Nacho Cheese

There is something so enticing about nacho cheese from concession stands: silky smooth, pleasantly tacky, clings to every chip, fry, and bite. Even if you aren't hungry, it's impossible to pass up. Now you can make it at home anytime the craving hits. We even dedicated a nacho casserole to the sauce! Serve this cheese with homemade chips, soft pretzels, or top your favorite nachos with it!

What kind of cheese should I use?

We go with yellow cheddar here, but you can use a mix of white cheddar, Monterey jack, American cheese, or pepper jack for a hit of spice. The non-negotiable bottom line is, you have to shred the cheese yourself, whatever kind you choose. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-clumping agent, which will likely cause your nacho cheese to be not so smooth and not so dreamy.

My nacho cheese looks too thick.

Chances are, you packed your flour and used a bit too much, or cooked the milk too long. Worry not! Once your cheese is all melty, take it off the heat, then slowly stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your mixture reaches your desired consistency.

Can I freeze nacho cheese?

You can! Store it in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. If you don't want to freeze you can also keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

How do I reheat nacho cheese?

It's best to reheat any leftover cheese on the stove top. Whisk the cheese in a small skillet or saucepan and add a tablespoon or two of milk to the cheese to help it return to its smooth creaminess. If you froze your cheese sauce it may separate at first as it starts to warm back up. It will come together again as you continue to stir. 

Have you made this? Let us know how it went in the comments below! 

Editor's note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on March 11, 2022 to include more information.

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Yields: 8 - 10 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 15 mins
2 tbsp.


2 tbsp.

all-purpose flour

1 c.


2 c.

shredded cheddar

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute. 
  2. Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Reduce heat to medium-low, then add cheese and stir until melted. Immediately remove from heat and stir in salt and cayenne.
  3. Serve immediately.

Parker Feierbach
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