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Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe is so easy to make and you only need a few ingredients. Enjoy creamy nacho cheese without all the preservatives and hidden ingredients in store bought.

picture of tortilla chip dipped in cheese
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Once you make this easy nacho cheese sauce, you will never buy store bought again. It is seriously so easy and takes very little effort to make. You probably already have what you need on hand to make this dip recipe.

This is one of our favorite snack recipes to make because of how easy it is to make. If you made our Queso Fundido or Best Mexican White Cheese Dip Recipe then you will love this cheese sauce recipe.

Why This Recipe Works

We make this cheese dip for all of our game day parties and the holidays. We love to serve with tortilla chips, raw vegetables, and small pieces of French Bread.

I love the creamy texture and the many variations on how it can be made. This cheese dip is budget friendly and I love to keep the ingredients stocked to easily serve last minute.


picture of ingredients: shredded cheese, milk, flour, butter.

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Cheese – This nacho cheese sauce can be made with a variety of cheese. You can add in pepper jack cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, or Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
  • Seasoning – For added flavor add or change the seasoning to what you prefer. Add in a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for spicy cheese sauce. We have even added in garlic powder and chili powder
  • Additions – Make this cheese sauce hearty by adding ground beef or ground sauce. Make sure it is cooked before mixing in. Another addition would be Rotel or Diced Tomatoes.

How to Make Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • Step 1 – Add the flour and butter together in a small sauce pan.
  • Step 2 – Whisk the ingredients together until everything is combined really well and it starts to thicken. Keep doing this for about a minute. You are essentially making a roux that will thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Step 3 – Add the cup milk and whisk together. Go ahead and turn the heat up a little so the milk can simmer while you are stirring. Keep whisking until the mixture has thickened and remove from the heat.
  • Step 4 – Slowly add the shredded cheese. I like to do a little at a time. Whisk this mixture until all the cheese has been added and everything is combined really well.
  • Step 5 – The only thing left to do is stir in the salt. Serve and enjoy while warm.

Recipe Tips

  • Pre-Shredded Cheeses – For best results we recommend using bulk cheese when making this recipe. The cheese melts better and we think it taste better.
  • Prepare Cheese – Shred the cheese or dice into cubes so that it melts evenly on the stove top.
  • Making the Cheese Sauce – Making the roux helps to make the cheese sauce thicker. You will need to whisk the roux to help melt the butter into the flour.

How to Keep Nacho Cheese Warm

If you are serving this nacho cheese sauce at a party, there are a few ways to keep the cheese sauce warm.

  • Place the serving platter on a warming plate to keep warm.
  • Small Crock Pot – This small 1.5 quart crock pot is perfect if it is just for family or a small group. We use this a lot when we make dip recipes. They are inexpensive and super handy. Now, if you are making it for a crowd or throwing a party, you might want double the recipe and use a 3 quart crock pot to have more room.
tortilla chip dipped in cheese

Serving Suggestions for Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Tortilla chips and nacho cheese dip in a platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Nacho Cheese Sauce be made in a Crockpot Overnight?

Since nacho cheese sauce takes about an hour to heat on high in the slow cooker, we do not recommend cooking in the slow cooker overnight. We also like to occasionally stir to make sure the cheese melts evenly so that it does not burn. You may also want to check out this Crock Pot Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe.

What’s the Best Way to Make Nacho Cheese Sauce Thicker?

If your nacho cheese sauce is to thin, you may need to add in cornstarch to help thicken it. Start with a tablespoon at a time to get the consistency that you prefer.

Can This be Made Ahead?

Yes, you can prepare this nacho cheese sauce ahead of time. Then when ready to serve, place back in the slow cooker to reheat.

How to Store Leftover Nacho Cheese Sauce

Store the leftover cheese sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The leftovers will last about 3 days.

Can you Freeze Nacho Cheese Sauce?

Yes, you can. However, it will separate once frozen. This isn’t an issue though because you can just whisk it back together when you reheat it. Sometimes, I actually make double just to have extra to freeze for later. It is nice to just be able to grab it from the freezer.

How to Reheat Leftovers

Reheat the leftover nacho cheese dip in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat or a stovetop. You may need to add a little milk to make the sauce creamier again.

More Easy Dip Recipes

If you make this Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe for your next family gathering, make sure to let us know how it turned out. We love to hear from you.

Nacho Cheese Sauce

5 from 7 votes
Homemade nacho cheese sauce is so easy to make and you only need a few ingredients. Enjoy creamy nacho cheese without much work.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Appetizer
Calories 113


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  • Add the flour and butter to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat and whisk the ingredients together until they are combined and slightly thickened. Whisk and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Then whisk in the milk. Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to simmer while you’re still whisking. Heat until the mixture has thickened enough to coat a soap. Then remove from the heat.
  • Then gradually whisk in the shredded cheddar cheese a little at a time until it’s all added and well combined. If the cheese sauce is too thicken, gradually add in more milk until the sauce is the consistency that you prefer.
  • Stir in the salt and then serve immediately while warm and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 113kcal, Carbohydrates 2g, Protein 6g, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 27mg, Sodium 242mg, Potassium 54mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 1g, Vitamin A 289IU, Calcium 166mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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