Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (2024)

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Posted by Jessica Pinney on , last updated

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You guys have been asking me for a homemade version of Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese since I dropped the Crunchwrap Supreme recipe. (Can you believe that was 4 years ago??)

Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (1)

I’m finally delivering to you my personal recipe for copycat taco bell nacho cheese. I have been developing and testing this recipe for over a year now! Who would’ve thought it would be such a hard nut to crack?

Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (2)

What is Taco Bell Cheese Made Of?

Taco Bell actually gets their nacho cheese delivered to them pre-made or in a powdered form that liquid is added to and heated up. It is labeled something like “jalapeno cheese sauce”.

Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (3)

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Ingredients for Homemade Taco Bell Cheese

I tested soooo many different ingredients to try to recreate the taste of Taco Bell’s nacho cheese. Everything from cheddar cheese powder, cheddar cheese slices, American cheese slices, cream cheese, and at least 5 different brands of pickled jalapeños.

At the end of all that testing, I believe I have found 4 ingredients, easily accessible to any home chef, that gets you about 98% close to that Taco Bell cheese sauce taste:

How To Make Taco Bell Cheese Sauce

Melt all those ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (4)

More Copycat Recipes

  • Taco Bell Quesadilla
  • Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
  • Starbucks Iced Matcha Latte
  • Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe

The perfect copycat of Taco Bell’s Nacho Cheese Sauce! Make your own at home with this easy recipe.

  • Author: Jessica Pinney
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: American
  • Cuisine: Sauce

Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (5)

Print Recipe

★★★★★4.7 from 7 reviews


1/2 Cup Kraft Cheez Whiz*

1/4 Cup Pickled Jalapeno Brine (Old El Paso has the best flavor for this recipe)

1 Tbsp Whole Milk

2 Kraft American Cheese Slices


Add all ingredients to a saucepan and melt over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once ingredients have melted and combined, remove from heat. Serve immediately.


*Please note that this product is NOT canned cheese. It is a jarred cheese dip. Please click the link and see the specific product to avoid any confusion.


  • Calories: 115
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  1. Jenn says

    Taco Bell’s nacho cheese comes in a bag already creamy, no powder, and it gets put in hot water to heat, and then goes in the pan with the pump. Sorry to disappoint.


      • Michelle says

        A friend of mine worked at Taco bell well over 7 years ago. It was a powder back then she says. Another friend worked at a different location at the same time and they had premade creamy cheese. Another friend says that it comes in a block and is melted down with a milk-type mixture. I wouldn’t know, I just know it is magic sauce and I am excited to find a recipe to try and make it!


        • Jessica Pinney says

          Who knew the Taco Bell cheese was so mysterious! Ha! I hope you enjoy the recipe.

      • Karen says

        Jessica you are absolutely right. In 1982 thru at least 1985 we used powered nacho cheese mixed with wire whip and water. Same with red sauce. Beans were cooked in huge pressure cookers and we actually used long wires to BLOCK cheese to go in hopper to shred.


    • Mari Hoskinson says

      Where can I buy a bag of the nacho cheese?


    • Omariyah Everett says

      That is so rude


  2. Kurt Hall says

    My grandson is autistic, he loves taco bell nacho cheese, so I’m trying to make at home. So where can I purchase jalapeno brine? Thank you so much.


    • Jessica Pinney says

      It is simply the juice in pickled jalapenos, so you just need a jar of those. The brand “Old El Paso” that I specified in the post seems to come closest to replicating the Taco Bell flavor. I hope your grandson enjoys the homemade version!


  3. Kurt Hall says

    LOL , that I can do , thanks ,so kind of you to respond.


  4. Amanda Ferguson says

    When I worked at taco Bell it came in a bag premade. All we did was take it out of the freezer and let it set in hot water so it could thaw out and warm up. No secret recipe there. It’s frozen


    • Jessica Pinney says

      I’m not sure what you mean. Even if it comes to Taco Bell stores pre-made, there is still a recipe for it.
      Regardless, this recipe was created to mimic the taste of Taco Bell’s cheese sauce with ingredients readily available to home cooks.


      • Kramer says

        No, there’s no recipe. It comes fresh off of nacho cheese trees


        • Jessica Pinney says

          I wish my backyard was full of nacho cheese trees…

  5. Ryan says

    So when you say kraft cheese wiz do u mean the one that comes in the spray can and if that is what you mean wich kind because they hav american and sharo cheddar and some others ithink also?? Thanks so much for the post tho have been loving this stuff for years im excited to try it at home asap


    • Jessica Pinney says

      No, not from the spray can. It comes in a jar and the specific product is linked to twice in the post so you can see what it looks like. You can find it at most grocery stores, usually in the chip aisle. Hope you enjoy the recipe.


      • Andrew Carter says

        Is it kraft American cheese singles slices?


        • Jessica Pinney says

          Yep, just the classic Kraft American Cheese singles.

  6. Karen says

    I managed a Taco Bell in California in 1982 and we had powdered cheese mixed with water and then heated. Never found anything like it.


  7. ChristyAnn says

    Sooo Yum! You nailed it. Thanks so much!!


  8. Lee says

    I made this to make homemade crunchwraps and it was great! Thanks for the recipe. It didn’t taste like cheese whiz like I thought


  9. David Eckstrom says

    Ingredients are listed but no amounts. How much of each?

    Amount it makes says 4. 4 what?

    This is an ingredient list NOT a recipe.


    • Mellie says

      If you scroll down more you’ll see the measurements. I thought the same thing at first.


  10. Krista Morgan says

    is half a cup, a half a jar? Thank you


    • Jessica Pinney says

      No, half the jar would be more than half a cup. Be sure to measure it out.


  11. Laura Martin says

    I use to work for Taco Bell years ago like 20 years ago. It wasn’t powder back then. It was in a bag you put in a hot water bath.


  12. Paige leigh says

    I personally don’t think this is very close to Taco Bell at all. Cheez whiz is too strong of a flavor, note that I followed this recipe exactly, yes I got the cheez whiz JAR, and I think it’s overpowering. Added more milk and still too strong. Had to mellow it out with Fritos jalapeño dip and Rico’s nacho dip and it STILL was strong. 1/2 cup like it says. I didn’t do any of it wrong it just tastes more like spicy cheez whiz than a copy cat of Taco Bell :/


  13. Sharon says

    Love this recipe for “Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce”!!
    Tastes dam close to me, we use it in your home made crunch wraps recipe which are the best!


  14. Charles Dodson says

    This takes nothing like Taco Bell, but it is good.


  15. Mallori says

    Is there a cheese that works as a substitute for Kraft Cheese Whiz? It’s isn’t in stock on Amazon or in my local stores. Please let me know and thank you very much.


  16. Sean says

    I worked there early 2000’s. It comes in a bag premade as do most things there. They take frozen or cold items and put them in something called a De-Thermalizer. Which is a fancy word for a hot water machine, lol. The meat is all the same way. The beans, are dehydrated, so you add hot water and put it in a heat locker for 4 hours. 8 hours hold time on beans, I think, lol, been a long time..


  17. Lisa says

    What size jar on the jalapeños?


Homemade Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Recipe (2024)


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