Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe
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How to Make Nacho Cheese Sauce
See how to make a cheesy game day classic. It’s easy! See more
  • READY IN 30 mins

Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

Recipe by  

"This nacho cheese sauce recipe is not cheaper and easier to make at home, but what you lose in cost and quantity, you more than make up for in actual food content."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 20 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    30 mins


  1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour. Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and all the flour is incorporated, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Slowly pour cold milk into the butter mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, ground chipotle, ancho chile powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add sharp Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Muenster cheese, a handful at a time; stir until thoroughly melted. Season with salt to taste.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • Test the dip with the chips you'll be serving them with, since they will affect how much salt you need to add to the dip.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 22, 2013

DELICIOUS! If you have the time and are using good cheeses, this is an amazing nacho cheese sauce. If you watch the video, you'll see how to avoid getting a grainy texture (low temp). Also..."cold milk + hot roux = no lumps." Will make this for the Super Bowl!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 07, 2013

I made this for the Redskins vs Seahawks wildcard game, and it did come together nicely, but it was deemed a bit bland. Most of my guests added some of the fresh diced jalapeño I had sitting beside it. It was nice and creamy when freshly made right before the game, but by half-time it was grainy and just awful, after sitting in a 2-qt slow cooker on "warm". Not one I'll make again, a rare miss from Chef John.


20 Ratings

Oct 25, 2013

After having crafted a grainy (and horrible) cheese sauce several times in a row, i've finally found an idiot proof way to make it perfect every time. Before adding in any cheese turn off the burner and let the white sauce cool to almost room temperature. At that point you can add the cheese and return the sauce to the burner on LOW until the cheese melts into the sauce.

Dec 25, 2012

Came out grainy. I may have done it wrong. I scorched the butter a little and the butter and flour mixture was very brownish colored. The rue didn't come together well so that may be the reason for the graininess. Aside from the texture the flavor wasn't all that great. Ancho chile powder is hard to find too. I might try again but will probably look for a new recipe. May need to use some velveeta instead of the other cheeses for texture.

Apr 04, 2013

this is a big big hit with my husband and his buddies......i throw in a can of rotel tomatoes as well, adjusting the flour to thicken things up to the proper consistency. i added about 1t of cayenne, but we like things really really spicy! for those of you whose nacho cheese came out grainy, lower your heat! and for those whose product came out lumpy, always remember, hot roux, cold liquid equals lump free product. yes, this is more expensive, and more work than store bought nacho cheese, but is vastly superior. another hit for chef john!!!!!!!!!!

Mar 21, 2013

Excellent recipe! Thank you Chef John for teaching us all how to make a proper roux! I have always had such trouble with good sauces and now that I have the beginning steps down, I have been able to create tons of successful variations. Btw this recipe can be altered to make some wonderful homemade mac and cheese. :)

Apr 29, 2014

Loved this! I will definitely be making this again! As for the reviews that said it came out grainy, it sounds as if the cheese separated, which will happen when allowed to get too hot. A crock pot on warm for several hours is just too long. This is definitely worth the effort!

Sep 05, 2014

So easy when you follow the video! To save time, used 1 lb combined of sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese in place of all the spices. Served atop warm tortilla chips with fresh pico de gallo. Devoured at work Happy Hour. Thanks, Chef John!


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  • Calories
  • 132 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 3 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 31 mg
  • 10%
  • Fat
  • 10.2 g
  • 16%
  • Fiber
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 6.9 g
  • 14%
  • Sodium
  • 188 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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