Basic cheese sauce recipe that can be used in a variety of ways. Top a baked potato, use a dipping sauce, use in mac and cheese, or top vegetables. Never buy store-bought again.
It's one thing to know how to follow recipes, but it's another thing to know how to cook. If you want to really start saving money on food, you have to start learning how to cook and acquire basic skills in the kitchen.
Many things fall into the category of must-know recipes when cooking from scratch, but one of the most delicious is a basic cheese sauce.
How do you make cheese sauce from scratch?
The easiest and most inexpensive way to make this is with a roux base.
- Make a roux by cooking equal parts of butter and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat for a minute or two.
- Then whisk in milk.
- Cook until it begins to thicken, remove from heat, and slowly whisk in your cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper and eat. It's as easy as that!
What can I put cheese sauce on?
Homemade cheese sauce is so versatile, so easy, and so delicious. Here are some ideas for how to use it.
- inexpensive baked potato topper
- top vegetables for picky eaters
- dipping sauce for oven fries
- dipping sauce for soft pretzels
- as a base for macaroni and cheese
- nacho sauce
This of course is a base recipe and can be customized for more flavor combinations. You could add any of the following for different variations.
- sauté peppers and onions in the butter for a southwest flair
- bacon or sausage to kick up the flavor
- add black beans
- make it spicy with pickled jalapeño juice or Rotel.
- add chili powder or cayenne for some kick
Basic Cheese Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded from a block
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- pepper to taste
- Shred cheddar cheese using a grater and set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour and cook for a minute or two.
- Whisk in milk slowly.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and whisk until thickened.
- Remove from heat or turn heat down to lowest setting, and stir in cheese a little add a time. If your heat is too high, your sauce might "break" and take on a grainy texture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I hope you love this easy recipe. If you try it and love it, please leave a rating and comment below.
I love to hear about your wins in the kitchen!
How much butter?
Best and easiest cheese sauce I’ve ever made!
Yay! I love hearing that!
Turned out great! Thanks
Wonderful! Thanks for the feedback.
Have you tried keeping this in a small crock pot?
No I have not. Sorry I can't give you more help with that.
Wonderful recipe! Used it for a baked potato bar and kept it warm in a fondue pot. The only problem was that I didn’t make enough!
So glad it worked well for your baked potato bar, Kyli!
Simple and delicious. I used it for scalloped potatoes and ham
Wonderful, Mona! Thanks for the comment.
Would adding a block of cream cheese make it a weird texture? I’m hoping to use this sauce to mix with shredded chicken & I’ve never made one of these sauces or seen any info on adding other types of dairy products!
It would probably make it extra thick and you might need extra milk to thin it. I can't say for sure though because I've never tried it. I hope your experiment turns out well.