This velvety cheese sauce tastes so good, and it’s really quick to whip up. It can take a vegetable dish from boring to amazing in just a few minutes. And if you’re a good cheese-drizzler, your previously boring vegetables can even look elegant. When I went off to college, my mom made sure this essential sauce recipe went with me.
If you tell me my cheese sauce looks like “Easy Cheese,” you will suffer the wrath of a thousand scornful looks. I do not allow fake cheese into my house. I’ve made one recipe ever that called for Cheez Whiz, and I seriously could not buy the stuff. I made Cheez Whiz from scratch, y’all. “Processed cheese food” makes me cringe. (Seriously – go look at the Wikipedia page. It’s like reading about a frightening science experiment gone wrong.)
On that appetizing note, let’s move on to this yummy, real cheese sauce that actually is not remotely similar to processed cheese food! This versatile sauce recipe can also be transformed into a basic white sauce or even broccoli cheese soup.
It really could not be simpler. Unless you actually entertained the thought of comparing it with Cheez Whiz, in which case you would just open a jar. And be sorely disappointed.
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I love extra-sharp cheddar)
- Optional: A sprinkle of nutmeg or cayenne
You can use whatever cheese you want, and you can grate it yourself or buy it pre-shredded. It’s very versatile! This recipe is like a blank slate for whatever kind of cheese you want to use.
Watch it carefully, because milk can go from nothing to BOILINGOVERBIGMESS in 0.3 seconds.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir the flour quickly into the melted butter. It helps to use a whisk or fork.
- Add the milk all at once and stir until thickened.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted.
It’s best when served immediately, though it does keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
White sauce: This sauce is elegant and tasty over anything from vegetables to eggs and toast. It’s the same recipe, simply leave out the shredded cheese.
Broccoli cheese soup: Add more milk and some chopped broccoli. Maybe toss in some black pepper and some parsley just for kicks. Done!