Best Nacho Cheese Sauce Ever!

Cheese Sauce never had it so good. This simple Queso recipe loaded with jalapeños, chipotle peppers and smoked cheddar cheese is the best nacho sauce I’ve ever made. You’ve got to try this!

The BEST EVER Nacho Cheese Sauce (Queso) #cheese #cheesesauce #queso #cheesedip #nachos

You say party, I say nachos.

Party! Nachos! Party! Nachos!

Sorry… when we get to the end of football season, everything tends to come out in chant format.

What I meant to say, was that it would be a shame to have a Super Bowl party and forget the spicy cheese sauce.

I’m sure you’ve tried the 2 ingredient version with one unnamed block of highly processed cheese product and one can of tomatoes and chiles.

I’m not knocking either of these products, or the queso they make.

I’m just saying… you can do better.

Making The BEST EVER Nacho Cheese Sauce (Queso) #cheese #cheesesauce #queso #cheesedip #nachos

This my friends, is the best queso I’ve ever made.

Start with fresh onions, garlic and jalapeños, sautéed until soft, then add creamy half & half, smoky chipotle peppers, and three fabulous California made cheeses, including smoked cheddar to add a huge punch of flavor.

The reason so many people stick with said processed 2 ingredient cheese sauce is that it’s nice and smooth. However, if you know how to thicken your queso and use quality cheeses (without fillers) you can create the best cheese sauces you’ve ever tried.

We’re using cornstarch, not flour, and the thickening agent. It can be tricky to know when to choose cornstarch and when to choose flour. But the general rule of thumb is that if you plan to cook something a long time, use flour, and if you need your thickening agent to act quickly, use cornstarch.

Flour produces a much better flavor over time, but must be cooked quite a bit to insure your recipe is smooth, not gritty.

BEST EVER Nacho Cheese Sauce (Queso) #cheese #cheesesauce #queso #cheesedip #nachos

In this queso, there are so many bold ingredients to add flavor we don’t need to rely on the flour to build flavor, so cornstarch is the answer for a very smooth creamy consistency.

It’s also important to mention, that block cheese shredded at home produces a much better texture than pre-shredded cheese covered in additives to ward off clumping.

Once you’ve scalded the half & half (also important for texture) keep the heat down and be patient as you slowly stir in the fresh shredded cheese. You’ll be amazed and how rich, creamy, and zesty, this smoky homemade cheese sauce is.

Pour it over tortilla chips, fries, broccoli, burgers, yourself…

Just kidding, let’s stick to food.

Pour it over all things food, and you will be in cheese-lovers paradise.


Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

The Best Queso Cheese Sauce


  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 2 chipotle chiles, diced (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups California half & half (or evaporated milk)
  • 1 Tb. cornstarch
  • 4 oz. California cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 8 oz. California smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. California sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for  3-4 minutes to soften, then add the half & half and chipotle peppers.
  2. Whisk in the cornstarch. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, so the half & half can scald (not necessary with evaporated milk) then lower the temperature to medium-low. Then stir in the cream cheese and mustard.
  3. Slowly start adding the shredded cheese. Stir and add by the handful, until the sauce comes together. If you prefer your cheese sauce a little thinner, add an extra splash of half & half. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a slow cooker or fondue pot.

Related Posts

84 Responses to “Best Nacho Cheese Sauce Ever!”

  1. #
    Kellie — August 4, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

    This sounds so yummy! Can it be made ahead and reheated before serving?


  2. #
    Sarah — August 12, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

    Could this be made a day in advance and reheated? It looks delicious!


  3. #
    Janice Rooney — September 28, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

    And now it’s the best sauce that I make, too! It wasn’t spicy enough for us uringthe first go around, but today I left seeds and veins in one of the jalapenos and it’s just what we needed! Thank you!


  4. #
    Penny & Chris — October 11, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    This was by far one of the most delicious recipes for queso I have had in a long time. Combining the shredded cheeses along with the cream cheese rather than the processed block of who knows what….was a pleasant surprise and the smokiness was delightful. We enhanced the already delicious recipe by adding ground brisket/sirloin tips. Yummy Yummy yummy!!!!! Thanks for the recipe.


  5. #
    lauren — November 4, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

    how long will this keep for? can i freeze it?

    (i just made this for irish nachos and they were amazing!!!)


    • Sommer — November 5th, 2014 @ 6:37 am

      Hey Lauren, It will keep for up to a couple weeks, well wrapped in the fridge. I wouldn’t try to freeze it though. It changes the texture of cheese.


  6. #
    Theresaswiss — November 12, 2014 @ 6:31 am

    Hi, I live in Switzerland and I’ve been craving queso since the last time I left america! So of course I was super excited to find your recipe but I do have a few problems. Since the swiss have they’re own good cheese they seem to think nobody wants cheddar. Luckily I found a store which sells one kind of cheddar. I have no clue what kind it is. I also found something called “sandwich cheese” it’s cut in slices and probably for burgers or stuff like that, it doesn’t actually look or taste like real cheese but that’s what I think about most the cheeses I ate over there (sorry missouri). What would you say? Can I use them to make a cheese dip? Or do you happen to know a cheese that I can use and that I can buy over here? Maybe Gouda?
    Thanks for the recipe again, I hope I’ll be able to make it!


  7. #
    Paula — November 12, 2014 @ 8:25 am

    Sounds great – but I think it would be even better if WISCONSIN cheeses were used instead…just saying! haha! Thanks for the recipe. I will surely be making this. And Go Packers!


  8. #
    Keri — November 12, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

    how much cheese sauce does this recipe make (in cups)? i see it says 6-8 servings but not sure what a serving size is? i am making it for a crowd so want to double it enough to feed everyone!


    • Sommer — November 13th, 2014 @ 3:42 pm

      Hi Keri, I makes just a little less than 3 cups. Hope that helps!!


  9. #
    Kanmani — November 25, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

    Oh my goodness! Very delicious recipe :)


  10. #
    Sita — December 16, 2014 @ 4:10 am


    This sounds really yummy i’d liek to make it. I’m not from the States so don’t really know what is meant by “half and half” is that cream? What could I use that they sell in Europe?



    • Sommer — December 16th, 2014 @ 6:54 am

      Hi Sita, It’s sold here as half cream and half whole milk. So you can use equal parts of both. :)



  1. Pingback: Stuff I've Gotta Share and You've Gotta See | Recipe Girl

  2. Pingback: Parmesan Mozzarella Orzo Vegetable Bowl | Allspice and Nutmeg

  3. Pingback: Friday Finds | Whole and Heavenly Oven

  4. Pingback: Best Pinterest Posts » The Weekend Dish: 2/1/2014

  5. Pingback: The Weekend Dish: 2/1/2014 | Kitchen Gadgets for Cooking

  6. Pingback: The Best Queso Cheese Sauce | Good Stuff Only

  7. Pingback: Friday Things | Yummy Cake

  8. Pingback: Best Pinterest Posts » Friday Things

  9. Pingback: Elegant Cakes – Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Spicy Cheese Dipping Sauce

  10. Pingback: The Best Queso Cheese Sauce | Food Stalker

  11. Pingback: Stuff I've Gotta Share and You've Gotta See | Recipe Girl

  12. Pingback: Best Queso Recipe | We Get Healthy

Leave a Comment