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Simple Cheese Sauce Recipe

Updated on April 21, 2013
There's nothing better than a gravy boat full of cheese sauce...
There's nothing better than a gravy boat full of cheese sauce... | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Simple Cheese Sauce

This easy homemade cheese sauce recipe is a favorite in my household, because it is so versatile: it can be mixed with macaroni to make macaroni & cheese, poured over steamed broccoli or other vegetables, or mixed in with almost any variety of meats, vegetables, and/or grains to make an instant casserole the whole family will love. I mean, who doesn’t love cheese? OK, people who are lactose intolerant, I know, but even they make the sacrifice for my cheese sauce occasionally!

This sauce can be used as is to pour over or dip pasta, vegetables, or anything else you might want to smother in cheese. You may also mix it in with whatever ingredients you desire, top with extra cheese or other toppings and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes for a delicious casserole.

This recipe is also quite customizable. You may use whatever seasonings you desire to customize the flavor of your sauce. Some suggestions are: ground or prepared mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, seasoned salt, etc. You may also use whatever cheese you like. A combination of cheeses usually works best, especially when pairing sharp and mild cheeses. Some of my favorites include: Extra Sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack, Sharp and Mild White Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar and Smoked Gouda. Have fun experimenting!

Melt butter over medium heat.
Melt butter over medium heat. | Source
Add flour and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add flour and sauté for 1-2 minutes. | Source
Stir in the milk and seasonings.
Stir in the milk and seasonings. | Source
Whisk frequently until thickened.
Whisk frequently until thickened. | Source
Mix in the cheese in batches.
Mix in the cheese in batches. | Source

Simple Cheese Sauce Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Other seasonings, as desired (Some suggestions include ground mustard, nutmeg, smoked paprika, garlic powder, etc)
  • 4 cups shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan.
  2. Once the butter is melted and bubbly, stir in the flour with a whisk to create a roux. Cook for a minute or two, continuing to stir constantly.
  3. Add the milk, whisking briskly to incorporate the roux into the milk: it is important to mix the roux in thoroughly so the sauce does not become lumpy!
  4. Mix in the seasonings and continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Once thickened, lower the heat as far as it will go. Add the shredded cheese in batches, whisking until each addition is melted before adding the next batch. Continue until all the cheese is used.
  6. Serve as is, as an accompaniment to a meal, or in any recipe that could benefit from being smothered in cheese (which is pretty much anything!). See below for more meal ideas!

Meal Ideas Using Simple Cheese Sauce

To Make:
Mix Together With Cheese Sauce:
Top With:
To Serve:
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
1/2 pound cooked macaroni
Extra shredded cheese
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
1/2 pound cooked macaroni
---
Serve as is.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
1 pound diced cooked chicken + 3 cups frozen chopped broccoli + 1 cup cooked rice
Crumbled Ritz crackers & melted butter
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Baked Cheesy Potatoes & Cauliflower
1 pound parboiled potatoes + 1 head cauliflower, chopped & lightly steamed
Panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan & melted butter
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Cheesy Broccoli
Steamed broccoli
---
Drizzle cheese sauce over the broccoli on each person's plate.

Yum...

Cheesy Potatoes & Cauliflower
Cheesy Potatoes & Cauliflower | Source
Sausages and tater tots, smothered in cheese
Sausages and tater tots, smothered in cheese | Source

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