Nacho Cheese Sauce
This is an easy delicious recipe for a rich, tangy and just the right amount of spice Nacho Cheese Sauce Made Totally From Scratch! Takes minutes to make and uses only real simple ingredients! None of that processed stuff, either. It’s perfect for dipping veggies in or my homemade soft pretzels or poured over my Sheet Pan Nachos Supreme.
This cheese sauce is a take on Nagi’s recipe over at Recipe Tin Eats. Her recipes are fabulous and she is definitely one of my favorite OG bloggers. Her recipes are very easy to adapt and she has the cutest doggie! If you aren’t following her yet then you should! I made a few tweaks to her recipe to suit our tastes and this sauce pretty much means the end to buying weird room temperature creamy cheese in a jar from the grocery store. What is in that stuff anyways? It doesn’t matter cause you never have to think about that stuff again after making this yummy sauce.
There is no cheat method when it comes to making this sauce so get ready to use a little elbow grease to shred your own cheese. Do not buy and use the pre-shredded kind. Those have an additive that just doesn’t allow for a nice creamy consistency when it comes to this sauce. If you want a perfectly creamy and delicious sauce then you gotta put in the work.
I love this sauce chunky but there is an alternative to make it smoother. You can purée your veggies once they are cooked through and then add them back into the pot before adding the evaporated milk and cheese mixture. You can do the same with the green chilies before adding them in as well. It may alter the colour of the sauce a bit but it will be an even creamier consistency as opposed to a chunkier cheese sauce. I love the texture of it and so I just chop everything finely and leave it that way without pureeing.
The flavour of all the add ins is really what makes this cheese sauce stand out. They bring a flavour party to the sauce and are perfect over nachos as well as in tacos, burritos, a drizzle over your chili, by the spoonful…….just saying!
It’s super easy to whip up once you have all your ingredients chopped and shredded and it stores well. You can adjust the consistency by adding more milk. It does thicken over time as it cools so you can reheat if needed and thin it out a bit. If I’m making it ahead I will allow it too cool and then pour it into a jar and seal and refrigerate it. It’s stays creamy even after refrigerating but you can make it even creamier by reheating it and adjusting consistency to your liking.
This will totally get devoured very quickly! I am warning you. Definitely make a double batch for game night, movie night or if you are sharing cause the first batch will be gone before you know it!!
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese freshly grated
- 1½ cups Monterrey jack freshly grated
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small shallot or a very small onion finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeño or half of a large one seeds removed and chopped
- 1 13oz can of full fat evaporated milk
- 1 small tomato chopped finely
- ¼ tsp of cumin
- ¼ tsp of chili powder (I like using chipotle chili powder)
- 1 small 4 oz can of chopped green chilies
- ¼ cup of cilantro chopped finely
- 2-3 tbsp of milk or water if needed
- Salt to taste
- Toss the cheese and cornstarch together in a bowl and set aside
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat and add the onion,garlic and jalepeno and cook until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for two minutes stirring and using your wooden spoon to help mash the tomato and help it soften
- Next stir in the evaporated milk and cheese cornstarch mixture.
- Stir in the chilies and spices and stir continuously until cheese is melted and becomes a silky sauce, and then taste and season with salt to taste. This take 5 - 10 min.
- Stir in milk or water as needed to thin the sauce out to desired consistency. The sauce will thicken as it cools so feel free to stir in more milk or water if needed.
- Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature garnished with cilantro.
- If making ahead, transfer to a container and allow to cool completely before storing it sealed in the fridge.
- Reheat in microwave or on stove top adding a little milk or water to adjust consistency before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days and reheats well. It’s a perfect make-ahead cheese sauce/dip!
- You can use any cheddar cheese - old white cheddar, or regular yellow cheddar. The only thing I do recommend is to shred your own cheese - Do Not use pre shredded cheese. Pre shredded cheese contains additives to avoid clumping. As a result, sometimes they do not melt well and leave your sauce texture a bit grainy.