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Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe

This is nacho average nacho cheese sauce! It transforms ordinary snacks into treats no one can resist.

With this recipe, you can easily make your own restaurant-quality, creamy nacho cheese sauce at home.

A creamy and savory nacho cheese sauce in a bowl with chips
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Its velvety texture makes it the perfect partner for crispy tortilla chips, veggies, or as a bold topping on your favorite dishes.

This nacho cheese sauce recipe will leave you and your guests wanting more.

Nacho Cheese Sauce

The perfect nacho cheese sauce has a perfect blend of creamy, cheesy, and spicy flavors. 

It should coat your chips just right, giving you that perfect bite every time. And with this recipe, that’s exactly what you get. 

This cheese sauce is so rich and smooth, you won’t be able to get enough of it. Whether it’s game day, movie night, or a party, it’s perfect for any occasion. 

Grab your chips, veggies, or whatever you desire, and let’s make some nacho cheese sauce!

Nacho Cheese Sauce Ingredients: Butter, Flour, Milk, Cheese and Pickled Jalapenos


Let’s break down what you need to make this nacho cheese sauce recipe.

  • Butter – It creates a rich foundation for our sauce. It’s essential for building flavor.
  • Flour – Next up is flour, working hand in hand with butter and milk to thicken the sauce just right.
  • Evaporated Milk – Use evaporated milk to get that creamy, dreamy consistency.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Cheddar brings a sharp, tangy kick to the party, elevating the sauce’s overall flavor profile.
  • American Cheese – American cheese is the secret to a silky, smooth texture. It screams indulgence.
  • Pickled Jalapenos – They add a spicy zing to balance out the richness of the nacho cheese sauce.

How to Make Nacho Cheese Sauce

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a delicious nacho cheese sauce ready in no time.

1. Heat the butter. Kick things off by putting a medium saucepan on medium heat. Pop in the butter and let it melt.

2. Create the roux. Add flour to the melted butter, stirring continuously. This combo will thicken up, creating a roux. It’s the thickening agent for the sauce.

3. Pour in the evaporated milk. Dial down the heat to low, and slowly add the evaporated milk. Keep stirring until it’s all blended and smooth.

4. Add the cheese and jalapenos. Sprinkle in your cheddar cheese, followed by the American cheese and the jalapenos. Stir continuously over low heat until everything is melted and mingling happily.

5. Serve and enjoy! 

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Homemade Creamy Nacho Cheese Sauce Served with Chips

Tips and Variations

Make your nacho cheese sauce unforgettable with easy tips and fun variations.


  • Don’t let the pot get too hot. Cook the sauce base at low heat for a smooth, creamy consistency. If it’s too hot when you add the cheese, you’ll have a grainy sauce. 
  • Grate the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese often contains additives that can ruin your sauce’s texture. Freshly grated cheese from a block melts better and tastes superior.
  • Thicken it up. If your sauce is too watery, add a little bit of flour and keep mixing until thick.
  • Keep it cozy. Use a Crockpot, fondue pot, or saucepan on a warming plate so the sauce stays nice and melty.


  • Add salsa or meat. A spoonful of salsa or spiced ground beef adds a kick.
  • Vary up the cheese. Consider processed cheese, Mexican blends, pepper jack, or other melty cheeses. 
  • Season it up. Add taco, fajita seasoning, or chili powder for an extra zing.
  • Dial up the heat. A can of diced green chiles brings a mild heat. Pickled jalapeno juice, hot sauce, or chili powder can also increase the spice level.
  • Give it a boozy twist. Substitute some of the evaporated milk with your favorite beer for a fun, pub-style cheese dip.
  • Make it smoky. Add a teaspoon of chipotle powder or some chopped chipotle peppers for a smoky depth of flavor.
  • Add garlic. Sauté minced garlic in the butter before adding flour for a fragrant, flavorful twist. 
  • Make it vegan. Use plant-based alternatives, such as vegan cheese and butter, for a dairy-free sauce.
Appetizing Nacho Cheese Sauce in a Bowl with Served with Crunchy Chips

How to Use Nacho Cheese Sauce

Nacho cheese sauce isn’t just for nachos! Level up your snack game and pair this cheesy delight with:

  • Tortilla Chips. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic nachos. Pile on the cheese for a simple yet satisfying snack.
  • Mexican Fiesta. Complement your tacos, burritos, or enchiladas with a side of this cheesy goodness.
  • Soft Pretzels. A drizzle of warm, gooey nacho cheese takes soft pretzels to new heights. It’s the perfect balance of salty and cheesy.
  • Fries. Swap out your regular ketchup and give your fries a cheesy upgrade. It’s a match made in snack heaven.
  • Chicken Wings. Why settle for regular dips when you can coat your chicken wings in nacho cheese sauce? It’s a game-changer.
  • Tater Tots. Add a dollop of nacho cheese on top of your crispy tater tots. It’s the ultimate comfort food duo.
  • Hot Dogs. Elevate your hot dog game by smothering it in nacho cheese. It’s a classic ballpark treat at home.
  • Mac and Cheese. Mix the nacho cheese sauce into your macaroni and cheese for extra creaminess and taste.
  • Baked Potatoes. Pour the nacho cheese sauce over baked potatoes, or include it in your loaded potato bar.

How to Store

Have leftover nacho cheese sauce? No problem! 

To Store: Place it in an air-tight container, and it’ll keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Do not freeze it. When you freeze and thaw it, the sauce will separate and get all grainy. Not very appetizing!

To Reheat: When you’re ready for an encore, warm it up on the stove over low heat. A splash of evaporated milk and some stirring will return it to its saucy consistency. But be gentle and don’t let it overheat. 

Nacho Cheese Sauce

Course: Sauces, DinnerCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This homemade nacho cheese sauce is quick, easy, and delicious! With just 6 ingredients, you’ll have a restaurant-quality sauce to top your favorite snacks.


  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 12 ounces evaporated milk

  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 6 ounces American cheese, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapenos, chopped


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once it’s melted and bubbling, stir in the flour. Cook it for 1-2 more minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Stir in the evaporated milk. Reduce the heat to low. Once the milk is heated and steaming, stir in the cheddar cheese, followed by the American cheese and the jalapenos.
  • Cook it for 3-4 more minutes over low heat.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 474kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Protein: 25.1g
  • Fat: 34.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 21.3g
  • Cholesterol: 113mg
  • Sodium: 919mg
  • Potassium: 463mg
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Calcium: 793mg
  • Iron: 1mg
Nacho Cheese Sauce

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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