Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is fast and delicious made with real cheddar cheese. This creamy smooth dip is the perfect game day and party appetizer. via @mymommystyle

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is fast and delicious made with real cheddar cheese. This creamy smooth dip is the perfect game day and party appetizer.

Bowl of homemade nacho cheese sauce with tortilla chips.

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

I always thought it would be a hard task to make homemade nacho cheese sauce, but I’m here to tell you it’s quite easy and super fast to make!

No fake cheese product here, just 6 simple all-natural ingredients combined to make this magical smooth and creamy nacho cheese sauce.

Once you see how easy this is to make and how delicious it tastes, you won’t go back to that jar of orange goo or that non-refrigerated brick of fake cheese.

The Best Cheese for Homemade Nacho Cheese

Cheddar is a great melting cheese and we find using Sharp cheddar cheese gives this the best flavor. Monterey Jack is another good melting cheese, but it doesn’t have much of a flavor. You can combine the two if you don’t have enough of one.

Pre-shredded cheddar is sometimes dusted with an anti-caking agent which can ruin the smoothness of the sauce. We recommend to buy the block and shred the cheese yourself.

How to Make Nacho Cheese Sauce

  1. Grate your cheese and set it aside.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. (I love to use my enameled cast iron dutch oven)
  3. Add the flour and briskly whisk until combined. This will form a roux.
  4. Add the milk, salt and cayenne pepper and continue to quickly whisk until the lumps are gone.
  5. Increase the heat to high and and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese.
  7. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted and smooth.
  8. Serve immediately.

Additions for Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • Serve this cheesy bowl of dip with tortilla chips, pretzels or a tray of vegetables.
  • You can add ground beef, bacon, ham, diced chicken or sausage for a meatier version.
  • Add diced jalapeños to spice it up a bit.
  • Top your bowl of nacho cheese sauce with diced tomatoes, green onions, sour cream or guacamole.
  • Build your own nacho bar!

How to Reheat Nacho Cheese Sauce

To reheat leftovers, simply place in a sauce pan, add 1 Tbsp milk and heat on medium low until it’s melted and warm. If it’s still too thick, just add a little more milk to reach that smooth flowing consistency. Do not microwave to reheat as it will become grainy.

How to Keep the Nacho Cheese Sauce Warm

Because homemade nacho cheese sauce uses real cheese, it does start to get firm when it cools. Make sure you use it immediately or keep it warm until you serve it. Keep it warm in a slow cooker , fondue pot, or other warming dish. You’ll just have to give the cheese a little stir before dishing it.

More Appetizer Ideas

Do you need some more appetizers for this party? Try some of these other delicious recipes:

How to make Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce:

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is fast and delicious made with real cheddar cheese. This creamy smooth dip is the perfect game day and party appetizer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade nacho cheese, homemade nacho cheese sauce, how to make homemade nacho cheese sauce
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Melissa

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese mild and medium also work!

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and briskly whisk until combined.
  • Add the milk, salt, and cayenne pepper and continue to whisk until all the lumps are gone.
  • Increase the heat to high and continue to whisk until the milk mixture comes to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add the shredded cheese.
  • Whisk until the cheese is completely melted and smooth.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Makes 2 cups of Nacho Cheese Sauce
To reheat: Place sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir to combine and heat until it reaches the perfect temperature. Do no boil. 
DO NOT reheat in the microwave as it will turn grainy and will not yield a creamy cheese sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 3.2Tbsp. | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @mymommystyle or tag #mymommystyle!

Try some of these nacho recipes from my food blogger friends:

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Camille
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  • Kara

    I love that this is made with real cheddar cheese! Thanks for the tip about not heating it up in a skillet instead of a microwave. I’ve always wondered why my leftover cheese sauce turned grainy when I reheated it. Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    Can you beleive I’ve never made my own nacho cheese sauce? I can’t wait to try! ReplyCancel

  • Alicia

    Homemade sauce is always way better than store-bought! This looks easy to make, too. Can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Build your own nacho bar sounds like my favorite Friday night! ? Seriously though, nachos are a favorite indulgence!ReplyCancel

  • Isabelle

    True story… I have a shameful love affair with that awful fake nacho cheese. I love that you’ve found a way to make it at home with real cheese and none of that fake stuff… I can’t wait to try this the next time I’m having a nacho craving!ReplyCancel

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Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!

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