Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Cheddar cheese sauce is an easy, creamy, indispensable, and versatile homemade go-to in your recipe repertoire, whether destined for burgers, tater tots, broccoli, chili, nachos, cauliflower, baked potatoes…get the picture? Here’s how to make it.

A ladle pouring cheddar cheese sauce over a chili topped burger.

This Cheddar cheese sauce creates a spectacular 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 a classic Uncle D’s Chili. Or a baked potato. Or a roasted sweet potato. Or fries. Or broccoli. Or macaroni. Or nachos. Or cauliflower. Or tater tots. 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.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 8 (1/4-cup) servings (about 2 cups total)
4.9/5 - 9 reviews
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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.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Sprinkle the flour over the bubbling butter and stir constantly until a thick paste, or roux, forms. It may become quite thick and almost paste-like. This is okay. And if it doesn’t become crazy thick, that’s okay, too. Expect this to take 1 to 2 minutes.

Constantly whisking, 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 and whisk constantly until it completely melts. 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. Originally published June 17, 2010.

Print RecipeBuy the The Good Stuff Cookbook cookbook

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  1. Good for thought this is fantastic for making macaroni and cheese !!! 😃 But don’t limit your imagination. Some fresh chives and a lil crushed garlic with a touch of smoked paprika will help cut through the richness of the Mac and cheese (be mindful you won’t need to add salt as the saltiness of the bacon and cheese will be enough). And if it seems too salty add a splash of fresh lemon juice! The acidity will tone down the saltiness and actually enhance the other flavours! Be creative and happy cooking 😎

  2. 5 stars
    A rule of thumb I have learned from cheffing is that if you use fresh milk and make sure you keep it in the fridge (temp of the fridge should be below 5degrees Celcius) it should last 5 – 7days! (That’s if you can resist putting it on everything 😂)

    1. Thanks, Jay. Don’t think I’d be able to resist the temptation for that long!

  3. How long will this stay good for? I do meal prep & this would rock my food world if it holds for the whole week.

    1. Liz, we didn’t test how long it holds. A few days, sure. But we don’t know if it would last a week without having to massage the recipe to keep it smooth.

  4. It should be noted if you buy the cookbook, there is an error in the measurements (Kindle version). The above is correct, the flour and fat (butter) should be equal amounts when making a roux but in the cookbook, the measurements are 1/4 cup of butter and 1 cup of flour (the recipe above is half portion of the cookbook recipe). That should be a 1/4 cup of flour if the butter is 1/4 cup. Just an FYI for those that buy the book as I did…that would make one floury tasting roux! Yuk ;)

    1. Toby, thank you for this. Yes, we did correct the measurements in the above recipe to what worked for us, as we had a not-so-nice experience when first trying the recipe but did see the potential. Thanks for alerting folks!

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