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 and is way better than any store-bought kind! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups

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

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.

Notes

Nutrition information is based on 1 cup of sauce.
4.81 from 124 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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
Cuisine American

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Cheese sauce ingredients in a pot and cheese sauce in a clear dish with writing
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About the author

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!
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Comments

    1. Hi Joseph, I don’t have these available in grams. I would suggest using an online converter for accurate conversion amounts. Enjoy the recipe!

  1. This is the perfect recipe to have on hand when you need a cheese sauce. I like to keep some in a jar to pour over veggies, add to noodles for quick mac and cheese etc.

    For some reason my cheese sauce has just a slight texture problem (yes, I add the cheese off burner) I found out today that whizzing with a stick blender once it cools makes it silky smooth.

  2. Super quick and easy but it definitely needs some salt. Added about 1/2 teaspoon of salt when it was done cooking.4 stars

  3. It’s easy no doubt but I leave out onion powder next time. I also added about half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

  4. I made this the other night to go with some broccoli – it was heavenly and oh so easy! I love this website! I have found so many good recipes here. Thanks Holly!5 stars

  5. Absolutely delicious. I added more cheddar and left out the parmesan.
    The instructions were clear and very easy to follow.
    This will always be my go to sauce for my cauliflower .5 stars

    1. Hi Sheri, we have never tried freezing this cheese sauce. It should be okay frozen for up to a few months but it may change the texture once defrosted.

  6. Recipe is perfect. Will use this for my scallop potatoes and Mac. Used exact measurements. At the end I added my “secret” additions, teaspoon of MSG and mustard.5 stars