Ballpark Food: Nachos

The family cook has much competition these days. We are competing against companies who have made their own foods look more attractive, convenient, and tastier(?) than our own home cooking. Unfortunately their products are filled with chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and fillers such as sodium and sugar. In this installment of “Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go we are going to discuss The UGLY. Yes the ugly competition that we home cooks face when eating on the go. I think most children would prefer the ballpark’s or Drive-Thru’s junk food over anything mom may have packed, right? The smell of popcorn, hot dogs, and nachos wafts through the air beckoning all of us to pay attention and purchase our portions.

So what is the home cook to do? If we can’t beat them then we may as well join them. Why not grill some leaner burgers at home, or there even, to eat at the game. Why not pack some healthier hot dogs or brats in hot broth in a Thermos like Biz told me in one of her comments. Her hubby does that at the games he attends and has everyone around him drooling for his cheddar brats! We can bring any “ballpark” food from home such as pizza, peanuts, sunflower seeds, chicken nuggets, popcorn, and nachos, which by the way would be a lot healthier and cheaper than buying it at the park. See my packing tips and remember that anything can be eaten, hot or cold, when eating on the go.

Take note of what our competitors do and do it better. I can copy “Lunchables,” “Hot Pockets,” or “White Castle Burgers” and make them healthier than the food industry who care more about their wallets than my children’s health. How about “Uncrustables” which have to be about the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. That one was pure insult when those came on the market. Like we can’t even make our own PBJ’s? Pa-lease! If you are buying those then go to my Loaves of Sandwiches post.

This is a recipe I have worked on to mimic the nacho cheese you would find at the ball park but is even better as it has no hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and color, or processed cheese. This will not get gloppy or separate.

Ballpark Nachos
1 cup milk
4 tsp. cornstarch

1 T. diced fresh or canned jalapenos or to taste
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 – 1 tsp. chili powder or to taste
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese

In a jar shake together milk and cornstarch. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat milk and cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened and hot. It will get as thick as gravy. Remove from heat and add cheese, chopped jalapeno, chili powder, and salt to taste. Blend until cheese is melted. Makes a little over 1 cup nacho cheese. It isn’t even nuclear orange.

Note- Preheat a Thermos with boiling water. Remove water, dry a little with paper towel and fill with nacho cheese. To serve, pour into 2 ounce portions cups and serve with chips. May pack sour cream, salsa, extra jalapenos, and black olives if you would like. Mine was still piping hot after an hour. The leftovers also reheated well in the microwave without separating which makes this recipe even perfect for the lunch box. **Sam’s Club sells clear plastic, disposable nacho containers if you really want to do it up.

Related Posts:
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The Plea
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The GOOD
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The BAD- The Chicken and The Egg
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The BAD- Noodles and Dough
“Car Picnics” The UH OH’s: Pop Pop Pop Popcorn

Tomorrow in BRK:
The UH OH’s- It is your turn to bring the team snack, or the class snack, or the office snack. How to snack a crowd on the cheap.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    I understand wanting to protect your kids from the nasty stuff hidden in food, but isn’t it necessary to sometimes indulge? I think I would be mortified if my mom brought a thermos of nacho cheese or hotdogs to a ballpark. I think you are doing a wonderful thing for your children, but I hope that you are also letting them “loose” every once in a while for the golden arches, the neon cheese dip, and the ballpark hotdogs.

  2. Sara
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    I don’t eat much processed food, but I do love that artificial nacho cheese sauce. I am definitely going to try your version, it sounds so good 🙂

  3. Sheila
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    It was ironic reading your notes about how companies (and restaurants) make their food tastier to compete with us. This morning my husband noted that whenever we eat out, they don’t ask if the food is of good quality but does it TASTE good. When had gone out to dinner and my husband just felt gross from the the food. He got something we make at home all the time, but with all the seasonings and the cooking methods it lost nutritional and good for you value. I have begun to realize how the occasional stop at Micky D’s makes me sluggish and just blah. Your ideas are so good and they are a treat in themselves!

  4. Elyse
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Mmm, this nacho cheese looks fabulous! I love that you are leading the rebel movement against those gross fastfood chains! I’m all for creating a healthier (I-know-where-my-ingredients-come-from) version of these great, tempting fastfood treats!

  5. Rindy R
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Robin – that Nacho cheese looks down right yummy! I just wanted to put the “Anonymous” person’s heart at ease: Robin is good friends with the McDonald’s clown and the Red Robin burger – but I have known her to be a mom who when she does do something “homemade” most of the kids are jealous of her kids!
    You Rock Robin – and thanks for these fun posts!

  6. Donna and Greg
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    As a family trying to get rid of the nasty stuff in our diets I greatly appreciate your recipes. My hubbie loves nacho dip, so we will be trying this recipe! Thanks for your inspiration!!!!! Happy Spring!


  7. noble pig
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    This is my favorite tip yet! Brilliant!

  8. Josie
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    I am so happy to see a recipe for nacho cheese sauce that doesn’t involve velveeta! I have always wondered how to get that silky smooth consistency. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Jennifer
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea!

    I make “Momables” Basically, its my Lunchable version of it.

    I’ll get really good crackers, cheese, salami and make a replica of what you buy in the store.

    My kids love them!

  10. Maria
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    My hubby LOVES nachos! At least he loves the good ones, not the icky fake cheese sauce, bleh!!

  11. Robin Sue
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Anon- Yes we let loose and you can tell from some of the recipes on my blog that I do make some foods that are not up there in the health department. I like moderation and always aim to add good and healthy foods in our diet to offset the few times we do go all out. Everything in moderation, even moderation. Thanks for the comment I think it has added good conversation as we are all looking for healthier foods but with balance. We only get one life and body so lets have fun and take good care of ourselves.

  12. unconfidentialcook
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Nachos are one of my favorite food groups, and I order them for myself for my meal at Mexican restaurants. The cheese looks great!

  13. j*amy
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    this looks SOOO GOOD!

  14. Dawn
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    cornstarch you say? ok, I have to try that next time. thanks Momma!

  15. Nicole
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    What’s not to LOVE about nacho cheese dip??? I’ve got a chip ready… pass some over!

  16. Joie de vivre
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    I think your idea of packing the hot dogs is brilliant! That could work for lunches too! I agree that those frozen crustless sandwiches are the stupidest thing ever. They’ve been on the market for at least 7-8 years now though so someone is buying them.

  17. Grace
    Posted March 25, 2009 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    i fondly remember a time when i didn’t attend a single athletic event without eating a tray of nachos with cheese. now i shudder to think what that “cheese” actually consisted of. 🙂

  18. GFE--gluten free easily
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    Terrific idea! I want to make this nacho dip for my son the next time he’s home. 🙂


  19. Memoria
    Posted March 28, 2009 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    You can make the nacho chips by cutting up and frying or baking corn tortillas! YUM! I plan to make that along with your cheese recipe for dinner! Thanks!

  20. Memoria
    Posted March 28, 2009 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    I just made this along with homemade tortilla chips and a homemade focaccia sandwich. The cheese was awesome! Thank you!

  21. Mindy
    Posted March 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    To my husband’s horror, I order those nachos every time I get a chance! Now I can make them at home? Woohoo!

  22. NannyOgg
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    Wonderful recipe.

    I never learned how to make nachos and cheese, so used google to land on your recipe (after comparing a few, I liked the simplicity of this one)

    Tonight, I delighted my kids by serving nachos and cheese after we drove through a Vermont thunder storm. We put sharp cheddar and mozzarella in and the sauce was excellent.

    Thanks ^^


  23. Margaret
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I love your recipe but need way more than this will make, I want to take Nachos to a large group get together, I will be keeping it warm in one of the big crockpots. I just need to figure how how many time to multiply the recipe…

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