Here's How To Easily Recreate Taco Bell's Lava Sauce For Extra Dipping

Taco dipped into lava sauce
Taco dipped into lava sauce - Taco Bell Australia/Facebook

As fast food menus have come and gone, they've left a trail of discontinued items in their wake. And while many of these have been relegated to the forgotten pile of food history, others linger in the minds of their ravenous devotees. At the top of this list? The legendary Taco Bell Lava Sauce. Originally born in the 1990s as a part of the Volcano Menu, Lava Sauce was brought back for a brief promotion in 2023 before disappearing once again. (Although, if you happened to be in Australia in early 2024, you could still enjoy this spicy condiment.) This signature sauce is loaded with cheesy goodness and finished with a fiery kick that makes it right at home on the Volcano Menu.

Lava Sauce is primarily created from nacho cheese, a handful of spices, and the key ingredient: serrano chilis. With the helping hand of a food processor, this dip can be whipped up in no time and is a perfect addition to your next appetizer spread or as a gooey topping at your next taco night.

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The Low Down On Making Your Own Lava Sauce

Red serrano chili close up
Red serrano chili close up - Objectpro/Shutterstock

To recreate this fast food masterpiece, Mashed turned to recipe creator Catherine Brookes. Her replica dish begins with a handful of ingredients -- many of which are likely already stocked in your pantry. Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and sugar are combined to create a mix similar to standard taco seasoning. A little apple cider vinegar adds a tangy flavor to the dish and thins the final product. Add your favorite nacho cheese dip before introducing the essential ingredient to give this sauce its signature lava kick: red serrano chilis.

To make the actual sauce, roast and char the chilis in the oven before transferring them -- along with the rest of the ingredients -- to a food processor. Blend the mixture until it's completely smooth and all the ingredients have been chopped. To aid with blending, you can add a splash of water to lighten the consistency. The final result will be a thick, creamy sauce with a bright orange appearance that perfectly matches its spicy flavor profile. Although food processors are better at chopping food than blenders, you can still obtain a similar consistency with a blender in a pinch. When the sauce is complete, store it in the refrigerator for later use or serve it immediately with a towering bowl of salty tortilla chips.

What To Serve With Taco Bell Lava Sauce

Lava Crispy Chicken Burrito meal
Lava Crispy Chicken Burrito meal - Taco Bell Australia/Facebook

The real beauty of Lava Sauce -- aside from its taste-bud-tingling flavor blast -- is its versatility. Try using it to spice up your favorite nachos. Simply substitute the sauce for traditional nacho cheese; the creaminess of the mixture will thoroughly coat the chips, and the spicy flair will add some serious depth to the dish. If you're looking for a real culinary fusion, you can try drizzling Lava Sauce on a fusion dish of poke nachos. These Hawaiian-inspired 'chos are made with fresh fish, like tuna or salmon, and need a rich sauce to tie everything together. Try adding a few dollops of Lava Sauce to spice up the dish and complement the sweet and savory sauces often used to prepare poke.

Lava Sauce can also be used as a filler ingredient in tacos and burritos. Think about biting into a burrito and finding a juicy pocket filled with extra salsa or guacamole. Lava Sauce will deliver a similar sensation but one packed with an even more spicy flavor. It can be used cold, like sour cream, or heated right before use to mimic a traditional queso. Feel free to experiment beyond Mexican fare; pretty much anything that tastes good with nacho cheese is fair game for Lava Sauce!

Static Media owns and operates Daily Meal and Mashed.

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