Nacho Cheese Sauce is creamy and delicious and perfect for dipping tortilla chips or veggies. It’s a simple 5 minute recipe with only 5 ingredients! Homemade Nacho Cheese is a must make for any party.
My homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe is better than anything you can buy at the store. It’s easy to make and will having you craving nachos every day of the week.
Table of Contents
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe
It really doesn’t get better than this liquid gold drizzled over crispy tortilla chips. Forget that snack you’re used to eating at movie theaters and stadiums, my nacho cheese dip is so much tastier and creamier. I love that it’s a super easy recipe that you can quickly whip up on the stovetop.
This easy cheese dip is great as a last minute party dip for unexpected guests, or make a double batch for a party and keep it warm in a crockpot. If I’m being totally honest, I’ll make this just on movie night for me and my hubby! It definitely satisfies those late night cheesy cravings.
So load up a plate with your favorite chips or veggies and whip up this yummy dip for your next movie night, game day party or just when the craving hits.
Nacho Cheese Sauce Ingredients
You only need 5 common ingredients for this amazing cheese dip.
- Evaporated milk – This gives the nacho cheese dip an extra creamy texture while keeping it from feeling heavy.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – Real cheddar cheese is the best cheese for nachos. It melts well and has a great flavor.
- American cheese – I always add just a little processed cheese to help keep the mixture smooth and creamy.
- Cornstarch – This is the thickener used for the homemade cheese sauce. It thickens better than flour and is basically flavorless.
- Jalapenos – For a spicy nacho cheese sauce. You can omit if you want.
How To Make Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce
This easy appetizer recipe takes just 5-10 minutes to make and it’s soooo cheesy! Get your dipping hand ready!
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
- Grab a medium saucepan and set it over low heat.
- In the saucepan, toss some shredded cheddar and a few slices of American cheese with cornstarch.
- Pour in evaporated milk and whisk it until all the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Stir in a can of diced jalapenos. You can use more or less for your desired heat level.
Evaporated milk is milk that has been simmered over low heat until half of the water has evaporated. It’s thicker and creamier than regular milk. In this recipe, it makes the cheese sauce extra creamy without the addition of heavy cream or half and half.
I highly recommend using freshly grated cheese, that you shred yourself. Pre-grated cheese has additives to prevent clumping that also affect its ability to melt properly.
I prefer sharp cheddar with a little American cheese added. But it’s also delicious with Monterey jack, mild or medium cheddar or Fontina. You can also use all Velveeta cheese if you prefer.
You want to make sure all of the ingredients are really well combined, so it’s important to keep whisking constantly to get a smooth and creamy dip. As it cools, the cheese will begin to solidify; if this starts to happen, you can whisk in a little more milk.
Customize the heat level: You can make this dip as spicy as you like, or leave out the heat altogether. I use a small can of diced jalapenos, but if you want a smooth dip, add some hot sauce instead. For just a little bit of heat, use only half of the can of jalapenos, or swap in green chiles.
Add some meat: Add some cooked ground beef, ground turkey or leftover taco meat to the cheese sauce for a beefy dip.
Spices: Feel free to add a little spice like chili powder, garlic powder or onion powder, or a little heat with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Rotel: Stir in a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles to give your dip a little kick.
If you are trying to come up with ways to serve nacho cheese, I’ve got you covered! While this cheesy dip makes a great appetizer or snack with your favorite chips, that’s not all it’s good for!
- Drizzle over steamed veggies, sheet pan Nachos Supreme or Cheese Fries.
- Serve as a dip for soft pretzels, Pretzel Bites or Crispy Chicken Flautas.
- Top baked potatoes or hot dogs with cheesy nacho sauce.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Cheese sauce is best when it’s just made. As it cools, the texture begins to change and it may require extra milk to bring it back to a smooth and creamy texture.
Storage: Let the sauce cool a bit before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds, or over low heat in a small saucepan.
- Keep your warm cheese dip hot in a 2-quart slow cooker on the WARM setting. You’ll want to make sure to stir frequently to keep it smooth.
- If the sauce is too thick, you can add more milk, and if it’s too thin, add more cornstarch.
- Be sure to whisk constantly so the cheese melts evenly.
- Use a low heat to keep the cheese from curdling and the milk from burning.
More Dip Recipes
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
- 12 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 slices American cheese, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 4 ounce can diced jalapenos more or less to taste
- Sliced jalapenos for garnish
- To a medium sized saucepan, add the cheese and toss it with the cornstarch over low heat.
- Slowly pour in the evaporated milk, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
- Continue to whisk for several minutes, until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
- Stir in the diced jalapenos.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips, pretzels, or veggies.
- This recipe makes about 3.5 cups of sauce. You want to plan at least ¼ cup for each guest.
- Cheese sauce is best when it’s just made. As it cools, the texture begins to change and it may require extra milk to bring it back to a smooth and creamy texture.
- Storage: Let the sauce cool a bit before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds, or over low heat in a small saucepan.