Easy Cheese Sauce–From Scratch!

homemade cheese sauce recipe

I know there are a lot of folks these days who strive for a dairy-free & grain-free diet. And I understand that.

But if you are one of those folks–you may want to look away…

Because today I’m talkin’ about the most glorious cheese sauce you ever did see… not only does it have cheese in it, but it has milk and butter too. Yeah, pretty much a dairy explosion. In your mouth.

The average American makes cheese sauce by (a) buying a jar of Cheese Whiz® or (b) melting down a ginormous brick of the no-refrigeration-required-and-will-last-until-Armageddon Velveeta®. (And hey–I used to buy both of those things–so I’m not judging!) ;)

But didja know you can make cheese sauce at home? From scratch? And no weird ingredients required? Oh yeah baby…

salesmall

But before we dive int0 the cheesiness, it would be sad if I neglected to remind you about the little sale that’s happening right now. Well actually, it’s not little–it’s actually quite big–as in $2000 value big:

I’ve seen lots of bundles floating around the blogosphere, but never one with a value of $2000 that includes: 47 digital books, 3 online classes, 21 coupons, 2 meal plans, 15 podcasts, and 2 online magazine subscriptions. Yeah, it’s crazy.

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I’m counting on it to keep me from getting cabin fever this winter, since I’ll be busy trying out all the new recipes and ideas. For only $39, you  can grab the whole kit-and-caboodle too–but only this week. Then it’s gone forever.

I’d type out the whole list of all the cool stuff that’s included, but we have a cheese recipe to get too, so just go HERE to check out the line-up.

OK, enough with the money-saving stuff–on with the cheese!

Homemade Cheese Sauce (minus the “Whiz”)

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Small squirt of mustard
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

homemade cheese sauce recipe

1. First off, you need to make a roux. That’s just a fancy name for mixture of fat and flour that’s traditionally used to thicken sauces and stews.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour.

3. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour is slightly browned.

4. Reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the milk.

5. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of salt/pepper.

6. Continue to whisk and cook over low to medium heat, until the mixture is slightly thickened and smooth.

7. Add in the grated cheese, and melt & stir over low heat until everything is incorporated. Season to taste with paprika, mustard, and more salt, if desired.

Now what do I do with it?

Oh boy–lots of stuff!

  • Serve on top of a loaded baked potato
  • Drizzle over tortilla chips for the ultimate nacho experience
  • Use it to garnish veggies (roasted broccoli comes to mind)
  • Mix it with cooked pasta for quick homemade mac n’ cheese.
  • Use it as a dip for veggies, or crackers, or ??
  • Mix in some chili peppers or salsa for an awesomely spicy twist
  • Eat it out of a bowl with a spoon *cough* I did not just type that…

homemade cheese sauce recipe

Notes

  • You can really use any type of cheese here. I prefer sharp cheddar, or a mixture of cheddar and parmesan. Other varieties will be delicious as well–although I usually steer clear of mozzarella, since it has the tendency to get all stringy and clumpy when it melts.
  • This will keep in the fridge for a while–although it will turn rather gelatinous. Just reheat it in a saucepan to get it all nice and liquidy again.
  • Taste as you go and season accordingly. It’s a super flexible recipe.

Easy Homemade Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Small squirt of mustard
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour.
  2. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour is slightly browned.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the milk.
  4. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkle of salt/pepper.
  5. Continue to whisk and cook over low to medium heat, until the mixture is slightly thickened and smooth.
  6. Add in the grated cheese, and melt & stir over low heat until everything is incorporated. Season to taste with paprika, mustard, and more salt, if desired.
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/11/homemade-cheese-sauce-recipe.html

BCH

 

 

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Comments

  1. April Kimble says:

    I will definitely be trying this today.

  2. Going to save and try this. I have been able to make a successful homemade alfredo sauce. I have a second recipe for a beer cheddar but it’s more complicated. Look forward to trying this!

  3. Oh yeah! You are a woman after my own heart! That is just how I make my sauce, only I add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Sometimes I just use all the odds and ends of different cheeses in my cheese drawer when it’s time to clean it out. Parmesan is nice in there too! I also make a much bigger batch. We have seven in the house, with big appetites. And… I have to make enough so there’s some leftover after I’m done “tasting” it as I go!

  4. What is the trick or tip for keeping the cheese from becoming stringy?

  5. Valerie Cross says:

    I make my cheese sauce the same.I found that when you use it for pasta or baked potatoes add chives and dill.The flavor is different but oh so good.Sometimes my sauce is grainy,does anybody else have that problem?

  6. Valerie Cross says:

    Oh,I forgot if add a clove of garlic to the butter as it browns the flavor is incredible.Make sure you don’t burn it though and remove the garlic when you add the flour.

  7. Do you think that this would work with coconut flour instead?

  8. Hollie Christopher says:

    Heating the milk before adding to the butter and flour makes the bechamel creamier. Instead of nutmeg,mustard and paprika, I use a pinch of cayenne. I would use rice flour.

  9. David Forward says:

    For those wishing to avoid gluten, or even just plain white flour, try it with Tapioca flour. Blood sugar spike will be minimized if eaten with good fibrous veggies (like broccoli).

    I tried this recipe as a base for broccoli-cheddar soup (based on your “by the spoon” admission!) by adding sauteed mushrooms and broccoli, along with a chopped up piece of cooked bacon. I “extended” the soup base by adding a quarter cup of cream. Oh, and I did use a pinch of cayenne for a little kick.

  10. Blessed Mar says:

    Ohhhh, I am so happy the younger generation has this recipe in such nice detail. The internet is so useful at times! Your website is so great! I have been making this cheese sauce for 35 years. Flour is always different so sometimes you will get grainy and cheaper ‘imitation’ cheese will also be a problem. Always start with a lesser amount of flour, especially if you are adding it to pasta. Keep the heat low. And wisk, wisk, wisk! I like to add the mustard right after I merge the butter & flour so the mustard browns a little. Using warm milk works so well! It also works to use warm water to mix up dry milk if that is what you have. I whip an egg into the milk to add protein. Slowly pour the milk as you wisk, wisk, wisk! A good wisk is worth it! I also use Cheese Whiz or Velveeta to make my sauce really smooth. Once it is mixed with pasta then I add little cubes of sharp cheddar and then bake the whole thing or put it in the crock pot to ‘meld’. After I cook the pasta I add butter & parsley & parmesian while it sits there waiting for its cheese sauce! If I know I have really picky eaters I leave out the parsley. I also use white pepper so kids can’t see it! haha. I am happy to report that all of children know how to make this! It is our ‘go-to’ when our going needs to go! I love your website! Oh, I almost forgot …. my sauce tastes best when I make it in my old pot. And for those of you having trouble, keep trying! You will be glad. ~M

  11. Denny Adams says:

    been doing this for years. Mom called it Welsh rabbit
    all these basics ar in the Fanny Farmer cookbooks. (mine is a 1939 edition)

  12. I don’t have any milk, except almond and buttermilk (for hush puppies), but I can’t have milk unless it’s raw. Could I use almond and it be okay?

  13. Hi, I went to the States 23 years ago with my husband and fell in love with the maccaroni cheese dinner. When we came back to Germany I tried and tried until I “invented
    ” it myself with just about the obove ingridients :)

  14. Paulette says:

    This is how I make cheese sauce. You can use different cheeses depending on what you are using it with. best ever

  15. Kathy Williams says:

    Love it !!! I drained and added a can of ro-tel. Thanks for the recipe. mmmmmm