Southwest Cheese Sauce

On occasion we like to eat at O’Charley’s restaurant.  That used to be a favorite when the kids were younger because kids under age 10 could eat free with an adult meal.  Things do change, kids grow up and they don’t offer free kids meals anymore, but we still eat there from time to time.  A couple of years ago, I had a coupon for a free appetizer.  (As I proof read this, I see a common thread.  I’m cheap!)  Anyway, they had just come out with their Twisted Chips and Cheese.  What was brought to the table was a large dinner plate, piled high with very thin, crispy, twisted pieces of fried potatoes.  On top of that was a delicious, spicy, cheese sauce.  That became one of our favorite appetizers there!

I decided to try to duplicate that yummy sauce.  I’m not sure if this is quite the same, but it was good.  I was in a hurry and served this with tortilla chips, but I will definitely do the thin, crispy potatoes in the future!

If you find the recipe to be too thick, just add a bit of extra milk to thin it down.  You can adjust to your taste.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, (Monterrey jack with peppers)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes & green chiles, drained (Ro-tel)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of paprika



Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Gradually whisk in flour until a paste forms.

Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.

Add evaporated milk and cook, whisking constantly for 5 minutes until thickened and smooth.

Add cheese to melt.

Add Ro-tel tomatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Serve with chips or fried potatoes!