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Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Vanessa | Maple + Mango
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: approx. 1.5 cups
  • Category: Appetizer, Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Tex Mex


This homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe is absolutely delicious, full of flavour and easy to make with a few simple real food ingredients. Perfect for game day, parties, movie night or any time craving strikes!




  1. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute to create a roux.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk and simmer until slightly thickened.  Once thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whisk in the spices and turn off the heat.
  4. Whisk in the shredded cheese, one handful at a time until melted into the sauce.  Note:  If the sauce becomes too thick, just whisk in a bit more milk.
  5. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.


  • Best served immediately as it will firm up as it cools.  You can keep it warm longer by placing in a slow cooker, fondue pot or other warming dish on a very low heat.
  • Keeps for 5-7 days in the fridge and can be reheated in a small pot over low heat with a touch of added milk whisked in.  I recommend eating when freshly made though.
  • Grate your own cheese!  Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with an additive to prevent clumping.  This can make the sauce gritty instead of smooth.  I prefer using a “medium” cheddar since I find that it melts in better than an aged cheddar which can sometimes become grainy when cooked into a sauce.
  • Turn off the heat before adding cheese!  A gritty, grainy or split texture can be the result of overheated cheese.  So take the sauce off the heat before stirring in the cheese.  If the cheese won’t melt in, place over low heat to incorporate.
  • Ways to use it:  Check out the post for a list of ideas.  This sauce is super versatile and can be used in many ways besides a delicious dip for tortilla chips.

Keywords: nacho cheese sauce, nacho cheese recipe