Velvety smooth Homemade Nacho Cheese with real cheddar is incredibly easy to make. Just a few ingredients and a few minutes is all you need!

nachos on platter

Never again will you even think of buying pre-made nacho cheese from a jar or using a block of Velveeta. This cheese sauce is creamy, delicious, and packed with flavor. Create an easy dinner your family will love by combining this nacho cheese sauce with some Easy NachosGround Turkey Taco Meat, or tasty secret ingredient taco meat!

What kind of cheese is in nacho cheese?

Original nacho cheese was made using cheddar. Some time in the ’70s, someone started making it with processed cheese that maintains a smooth, clump-free liquid texture when heated. Think movie theater or football game nachos.

Although processed cheese might seem like the right choice since it pretty much stays in it’s liquid form except for the outer skin it forms (gross, I know), it’s not the best choice.

Cheddar cheese, grated from a block, is the best choice when making homemade nacho cheese. If you can find peppered cheddar like I used in this recipe – even better.

How to make homemade nacho cheese:

  • Only three ingredients are needed and I highly urge you to grate your own cheese versus buying pre-grated cheese in a bag.
  • In a small saucepan, toss the grated cheese with the corn starch. Then stir in the evaporated milk.
  • Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and within a few minutes you’ll have a warm, creamy, homemade spicy cheese sauce.

how to make nacho cheese sauce

This nacho cheese is perfect for parties or game day!

You can easily make this recipe as written, or double or triple it if you’re feeding a crowd.

Although I prefer to make this on the stove so that I have total control over how fast it melts, you can easily transfer it to a slow cooker and keep it on the warm setting. It will stay velvety smooth until it’s gone.

For that reason, it’s great for tailgating as well!

Simply set out a ton of tortilla chips, some cooked taco meat or pulled pork, some diced jalapenos, green onions, tomatoes, and olives, and a tub of sour cream. You’ll have people raving over your nacho bar!

5 from 6 votes

Homemade Nacho Cheese

Velvety smooth Homemade Nacho Cheese with real cheddar is incredibly easy to make. Just a few ingredients and a few minutes is all you need!
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 cups cheddar pepper cheese shredded (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk one can
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a small saucepan, combine cheddar cheese and cornstarch. Toss until cheese is evenly coated.
  • Stir in evaporated milk and salt. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until cheese is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm until serving time.


Cheese can be transferred to a slow cooker and kept warm


Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 511mg, Potassium: 157mg, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 385IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 315mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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