Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe

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Make the best ever Taco Bell Nacho Cheese with just 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time! Our copycat nacho cheese recipe is the base for making many of your favorite Taco Bell™ meals at home. It makes a fantastic party dip, too!

titled: Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe


Taco Bell Nacho Cheese

It’s incredibly easy to make a homemade nacho cheese sauce, and it tastes so much better than any store-bought version.

Learn how to make nacho cheese with Velveeta and evaporated milk to create a deliciously gooey texture.

A dash of cayenne plus a surprise ingredient — pickled jalapeño juice — add just enough heat to get your taste buds tingling.

Mix it all together and you have one irresistibly creamy Taco Bell cheese sauce that you’ll want to spoon over just about everything!

Plus, no more waiting in line at the restaurant! Pair it with our Taco Bell Meat Recipe to make a Crunchwrap Supreme, Beef Quesarito, or any other Mexican favorites.

Taco Bell nacho cheese is even great for dunking tortilla chips when you want an easy snack.

Or, drizzle it over some seasoned tater tots for your very own cheesy fiesta potatoes!

ingredients to make copycat taco bell nacho cheese

How To Make Nacho Cheese with Velveeta

  1. Cube the Velveeta. Cutting the block into smaller pieces helps it melt down quicker and more evenly.
  2. Mix with remaining ingredients. Add the cheese cubes, evaporated milk, and cayenne pepper to a saucepan with some liquid from a jar of pickled jalapeños.
  3. Heat until melted. Stir over medium-low heat with a silicone spatula until everything is smooth and well combined.

    Milk and cheese can scorch easily if overheated, so be sure to stir constantly and scrape along the bottom of the pan.

    Keeping the heat low will help prevent this as well.
  4. Serve. Give it a quick taste — you may want to add more cayenne or brine. Transfer your copycat Taco Bell cheese to a serving bowl and dig in while it’s hot!
cubed velveeta in pot with other ingredients

Prep Ahead Instructions

Since this nacho cheese recipe comes together in minutes, there’s really no reason to make it ahead of time!

Plus, it tastes best when it’s hot and fresh off the stove.

You can easily mix up a larger batch for parties if needed.

Heat Taco Bell nacho cheese back up before guests arrive, or keep it warm in a small crockpot or a fondue pot.

Be aware that a skin may form over the surface as the sauce sits. Just give it a good stir, and it will be good as new!

stirring homemade nacho cheese in pot

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Medium saucepan – This one heats evenly and is easy to clean too.
  • Use a sharp knife to cube the Velveeta in seconds.
  • Can opener – It seems like a no-brainer, but a good can opener can save your hands and a lot of frustration as well!
  • A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too! 

Nacho Cheese Recipe FAQ

What can I use instead of evaporated milk?

This nacho cheese sauce recipe uses evaporated milk to get the sauce silky and smooth.

If you prefer, substitute fresh milk instead. Whole milk is best, but reduced fat or skim milk should work too.

How do you thicken nacho cheese?

The sauce should naturally thicken as it cools. If your Taco Bell cheese is too thin, you can thicken it with a slurry.

Mix a teaspoon or two of cornstarch with the same amount of pickled jalapeno juice, then stir it into the sauce over medium heat. It should thicken up within a minute or two.

Need a thinner consistency? Simply stir in more evaporated milk!

Is Taco Bell cheese sauce spicy?

There is a bit of heat in Taco Bell cheese, but not enough to bother most palates.

You can always omit the cayenne pepper in this copycat nacho cheese recipe if you’re sensitive to spicy foods.

cheese sauce pouring off of spoon into pot

Storing and Reheating Taco Bell Cheese Sauce

Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

To reheat Taco Bell nacho cheese, place it in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir in additional evaporated milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

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dipping tortilla chip in cheese sauce

dipping corn chip into taco bell nacho cheese

Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe

Donna Elick
Copycat Taco Bell Nacho Cheese is a fantastic party dip! You can also use our nacho cheese recipe to recreate your fast food favorites.
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Method Stovetop
Servings 10 people



  • 16 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice, (brine from a can of pickled jalapenos)


  • Cut Velveeta into cubes and place in a medium saucepan.
  • Add cayenne pepper, evaporated milk and 4-5 tablespoons brine from a can of pickled jalapenos.
  • Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula until cheese is fully melted and sauce is combined.
  • Taste for flavor and adjust with additional cayenne pepper and/or jalapeno brine.
  • Serve hot. The sauce thickens as it cools.

Donna’s Notes

  1. Evaporated milk makes the nacho cheese sauce very smooth and silky. You can substitute fresh milk instead.
  1. Cutting the Velveeta into cubes helps it to melt more quickly and evenly.
    To prevent scorching, stir constantly, keep the heat on low or medium low, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a silicone spatula occasionally.
  1. For thinner nacho cheese sauce, simply stir in more evaporated milk.
  1. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat over low heat on the stovetop, stirring in additional evaporated milk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached.


Calories: 120cal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 733mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 294mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): taco bell nacho cheese recipe

Originally published in May 2022, updated and republished July 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    This is by far the best nacho cheese ever! I put this on my homemade nachos instead of the canned cheese and you can taste the difference.

  2. This recipe is absolutely amazing! I made it for a party, and everyone loved it. Donna and Chad’s recipes from The Slow Roasted Italian are always a hit!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe is so easy to make, and the result is incredibly delicious. I can’t believe how close it is to the restaurant version.

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