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Shake Shack Cheese Sauce Recipe

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Are you looking to create that incredibly addictive cheese sauce that Shake Shack does at home? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I’ll be sharing all you need, and need to do today.

From its humble beginnings as a hot dog stand in Madison Square Garden twenty years ago, Shake Shack has grown to become a popular restaurant chain across the country.

They are known for their addictive burgers, creamy milkshakes, and mouth-watering hot dogs. However, one of the most popular items on the menu is their crispy fries smothered in their special cheese sauce.

Below you’ll find the actual Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe and some delicious variations you can easily make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

I’ve also included some pro tips so that your cheese sauce turns out perfectly every time!

So without further adieu, let’s dive in and learn how to make a great-tasting and authentic Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe.

What Do You Need To Make Shake Shack Cheese Sauce


American and Cheddar Cheese

Use freshly grated cheese rather than pre-shredded packaged cheese to ensure your sauce turns out rich and creamy.

I recommend using a sharp cheddar for this recipe.

White Wine Vinegar And White Wine

sed to deglaze the onions to add intense flavor to your cheese sauce.


Adds the perfect amount of spice. Feel free to add more if you like a spicier cheese sauce.

Fresh White Onion

Deepens the savoriness of your sauce.

Whole Peppercorns

Add a delicious piney, spicy flavor.

Heavy Cream

Used as the base for this Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe.

For a thinner sauce, use more cream or substitute fresh milk.

Salt and Pepper

Your sauce should be seasoned perfectly, but feel free to add salt and black ground pepper if you wish.


  • Cutting board and knife
  • Cheese grater or food processor
  • Medium saucepan
  • Stovetop or other heat source
  • Strainer
  • Whisk

How To Make Shake Shack Cheese Sauce

Step One: First, finely slice the onions and jalapenos, and grate or cube the American and cheddar cheeses.

Step Two: Next, heat a medium saucepan on the stovetop at low-medium heat. Once hot, add the canola oil, onions, jalapenos, peppercorns, and a sprinkle of salt.

Step Three: Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.

Step Four: Next, add the white wine vinegar and white wine to the pan and allow to reduce until there is practically no liquid left, stirring frequently.

Step Five: Add the heavy cream and turn off the heat. Allow everything to steep for 30 minutes.

Step Six: Then, strain the cream mixture to remove all the solids and return to the saucepan. Bring the cream to a boil.

Step Seven: Once boiling, add the cheese and whisk until your sauce is nice and creamy and no cheese pieces remain. Remove from heat.

Step Eight: Season with salt and pepper (optional)


Other Things To Consider When Making Shake Shack Cheese Sauce

It’s Easy to Customize Your Cheese Sauce

This Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe makes the same incredibly addictive cheese sauce you’ll find at Shake Shack.

But why settle for the ordinary when you can make something extraordinary?

Once you master the simple techniques, you can use this recipe to make all kinds of delicious cheese sauces.

  • For example, mix swiss and gruyere to make a great-tasting dip for bread.
  • Or use a blend of cheddar and Monterey jack for a Mexican-inspired flavor.
  • Use a mix of parmesan and cheddar for the perfect mac and cheese.
  • Other excellent cheese options are havarti, gouda, and muenster.
  • You can also spice up your cheese sauce by adding some ground cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce.
  • Add sliced jalapenos and diced tomatoes or a cup of your favorite salsa for a delicious southwestern dip.
  • Or mix in fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano, for a deliciously creamy pasta sauce.
  • A personal favorite – I add a pinch of ground nutmeg to enhance the cheesy goodness.

What Can I Eat With Shake Shack Cheese Sauce?

This Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe tastes so good you’ll be looking for more ways to enjoy its cheesy deliciousness.

  • Makes an excellent veggie dip.
  • Drizzle it over steamed broccoli or cauliflower.
  • Mix with ground beef for great-tasting tacos and quesadillas
  • Makes a killer mac and cheese.
  • Did somebody say nachos?
  • Toss it with your favorite pasta.
  • Makes the best cheesy mashed potatoes that will have everyone asking for seconds!

Tips for Making the Best Shake Shack Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • Too much heat will make your cheese sauce stringy and clumpy. Remove the sauce from the heat before the last of the cheese melts to keep it nice and creamy.
  • Don’t allow the onions to burn or char, or it will affect the flavor of your sauce.
  • When deglazing with the white wine and vinegar, frequently stir to remove the extra bits from the bottom of the pan to give your sauce a richer flavor.
  • Store extra cheese sauce (if you have any) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. However, I wouldn’t recommend freezing it as it will change the texture of your sauce upon reheating.
Yield: Yield: 6 cups of sauce (approximately 36 servings)

Shake Shack Cheese Sauce Recipe

Shake Shack Cheese Sauce

This is the official Shake Shack Cheese Sauce recipe provided by the Culinary Director, Mark Rosati. Use it to make the perfect creamy sauce that you can alter with a few variations, or just stick to the original recipe and enjoy. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 cups American cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 6 thin jalapeno slices
  • ¾ cup white onions, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Finely slice the onions and jalapenos, and grate or cube the American and cheddar cheeses.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan on your stovetop. Once hot, add the canola oil, sliced onions, jalapenos, whole peppercorns, and a sprinkle of kosher sea salt.
  3. Cook for approximately five minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently.
  4. Next, deglaze the pan by adding the white wine vinegar and the white wine to the onions. Allow the white wine and vinegar to reduce until there's practically no liquid remaining.
  5. Then, add the heavy cream and turn off the heat. Let everything steep for 30 minutes.
  6. Next, strain the cream to remove all the solids and return it to the saucepan. Bring the cream to a boil.
  7. Once it starts to boil, add the American and cheddar cheeses and whisk the sauce. Continue whisking until the sauce is nice and creamy and there are no remaining pieces of cheese.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. (optional)
  9. Enjoy!


  • Spice it up! Add a pinch (or two) of ground cayenne pepper or a teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Add fresh herbs, like thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
  • For a thinner sauce, use more heavy cream or fresh milk.
  • Substitute Monterey jack for the American cheese for a Mexican-inspired cheese sauce.
  • Mix in a cup of your favorite salsa for the perfect Southwestern dip.
  • Substitute gruyere and swiss for a delicious fondue.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2g

Related Shake Shack guides you may want to see:

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