Creamy Cheese Sauce


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This super easy Cheese Sauce recipe is a game changer in the kitchen and is way better than any store-bought kind! It’s so versatile, it can be used as a nacho cheese sauce on loaded nachos, mac and cheese sauce or even a cheese sauce for broccoli!

The kids will love this homemade cheese sauce because it goes with everything! And how much easier can it get with only a handful of ingredients? Honestly the best cheddar cheese sauce you’ve ever had.

Cheese Sauce in a serving cup

How to Make a Roux for Cheese Sauce

The most important part of any good sauce is a ‘roux’ which is, essentially, a cooked, thickened combination of butter and flour.

This will be the base of the sauce and it only takes a few minutes to whip up! Be sure to stir it constantly and cook the flour to rid of any starchy flavor before adding the other ingredients.

Any Cheese Goes

You can use any type of cheese for this recipe based on what you’re pouring it over.

Pouring Cheese Sauce over broccoli

How to Make a Cheese Sauce

Here’s where it gets good! Really good! To make a cheese sauce:

  1. Cook flour and seasonings with butter to remove any floury flavor
  2. Slowly add in some milk to the roux and whisk constantly (it will be super thick). Keep adding a little at a time until it smooths out.
  3. Whisk until it reaches a boil and let bubble 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and add cheese. Whisk until smooth.

Remember to always remove from the heat before adding cheese, the milk will still be plenty hot enough to melt it. Cheese can separate or become grainy if it gets too hot.

Be sure to adjust for taste, feel free to add a splash of hot sauce or garlic powder…anything that you want!

Cheese Sauce poured over broccoli

How to Thicken Cheese Sauce

The ratio below will create a perfectly thick and cheesy sauce and shouldn’t require thickening.

The best way to thicken a cheese sauce would be to add more cheese! Who can resist a thick, creamy, savory cheese sauce perfect for making Homemade Mac and Cheese too!

Another way to thicken a cheese sauce is to add a little bit of cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and water) added a little at a time to hot cheese sauce. This method is less desirable, you do risk the cheese separating if you re-heat it too much when thickening.

More Cheese Please

Cheese Sauce in a serving cup
4.74 from 82 votes
Review Recipe

Creamy Cheese Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Holly Nilsson
This super easy cheese sauce recipe is a game changer in the kitchen and is way better than any store-bought kind! 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon white pepper or a pinch
  • 1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add milk a small amount at a time, whisking smooth after each addition.
  • Add onion powder and white pepper.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking continually until slightly thick.
  • Remove from heat, and add cheeses. Stir until melted.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is based on 1 cup of sauce.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 536, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Cholesterol: 121mg, Sodium: 817mg, Potassium: 334mg, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1500IU, Calcium: 878mg, Iron: 0.9mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cheese sauce
Course Dip
Cuisine American
Cheese sauce ingredients in a pot and cheese sauce in a clear dish with writing
Cheese sauce being poured over broccoli with a title

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

    1. As listed in the ingredients section, there are 2 Tablespoons of each. Click Jump to Recipe at the top, or scroll down to find the full list of ingredients and instrucitons.

  1. I make this sauce for chicken cordon blu noodles and it works wonderfully. I use pre-shredded gruyere/swiss from aldis. I have had to tweak the recipe a little to get the consistency right for the bag of cheese I like to use and to thin it a bit. all I did was double the recipe and add about a 1/4 cup more milk. for some reason I keep forgetting to pin the recipe and have to go find it again every time I make it.5 stars

  2. I think some people may like it better if they used the flour and butter to make a roux first, then slowly added milk to desired thickness, and then melted the cheese in the sauce.

  3. I made this for nachos for my dad’s birthday and I am not lying when I say that it just turned out so rich and creamy, it was a huge it and delicious with beans and chips. 10/10 recommend if you want it to be extra creamy, what I did was I added a little bit of heavy whipping cream but do whatever you want. overall great recipe and I will be using this again.5 stars

  4. This recipie is wrong. You need more cheese and you have to cook rue until it has the consistency of warm peanut butter and whisk it constantly because its very easy to scortch. Was using it for a measurement/ratio reference and now im trying to fix it.1 star

    1. Did you cook it for 1-2 minutes in step 2? This extra cook time is what removes any flour flavor. Did you use sharp cheddar?

  5. Had a casserole recipe that called for a jar of Cheez Whiz. Yuck. Made my own cheese sauce using this recipe, adding a little low sodium seasoned salt, garlic, and black pepper (I didn’t have white pepper). Made the casserole taste awesome.

    May try making it and adding some hot sauce for a chip or potato wedge dip.5 stars

  6. Wouldn’t change a thing. Made this to put on broccoli and cauliflower. Love the flavor that the little bit of Parmesan cheese gives. Thank you for a simple yet flavorful sauce.5 stars

  7. It was absolutely disgusting I’m sorry to say. Tasted like a flour paste and I followed this recipe to the T.1 star

    1. Did you cook it for 1-2 minutes in step 2? This extra cook time is what removes any flour flavor. Did you use sharp cheddar?

  8. Turned out almost too good to be true. Used it over broccoli, YUM! I’m going to spice it up a bit for nachos tomorrow.

    Thanks for a tasty easy cheese sauce.5 stars

  9. My whole family love this cheese sauce recipe and it is really amazing. Thanks for sharing this cheese sauce recipe. 5 stars

  10. Made this yesterday with friends to pair it with wedges and it turned out amazing! Cheesy realness, we couldn’t have enough. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!5 stars

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you Robyn.

      Did you shred your own cheese?
      Did you remove the pan from the stove before adding the cheeses?

  11. I used a cup of blue cheese crumbles and half cup of pecorino-romano for my cheeses. Mixed until the blue cheese was just barely still chunky. Poured over asparagus and on a baked potato. Absolutely delicious. Would consider changing the milk to half a cup of mayo and 1 cup of heavy cream to make a salad dressing5 stars

  12. I made this, it was super easy & my dish turned out deeeelicious! (: This will be the recipe that I use from now on. Thanks so much! (:5 stars

  13. This was fast and easy, and best of all – tasted good. I would definitely keep this recipe to make again. We used it over broccoli.5 stars