Learn exactly how to make homemade Cheese Sauce! Make it from scratch in under 10 minutes with just 4 simple ingredients. It's perfect on broccoli, veggies, pasta, or as a dipping sauce.
Cheese sauce made from scratch only takes 10 minutes and 4 ingredients! Plus, it is a super easy way to add flavor, creaminess, and richness to many dishes.
It can be used to make macaroni and cheese or to top nachos, enchiladas, steamed vegetables, and more.
Cheese sauce can also be used in dips, casseroles, pasta, and other recipes.
It takes minutes to make and is a great way to add flavor and texture to many dishes, making it a great choice for many meals.
My favorite ways to use it are in Broccoli Cheese, Cauliflower Cheese, or Mac and Cheese. It's also awesome on loaded fries!
I love how a simple sauce can elevate a dish and add tons of flavor. Be sure to also try Pink Sauce (Rosatella Sauce), Gyoza Sauce, Amai Sauce, or Honey Sriracha Sauce to add extra pizzazz to your meals!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Making homemade cheese sauce from scratch only takes 10 minutes.
You only need 4 simple ingredients for a basic cheese sauce.
You can add in various flavors to make your cheese sauce recipe extra special - try mustard, chili, nutmeg or herbs.
This is such a versatile sauce: use it on macaroni for mac and cheese, pour it over vegetables or use it as a dipping sauce for freshly baked pretzel bites.
You only need a few simple ingredients for a homemade cheese sauce!
- Cheese - I like to use a sharp cheddar. You can also use Gruyère, Monterey Jack, Swiss etc...
- Milk - Whole milk is best for thick and creamy results, but you can also use 2%/semi-skimmed.
- Butter - Use salted or unsalted butter - both will work fine. Alternatively, you can use olive oil.
- Flour - Use basic plain flour / all-purpose flour. Plain gluten-free will work too.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring, to make the roux.
Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until you have a smooth sauce.
Whisk in the cheese for a minute or so until melted.
If desired, season with a little salt and pepper.
- Switch up the cheese for a different flavor: try gruyere, Swiss, gouda, Monterey Jack etc...
- Make it vegan: Swap the butter for oil or dairy-free butter, use a vegan milk, such as soy, and use vegan cheese or 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
- Instead of butter, you can heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to make the base of the roux.
Try some of these flavor add-ins to make an extra special cheese sauce.
- Add a cayenne powder or chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the sauce.
- Add a bay leaf.
- A pinch of nutmeg adds a warming flavor.
- A little taco seasoning and using Mexican flavored cheese will make it into a nacho cheese sauce.
- Try adding a pinch of mustard powder, or stirring in a little Dijon mustard.
- Horseradish gives a sophisticated undertone of heat.
- Onion powder and garlic powder are also great add-ins.
Uses for cheese sauce
There are so many ways to use your homemade cheese sauce! Try it on/in:
- Macaroni and cheese
- Cheese fries
- Cheese dip
- Broccoli cheese
- Cheese-stuffed mushrooms
- Baked potatoes
- Dipping sauce for bread or pretzel bites
- Cheesy garlic bread
- Vegetarian lasagna
- Cheesy mashed potatoes
- Steamed vegetables
Store: You can store your cheese sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat: Reheat it in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. You may need to whisk in a little milk when reheating if it gets too thick.
Freeze: You can freeze leftover cheese sauce in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 6 months. Thaw then reheat, as above.
Whisk well when adding the milk, and be sure to add it gradually. This will ensure you have a smooth cheese sauce with no lumps.
Cheese sauce is made of cheese, milk, flour, and butter. To make it, flour is stirred into melted butter (creating a roux), and then milk is gradually whisked in until thick and creamy, then cheese is stirred in until melted.
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- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plain flour
- 1 cup milk 235ml
- 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 150g
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until you have a smooth sauce.
- Whisk in the cheese for a minute or so until melted.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
I love how quick and easy this perfect cheese sauce is! Thanks for sharing this recipe - my new go-to!
You can't go wrong with this easy cheese sauce recipe! Great with cauliflower and broccoli.
This cheese sauce is delicious! I served it with steam broccoli and cauliflower. So good! Thanks!
simple and delicious cheese sauce. all time favorite. Thanks for sharing
This is a great recipe! The only way I will eat a vegetable is if it's slathered in cheese, so as you can imagine I make it a lot! Creamy, tasty, and perfect!
A great way to serve veggies for kids! Love the sauce, especially with nachos!