Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce

10 mins
15 mins
25 mins
Let’s learn how to make Taco Bell’s nacho cheese sauce at home and even better! It’s the best thing on their menu in my opinion and it takes less than 30 minutes to make. The nacho cheese turns out so smooth and shiny every single time with just the right amount of kick!
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Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce

Let’s learn how to make Taco Bell’s nacho cheese sauce at home and even better! It’s the best thing on their menu in my opinion and it takes less than 30 minutes to make. The nacho cheese turns out so smooth and shiny every single time with just the right amount of kick!

A lot of store-bought nacho cheese comes out of a can and is made from some questionable ingredients but don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely delicious but making it with fresh ingredients turns out a million times better! Whether you dip some tortilla chips in this nacho cheese or use it to make Crunchwrap Supremes, it will become your new obsession.

What You Will Need

The ingredients are surprisingly super simple and most are ones that you will have on hand already!

First up is the dairy. We are going to use a 1 to 1 ratio of evaporated milk and heavy cream. Evaporated milk is a lot creamier than regular milk since all the water is evaporated. It also has a beautiful rich color to help give the nacho cheese a bright yellowish orange color. Heavy cream has a lot of fat content which helps thicken the nacho cheese sauce so no flour or roux is needed.

Up next is the cheese. We are keeping it simple and only using sharp cheddar. It has the bright yellow/orange color that is key to making this look just like Taco Bell’s. However if the color is not that important to you, you can swap some of the sharp cheddar for pepper jack or monterey jack for a more mild taste – completely up to you and your taste preferences.

And for our secret ingredient, cream cheese! It adds a slight tang to the nacho cheese sauce and helps to make it so creamy. Once you try this out, you’ll never go back.

Cornstarch is key to this recipe even though it’s a small amount. It helps to keep the fats and protein from separating which will lead to a grainy cheese sauce.

Finally, mustard powder and hot sauce are a must in this recipe. The heat in both helps cut from the richness of the cheese and cream. Neither of these make it spicy but just helps to balance the flavors. If you’d like it spicy, add more hot sauce, cayenne powder, or diced jalapeños/chilis.

How to Make It

Only one pot involved and less than 30 minutes of your time needed!

To a pot over medium heat, add the evaporated milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, mustard powder, and cornstarch. Whisk together until the cream cheese is melted in and everything is smooth.

Once it comes to a boil, add the cheese in one cup at a time. Add salt to taste if needed and add hot sauce. And that’s it! Time to get cheesy.

TIPS & NOTES

  • This is the most important tip! Make sure to grate the cheese yourself. Do not buy cheese that is already shredded in a bag from the grocery store. It has anti-clumping agents added to it which will not melt the best. Buy the block and grate it yourself!
  • Make sure to add the cheese once the milks are boiling. If the milks are not hot enough, the cheese won’t melt properly and your sauce will be clumpy.
  • If the nacho cheese is thicker than you like, add a splash of warm evaporated milk to thin it out to your desired consistency. You can also add warm jalapeno juice to add a kick but be careful because jalapeno juice is very salty.
  • Feel free to add some flavors if you’d like such as chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, or onion powder.

How to Store and Reheat It

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

To reheat, pop it in the microwave for 30 second intervals until warmed up. You might need to add a splash of milk to thin it out since the microwave can dry and thicken it up.

You can also warm it up over the stove over low heat gradually.

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Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce

Let’s learn how to make Taco Bell’s nacho cheese sauce at home and even better! It’s the best thing on their menu in my opinion and it takes less than 30 minutes to make. The nacho cheese turns out so smooth and shiny every single time with just the right amount of kick!

Let’s learn how to make Taco Bell’s nacho cheese sauce at home and even better! It’s the best thing on their menu in my opinion and it takes less than 30 minutes to make. The nacho cheese turns out so smooth and shiny every single time with just the right amount of kick!

10 mins
15 mins
25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • Optional add ins: diced jalapenos, garlic, onion powder, diced roasted peppers, cumin powder

Instructions

  1. To a pot over medium heat, add heavy cream, evaporated milk, cream cheese, mustard powder, and cornstarch. Whisk together as it heats up until completely smooth.
  2. Once it comes to a boil, add the grated cheddar one cup at a time. Whisk after adding every cup until completely incorporated. Add the hot sauce after adding all the cheese and salt to taste. Whisk again to make sure it's smooth and no chunks.
  3. Enjoy warm with tortilla chips or anything you like!
5 based on 1 reviews

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this looks delicious! but i was just wondering what kind of hot sauce you use to make the nacho cheese?

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