Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe

This Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is super-rich, creamy, and extremely easy to make. All you need is a few simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes of your time. As a result, you will end up with one of the best sauces out there that can be served with tortilla chips or nachos at any party or gathering. 

Homemade and flavorful sauces are essential for every meal. You can incorporate them with pretty much any dish. Some of my favorite ones are Taco Dip, Barbecue Sauce, and Chick-Fill-A Sauce

corn chip dipping in nacho cheese sauce

Easy 5 Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce

Whether you love Mexican food or not, this Nacho Cheese Sauce is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for any occasion. Firstly, it is super easy to make. All you need is a few ingredients and about 5 minutes. Everyone can make it, whether you are an expert chef or a novice cooker. Follow the recipe steps below and see how simple this is!

The combination of cheeses, garlic, and whipped cream makes it ultra-creamy and gooey. The aromas are out of this world, and you can easily adjust and modify the ingredients! Feel free to make it spicier by adding some freshly chopped jalapeno, or by incorporating scallions, or chopped tomatoes. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to add and experiment!

Also, making it at home is budget-friendly, and tastes so much better than the store-bought version. You can serve it as a dip, or with tortilla chips, nachos, tacos, and veggies. 

nacho cheese dip

What goes into Nacho Cheese Sauce?

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream – Use whichever type you like the most. Alternatively, you can swap heavy cream with half and half. 
  • Cheese: Try using good quality cheese here, since it is the main ingredient. I like using grated Colby jack cheese, or sharp cheddar cheese. Both have a distinct and deep flavor and are perfect for this recipe. However, you can use anything you have on hand, or a mixture of a few types. 
  • Seasoning: Salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, and cornstarch. 

How to make Nacho Cheese Sauce from Scratch?

  1. Make the cream: In a saucepan, add heavy cream and heat it on medium. When the cream is getting warm, add the cheese and the rest of the ingredients, inducing the corn starch. 
  2. Whisk: Mix well using a whisk until the texture is consistent, for about 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Serve: Turn off the heat, and enjoy it warm as a dip with chips and veggies, or with any Tex-Mex dishes!

nacho cheese dip with corn chips

Nacho Cheese Sauce Variation and Adaptations:

  • Spicier: For a spicier kick, add some chopped jalapeno peppers, or use some red chili flakes. 
  • Different Cheeses: Feel free to use your favorite type or a combination of a few. Monterey Jack cheese, pepper jack, and mozzarella are another great alternative here. 
  • Cajun: Use some cajun seasoning along with some green bell pepper, celery, and onion. 
  • Add some bacon: Adding 1/2 pound of crumbled cooked bacon will add quite a lot of flavor to it. 
  • Tomatoes: Chop some fresh Roma or cherry tomatoes and add them to the mix. 

What to eat with nacho cheese dip?

This sauce can be used with pretty much any dish. Whether you want to use it as a dip, or as a topping, the possibilities are limitless. Here are some great suggestions:

  • Tex-Mex style: Serve tortilla chips, nachos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, or tacos
  • Bacon and Egg Use some cooked crumbled bacon with the beans, and egg and pour it on top. 
  • Over chicken: Make this Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and use the sauce on top. 
  • As a dip with veggies: It goes really well with fresh celery, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber. 
  • Mexican Corn: Cook some corn, and then top it with tortilla chips and nacho sauce. 
  • Sloppy Joes: One of the best combinations would be to use it with homemade BBQ Sloppy Joes

What is the best cheese for nacho cheese sauce?

As stated above, I tend to go with Colby jack or sharp cheddar. Also, you can combine the two together. Other types will work as well, such as mozzarella, Parmigiano, pepper jack, gouda, and brie. 

nacho cheese sauce

How to Reheat Nacho Cheese?

The best way to reheat it would be over medium-low heat in a skillet. Let it warm up slowly until it starts melting. Then, whisk it gently and you should be ready to go. 

Also, to make it more liquid, you can add about 2 tbs of water or cream, then stir gently. This will make it thinner. Alternatively, if you want it more consistent, add some shredded cheese to it, and whisk as well. 

Reheating it in the microwave is not recommended. 

Can you freeze it?

Since this contains cheese, I would not recommend freezing it, as it will not hold well together. In addition, this sauce is so easy to make it fresh, I really see no point freezing it when you can put it together in 5 minutes!

5 from 5 votes
corn chip dipping in nacho cheese sauce
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
9 mins

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce is super-rich, creamy, and extremely easy to make. Made with a few simple ingredients in less than 10 minutes!

Course: Appetizer, Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Nacho Cheese Sauce
Servings: 6 servings as an appetizer
Calories: 316 kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated colby jack cheese or cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  1. Place a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add heavy cream and once it starts to get warm, stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Stirk until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Serve with corn chips.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 282mg12%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1086IU22%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 328mg33%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

easy nacho cheese sauce pin


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