve with Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce

Make Eitan’s copycat nacho cheese sauce and be the judge: Is it as good as (or better?) than Taco Bell’s? Try it with these super tasty Super Bowl recipes:

Up next: The Secret Ingredient for Fudgy Brownies That Stay Moist for Days