Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce

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Here in Omaha, we have a place called Spaghetti Works.  This Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce is a copycat of their beloved recipe.

Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce with bacon

Creamy beer cheese pasta sauce over Cavatappi noodles, topped with bacon crumbles.  So rich and comforting.  


Old Market Omaha, Spaghetti Works

There is a restaurant here in Omaha, that is one of those classic restaurants, that seems like it’s been here forever.  It’s called Spaghetti Works, and it’s always a treat to go to.  We actually have two different locations, one in Ralston and one in our historic Old Market downtown, pictured here in this photo by Doug French.  

Spaghetti Works also has a location in Des Moines, Iowa.  It’s home to the bottomless bowl of pasta.  Seriously, you can just keep ordering flavor after flavor, change up what kind of noodles, until you can barely wobble out of there.  Aside from the pasta though, my favorite thing is their huge salad bar.  


Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce

It’s an economical place, and great for family dining.   We used to always go there in our early years, with some friends, Todd and Traci.  Todd always got their Beer Cheese Sauce.   


Italian Meatballs

When I made those Homemade Italian Meatballs, that I shared with you last week, this sauce came to mind.    Not only did I think they would be amazing on pasta, but they would make a great appetizer smothered in this beer cheese sauce.  


Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce with meatballs

Boy was I right!!  They would be perfect to have a crock pot full of Italian meatballs and this beer cheese sauce.  Little toothpicks, and you’re set!


Ingredients in Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce:

  • Half & Half
  • Beer
  • Cheez Whiz
  • Beef Broth
  • Butter
  • Flour



Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce

Okay — I know, I know.  Cheez Whiz — some of you will say gross.  But it was in every single recipe I found that claimed to taste like Spaghetti Works Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce.  I decided to give it a go, and guess what?  It tasted just right!


Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce - Spaghetti Works

I used a light beer, because as much as I enjoy an ice cold beer, beer flavored foods are not always my favorite.  If you would prefer a more intense beer flavor,  use a darker beer.  The recipe I mimicked called for whole milk, but I always buy skim, so I went full fat and used half & half.   When it comes to cheese — why not?

Everyone suggested serving with crumbled bacon. I never remember that being a “thing” at Spaghetti Works, but I tried it both ways and I definitely preferred it with bacon.   I will say that this beer cheese sauce is pretty mellow.  There aren’t any spices whatsoever.  We also topped with with red pepper flakes to give it some umph.   


Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce - An Affair from the Heart

^Love it?  Pin it!^


What would you add?  Or maybe you’d like to keep it nice and mellow and cheesy, just like it is?


Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce - Copycat Spaghetti Works

Like all of my recipes, I hope you enjoy this one!  M.



Overhead of Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce with bacon in a white bowl
4.54 from 26 votes
Print Recipe

Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce

This Beer Cheese Pasta Sauce is a mellow cheese sauce served over pasta. It's a copycat recipe from Spaghetti Works. Delicious topped with bacon!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time11 minutes
Cuisine: American/Italian
Keyword: Beer Cheese, Copycat, pasta, recipe, Sauce, Spaghetti Works
Servings: 6
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 12 ounces 1 1/2 cups Half & Half
  • 1 12 ounce jar Cheez Whiz
  • 1 12 ounce light beer pour it a little ahead so it's a bit flat
  • 12 ounces 1 1/2 cups broth
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 pound package pasta prepared
  • Bacon for topping if desired


  • In a small pan, melt butter for about 2 minutes. Don't let it brown. Add in flour to form a roux.
  • In a medium sized sauce pan, over medium heat, heat half & half, Cheez Whiz, beer and beef broth, stirring constantly. When sauce reaches approximately 140 degrees F. add the roux. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until sauce reaches 160 degrees F. Don't let it come to a boil, you don't want it to curdle.
  • Serve immediately over prepared pasta, topped with bacon if desired.


Also delicious as an appetizer served with my Italian Meatballs.
Adapted from a recipe found on Youtube/Big Red Recipes


Serving: 1g | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

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  1. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    Golly, doesn’t everybody in the Mid-West have a favorite Cheez-Wiz recipe?? A real staple for folks here on the upper-upper central prairie of the US. ?

  2. My Husbands always orders the beer cheese sauce when we go to Spaghetti Works. I’ve made this twice using two different recipes but your copycat recipe was by far the best and easiest. It taste like the real thing!

  3. Native Nebraskan living out-of-state who hasn’t been to Spaghetti Works in at least a decade. Just made this for dinner tonight. It’s been so long I don’t recall exactly how close this is to the original, but man it was sure good regardless.

    I used Clancy’s cheese sauce from Aldi, instead of Cheese Whiz, and Stella Artois for my beer. Added Italian sausage instead of bacon and topped with fresh basil from the garden.

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m looking forward to this being in my regular menu rotation. Cheers!

  4. Would you be able to make a copy cat recipe of their Marinara sauce?! After moving away from the midwest it’s one of the things I still crave but can’t find anywhere even though it seems so simple!

  5. 5 stars
    Awesome sauce. Literally.
    I do it with Old English cheese and I add a small amount of mustard powder.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe with all of us.

    Rich Kaminski

    1. Rich – I am so happy that you love it too!! This is my youngest daughter’s favorite pasta sauce! I need to give your tricks a try next time!

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