The Ultimate Nacho Cheese Sauce: Creamy, Delicious, And Easy To Make!

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This nacho cheese sauce recipe is the holy grail for any game day, movie night, or casual get-together. It’s incredibly easy to make, uses pantry staples, and delivers that irresistible creamy, cheesy flavor everyone craves. Plus, it’s endlessly customizable! Whether you like it mild, spicy, or with a kick of something unexpected, this recipe can be adapted to your taste preferences.


Nacho Cheese Sauce
Nacho Cheese Sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole milk for extra richness, skim milk for a lighter option)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp, mild, or a combination)
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    Nacho Cheese Sauce
    Nacho Cheese Sauce

    1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to form a roux.

    2. Slowly whisk in the milk, a little bit at a time, until fully incorporated. Continue whisking and cooking for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth.

    3. Reduce heat to low and add the cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy.

    4. Season with chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add salt and pepper to taste.

    5. Serve immediately over your favorite nachos!


    For a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to blend it after adding the cheese.

  • Want it extra cheesy? Add another ½ cup of shredded cheese of your choice.
  • If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a little bit of extra milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  • To keep the sauce warm for longer, place the saucepan over a low heat setting with a simmer pad.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving, based on 8 servings)

    Calories: 350

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 15g

  • Conclusion

    This cheese sauce recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s simple to make, requires minimal ingredients, and delivers big on flavor. Feel free to experiment with different cheese combinations, spices, and add-ins to create your own signature nacho cheese sauce!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of milk?

    Absolutely! While whole milk offers the richest flavor, skim milk can be used for a lighter version. You can also use plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk or cashew milk.

    2. How can I make this cheese sauce spicier?

    For an extra kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a chopped jalapeno pepper to the sauce while it simmers. You can also adjust the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe.

    3. What can I add to this cheese sauce for extra flavor?

    Diced tomatoes, roasted poblano peppers, or cooked chorizo sausage are all great additions for a more flavorful cheese sauce.

    4. Can I make this cheese sauce ahead of time?

    Yes! You can prepare the cheese sauce up to 2 days in advance. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently over low heat, whisking frequently, until warmed through.

    5. What can I serve with this cheese sauce besides nachos?