Nacho Cheese Sauce that uses real cheese but still comes out smooth (Velveeta free)

I really don’t know that anyone will understand just how badly I needed to post this nacho cheese sauce recipe. Especially a recipe for nacho cheese sauce without velveeta or American cheese. You see, as a food blogger I get gobs of emails asking for certain recipes, advice and more. One thing everyone seems to ask for more than anything else is their favorite comfort food but made with different ingredients. Enter the cheese sauce. Everyone wants a cheese sauce made with real cheese, but everyone seems to be having issues with getting it smooth enough. I hear ya. We tested so many different ways to make it and a bechamel cheese sauce was too much a pasta sauce versus a nacho cheese. Other versions were too goopy or too grainy. Sick. No one wants that.

We discovered a few things…

1. The brand of cheese matters. The cheaper the cheese the more grainy and goopy the sauce.

2. Cornstarch is better than flour. Flour gooped up.

3. Salt is so important for a good flavor.

So, without any further waiting, nacho cheese sauce from our family to your’s!

How Long Will Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce Keep?

Store-bought nacho cheese sauce will last up to four weeks in the refrigerator.

Homemade cheese sauce will last only about four days.

Store it in an airtight container to keep out moisture and contaminants.

Is Nacho Cheese Sauce Spicy?

Nacho cheese sauce can be mild or hot.

It all depends on the amount and the kind of peppers added.

What Do You Serve With Nacho Cheese Sauce?

Traditionally, nacho cheese sauce is served with tortillas chips, tacos or pretzels.

Try smothering french fries in nacho cheese sauce for another good idea.


More Homemade Condiment Recipes You’ll Love:

Nacho Cheese Sauce

Nacho Cheese Sauce

5 from 4 votes
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 1/2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 Cups Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch, plus 1 Teaspoon
  • 2 Dashes Hot Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt


  • In a large bowl, toss the cheese and the corn starch.
  • Allow to sit out for 10 minutes.
  • In a saucepan over medium low heat, add the cheese, milk, hot sauce and salt.
  • Whisk until the cheese is melting down.
  • Whisk occasionally until it comes to a soft boil, increasing the temperature a little if needed.
  • Whisk constantly for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Serve immediately.


slowly reheat on the stove at low temperature, stirring frequently


Serving: 1gCalories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 20gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 500mgPotassium: 245mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 813IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 633mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 200+ Easy Appetizers Recipes

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