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Nacho Cheese

Easy Nacho Cheese

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


This nacho cheese sauce recipe has the best thick and creamy texture! It’s easy to store and reheat, perfect for parties or solo dipping.


  • 6 ounces mild to medium cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)*
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk (aka unsweetened condensed milk)**
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula), plus more to taste


  1. Place the shredded cheese and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan and toss until fully combined.
  2. Add the evaporated milk, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and hot sauce. Heat over low heat, whisking often, until it becomes very thick, about 5 minutes. Keep in mind it will thicken more as it cools. (It may form a skin on top as it cools, so stir it again to reincorporate the skin.) Taste and stir in additional hot sauce, to taste.
  3. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 1 week. Unlike cheese sauces made with flour and butter, sauces made with evaporated milk store and reheats well. To reheat, microwave on High power in 20 to 30 second bursts until it’s fully melted; it should take 1 to 2 minutes total.


*Avoid using an aged cheddar: the flavor is much too strong. Use block cheese if possible. Bags of shredded cheese have additives that can make it come out grainy. If you can, shred your own cheese off a block.

**Make sure to buy plain evaporated milk, not sweetened.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian