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Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe

Cheddar cheese sauce is an indispensable and versatile go-to item in your repertoire, whether destined for fries, nachos, broccoli, burgers, chili, baked potatoes, macaroni…get the picture?

Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe

This Cheddar cheese sauce creates a spectacularly cheese sauce so stupendously rich and gooey and versatile you’ll want to slather it onto everything by the ladleful. And when we say everything, we mean everything, including the ridiculously indulgent Uncle D’s Chili and Cheddar Burger. Or just plain old Uncle D’s Chili. Or a baked potato. Or a roasted sweet potato. Or fries. Or broccoli. Or macaroni. Or nachos. Or, well, use your imagination. Any which way, this recipe is a keeper. As the author says, “Warm, oozing cheese is never a bad idea.” Amen to that. This recipe has been updated. Originally published June 17, 2010.Spike Mendelsohn

Cheddar Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes just shy of 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or store-bought or homemade hot sauce, to taste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. Pour the milk in a large saucepan, place it over medium heat, and let it warm until you see small bubbles forming along the edge of the pan.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the bubbling butter, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes. (In classic French cuisine, a mixture of flour and fat such as this is known as a roux. It may become quite thick but this is okay. If it doesn’t become quite thick, this is okay, too, since this mixture tends to behave a little differently in every kitchen.)
  • 3. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the warm milk into the flour and butter mixture in a steady stream. Continue cooking and whisking almost constantly until the mixture thickens considerably, about 5 minutes. It should be thick but still spreadable and perhaps even pourable. Add the cheese, whisking constantly until it has melted. Season with the cayenne or hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re the fussy sort, you can strain the sauce through a sieve to remove any lumps before serving. The sauce will thicken even more upon cooling.
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