Nacho Cheese Sauce

Delicious and easy Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce with just 4 ingredients and no processed cheese! Creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy dip perfect for Game Day!

If you love Slow Cooker Nacho Cheese, you’ll love this quicker stovetop version even more! This Cheese Dip is one of the fastest and most delicious game day Appetizer Recipes ever!

Nacho Cheese Sauce in pot


Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is so easy and delicious, you’ll wonder why you’ve never made it before! With 4 simple ingredients and about 15 minutes, you get a creamy, tasty nacho cheese dip. The best part is there’s no processed cheese slices or Velveeta so you get maximum cheddar flavor!

Velveeta cheese certainly has a place in recipes, like our Cheesy Beef Rotel Dip, but when it comes to a Nacho Cheese recipe, you can’t beat all natural cheddar cheese! The sharp cheddar give a zing that you just don’t find in processed cheese. Plus you don’t need flour to keep this cheese sauce thick, so it’s gluten free and all your party guests can enjoy it worry free!

No Shredded Cheese!

For the creamiest Nacho Cheese Sauce, you want to grate the cheddar cheese yourself. Bagged pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking ingredients, that’s why it doesn’t stick together like your leftover home grated cheese. This anti-caking powder can make your cheese sauce grainy and starchy.

Just because you aren’t making this Nacho Cheese Sauce recipe in a slow cooker, doesn’t mean you can’t serve it in a crock pot. Nacho Cheese is best served warm so this is great way to keep it hot during a party. Just pour the cheese sauce into the crock pot, set to warm, and stir occasionally.

There are so many ways to use Nacho Cheese Sauce besides nachos! Serve it as a party dip on game days along with tortilla chips, pita chips, or sliced crusty bread. Use this as a topping for Tater Tot Waffles, baked potatoes, or even Roasted Broccoli as a side dish. Thin with more evaporated milk and drizzle it over your favorite Mexican Food Recipes as a tasty queso sauce.

If you have leftover Nacho Sauce, store it in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop on medium-low heat. You may need to add 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream to get it creamy again. You can also add more cheese and milk to increase leftovers, but keep in mind the original storage time stays – sadly you can’t refresh this delicious sauce forever!


Nacho Cheese Sauce on nachos


  • Chili Cheese Dip: Stir in a can of chili (with no beans) after the cheese has melted for an instant Chili Queso Dip recipe. Heat chili and cheese mixture until hot.
  • Taco Dip: To make an easy Cheesy Taco Dip, add 1 pound ground beef (drained) and 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning to the cheese sauce and mix until combined.
  • Spicy Nacho Cheese: For a hot and Spicy Nacho Cheese, add diced jalapeños, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or more hot sauce to taste. Use pickled jalapeños for a medium heat or fresh for a real kick!
  • Cheese: You can substitute half the cheddar cheese with pepper jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, Monterey jack cheese, or Colby cheese in this nacho sauce.
  • Cream Cheese: For an extra creamy nacho sauce, add 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with the milk. The sauce will need to cook longer to completely melt the cream cheese but it’s so worth it!
  • Seasonings: Give this Homemade Nacho Cheese more flavor with seasonings like paprika, cumin, chili powder, or salt and pepper. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon and season to taste.



  • Serve: Nacho Cheese Sauce is best served immediately while warm. Keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Store: Cool Nacho Cheese Sauce completely before placing in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: You don’t want to freeze leftover Nacho Cheese Sauce, it will separate as it thaws and won’t come back together. Plus it’s so easy to make when you crave it!

Nacho Cheese Sauce in pot

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Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Delicious and easy Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce with just 4 ingredients and no processed cheese! Creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy dip perfect for Game Day!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Nacho Cheese Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 178 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , freshly shredded
  • 24 ounces evaporated milk , 2 cans
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce , (we use Tapatio)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cheese, evaporated milk and cornstarch and stir well to combine.

  2. Bring to a simmer, mixing well, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cheese sauce has thickened.

  3. Add in hot sauce, stir to combine and serve immediately.

  4. If sauce becomes too thick, thin with additional evaporated milk.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 252mg11%
Potassium 162mg5%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 320mg32%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nacho Cheese Sauce in pot and on nachos

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

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