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Nacho cheese sauce

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We absolutely love a trip to the cinema. Now we have a 6 year old in our home she regularly asks to visit the cinema, and absolutely loves the nachos. The nacho cheese sauce is her favourite part, and so recently I started perfecting my own recipe to make it at home.

Now we can enjoy nacho cheese sauce with air fryer tortilla chips, pretzels, on the top of hot dogs or air fryer bratwurst, on bacon mac and cheese pasta bake and much more.

This cheese sauce is really NOT healthy, in the slightest, but it is absolutely delicious. Silky smooth, perfect on just about anything you fancy, including a beef burger, and it is a real hit whenever I serve it in my home!

When we’re having hot dogs or bratwurst, family style, with everyone helping themselves, I always mix up a batch of this, as it is always a hit, and great for pouring over the top of air fryer chips too!

Nacho cheese sauce in a mushroom coloured bowl with tortilla chips

Ingredients for nacho cheese sauce:

30g butter

30g plain flour

200ml milk (i used semi skimmed)

200g medium cheddar (I grated my own)

Generous pinch of salt

Air fryer grilled cheese sandwich

Method for making cinema style cheese sauce recipe:

Add your butter to a pan and melt over a low heat.

Add the flour.

Mix well.

Cook for 1 minute.

Add the milk, slowly, around 30-40ml at a time. Mixing well each time.

Once all of the milk is added turn the heat up to medium.

Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, until the mixture is thick.

Remove from the heat.

Stir in your grated cheddar, approximately 50g at a time, and mix slowly until the cheese melts each time.

You shouldn’t need to change anything BUT if the mixture is too thick add a splash of milk, if it is too thin add a little more cheddar. If your cheddar is no longer melting as you add it to the mixture then you may want to put it back on the lowest heat setting of your smallest hob.

Season with salt.

Tomato and chilli salsa in a serving dish with a side of air fryer tortilla chips

Can you make homemade nacho cheese sauce with American cheese / Velveeta slices?

You could, but why bother? This is MUCH nicer, less processed, has a better taste and it is even faster to make!

Can you make nacho cheese sauce with condensed milk?

You could use condensed milk instead of the semi skimmed milk, and you’ll get an even thicker, richer sauce, and when I’ve tried this it requires completely different ingredients. Try this 3 ingredient cheese dip if you want to give that a go!

Bread rolls baked in the air fryer - three rolls on a plate with a pattern on the top of each one that resembles petals on a flower. Text overlay that says air fryer bread rolls

What to dip in this nacho cheese sauce?

This works with just about anything savoury really, especially things that you can dip into it. Homemade garlic bread, pretzels, nachos, air fryer frozen chips or on the top of air fryer sausages.

I’ve used this on the top of my slow cooker beef chilli or Ninja Foodi beef chilli too.

It is such a fun dip, and great for a mix of crudités and vegetables too when you’ve got a hungry crowd to feed.

Is this nacho cheese sauce gluten free?

This version, as I made it, has gluten in HOWEVER you can easily use a gluten free flour. It will give similar results, if maybe a tiny bit less thick.

No yeast flatbreads in a silver serving dish

How to make nacho cheese sauce in a crockpot or slow cooker?

You can make a cheese sauce in the crockpot/slow cooker but there really is no need. This is such a simple, and fast, dish that you can make this in around 5 minutes, with very minimal effort.

Want to use up your leftover nacho cheese sauce?

We love to use any leftovers for a mini mac and cheese, or a pasta bake. This works great for a lunch, and is a fantastic way to use the sauce up fast.

A garlic baguette that has been cooked in the air fryer and is in an enamel baking dish

Can nacho cheese sauce be frozen?

I don’t freeze this, as I find that the consistency is ruined when defrosting, and re-heating it just doesn’t work very well either. Pass on the freezing of this one if you can!

Want to change the flavours up?

Don’t be afraid to add some of your favourite herbs or spices.

We love to add a little smoked paprika. That works well. Also, garlic and onion powder can bring some extra flavour.

As does adding a few chopped spring onions, jalapeños or even a little chilli powder.

roasted tomato pizza sauce in a glass jar with red tomatoes to the side and a patterned lid

How long can you keep this nacho cheese sauce for?

We like to make it up fresh and consume within an hour or two. This works best for the consistency, but if you want to keep it for longer you may want to re-heat it through, very low and slow, stirring regularly, to get the consistency back smooth again.

Want to try this recipe with a different cheese?

All strengths of cheddar, gouda, Gruyère and pepper jack all work well. You can also use blue cheese and soft cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, as these melt pretty good if you take the rind off.

A finished tear and share bread made using a Panasonic bread maker

How to make cinema style cheese sauce:

Nacho cheese sauce

Super smooth, delicious, cinema style nacho cheese sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine British
Keyword cheese, sauce
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 145 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 200 ml milk I used semi skimmed
  • 200 g medium cheddar I grated my own
  • Generous pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add your butter to a pan and melt over a low heat.
  2. Add the flour.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the milk, slowly, around 30-40ml at a time. Mixing well each time.
  6. Once all of the milk is added turn the heat up to medium.
  7. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, until the mixture is thick.
  8. Remove from the heat.
  9. Stir in your grated cheddar, approximately 50g at a time, and mix slowly until the cheese melts each time.
  10. You shouldn’t need to change anything BUT if the mixture is too thick add a splash of milk, if it is too thin add a little more cheddar. If your cheddar is no longer melting as you add it to the mixture then you may want to put it back on the lowest heat setting of your smallest hob.
  11. Season with salt.

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

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Nacho cheese sauce in a mushroom and white coloured bowl with a bowl of tortilla chips just in view.
Recipe Rating




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