Nacho Cheese Sauce

16 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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 ½ 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 ¼ 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

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

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!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
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)


  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cheese, evaporated milk and cornstarch and stir well to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer, mixing well, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cheese sauce has thickened.
  • Add in hot sauce, stir to combine and serve immediately.
  • If sauce becomes too thick, thin with additional evaporated milk.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 162mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 320mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.