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Our easy cheese sauce makes everything taste better! From french fries to pasta, this cheesy sauce will elevate every dish it is added to.
We created this EASY step-by-step guide to help you make the PERFECT homemade cheese sauce and use it as a base for so many dishes. The cheesy possibilities are endless.
Ingredients for Easy Cheesy Sauce
- Grated Cheddar or Gruyere Cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Cheese Sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp. butter. Add 3 Tbsp. flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. This creates the roux.
- Gradually add 2 cups of milk and stir. The flour mixture will dissolve completely and the sauce will thicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp. nutmeg.
- Remove from the heat and add 3.5 oz. grated cheddar or Gruyere. Return the saucepan to the stove, turn the heat to low, and stir constantly until the cheese melts.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce looks too thick, you can add up to another cup of milk.
What is a roux?
Roux is the base you’ll use when making a cheese sauce.
It’s a mix of flour and fat cooked together to form a thick paste. Traditionally, roux is used to thicken both soups and sauces.
It ranges in color from white to brown, depending on how much time it spends cooking on the stove. The longer your roux cooks also changes its flavor and aroma.
You would normally use a light-color roux, but you can also cook it to almost brown if you prefer your sauce a bit richer.
How long does cheese sauce keep?
You can keep it refrigerated for up to a week. It will thicken in the fridge so you might need to add some milk when reheating it.
Can you freeze cheese sauce?
Yes, it freezes well because it contains a good amount of fat.
You can freeze it in a small container or in plastic bags, then let it thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to use it again. You can also thaw in the microwave.
How do you reheat cheese sauce?
The easiest way to reheat this sauce is in the microwave, on high. Stir every few 30 seconds to make it smooth.
You can also reheat the sauce on the stove at low temperatures. Add some milk to thin down the consistency if it is too thick. Stir continuously until the texture is smooth and creamy.
Cheese Sauce Recipes
It is amazing how many dishes are complemented by homemade cheese sauce! You can simply mix it with cooked pasta, or you can make macaroni and cheese with it.
Once you learn how to make this cheesy sauce, you are all set to make so many dishes. Use this as the base and have fun, the possibilities are endless.
Macaroni and Cheese
This cheesy sauce would be so good served alongside our Pulled Pork Nachos or Ultimate Steak Nachos.
What could be better than cheese fries? Whether air-fried french fries, oven-roasted fries, or foil-pack potatoes, cheese is the perfect complement.
Our homemade pretzels just got better thanks to this recipe! Dip and Enjoy!
Cheese Sauce for Pasta
Truly a match made in heaven. We can’t think of anything that tastes better together!
This sauce elevates any vegetable dish. You can pour it over roasted vegetables or use the cheese sauce for cauliflower dishes.
Who doesn’t love a good cheesy potato for the holidays or really any time of year? Our favorite potato bakes are made two ways, gluten-free au gratin potatoes or traditional scalloped potatoes.
This delicious sauce can also be used in lasagna, combined with tomato sauce or meat sauce. Or, serve it with Grilled Beef Tenderloin.
There are many possible variations you can make.
- Add different spices like ground cloves, allspice, cayenne pepper or even hot sauce
- Cook some onion or bacon in the butter, before adding the flour for the roux
- Use different kinds of cheese, like our creamy parmesan sauce. The possibilities are truly endless!
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite use for homemade cheese sauce is!
How to Make Cheese Sauce
- 3 Tbsps. butter
- 3 Tbsps. flour
- 2-3 cups milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar or gruyere cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually add milk and stir. The flour mixture will dissolve completely and the sauce will start to thicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and add the cheese. Return the saucepan to the stove, lower the heat to the minimum and stir constantly, until the cheese melts. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce looks too thick, you can add some more milk.
- Reheating: Keep cheese sauce in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat on low in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat with some additional milk.
Photo credit: Daniela Lambova
Let us know what you think or ask a question about the recipe!