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
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Creamy Cheese Sauce

This super easy cheese sauce recipe is a game changer in the kitchen, it's way better than any store-bought kind! 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups


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  • 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 shredded
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded


  • 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.


Nutrition information is based on 1 cup of sauce.
Store leftover cheese sauce in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each stage, until heated through. 
4.84 from 152 votes

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.

Course Dip, Sauce
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


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Made this cheese sauce today with my daughter for actual pretzel dip. It turned out great! we tweaked it a bit by adding a bit more cheese and about 2 to 3 tsp of Dijon mustard and more if you like. We love the extra Dijon taste. This cheese sauce with Hot Pretzels was so Amazing! I’ve never had anything like them before. I can’t wait to make them again!5 stars