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Homemade cheese sauce being spooned over steamed broccoli.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

This fast and easy cheese sauce recipe works as a delicious cheese sauce for steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, pasta, or even chicken. Best of all, NO VELVEETA!

Yield: 1 1/2 - 2 cups 1x
Prep: 3 minutesCook: 7 minutesTotal: 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour (Recommended: white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of ground pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (sub: Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Mozzarella)

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Make It Now:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, until the mixture darkens a little, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Turn up heat to medium-high. Pour in the milk and continue whisking to break up any lumps. When the milk thickens to the consistency of thin gravy (approximately 3-5 minutes), turn off the heat and remove from the burner.
  3. Stir in the cream cheese until fairly smooth. Then stir in the shredded cheddar, a little at a time, until well incorporated. Lastly, stir in the salt and pepper. If it’s still too thick, add more milk. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve warm over steamed broccoli, pasta, baked potatoes, chicken, or whatever you want! Store cooled leftovers in the fridge or freezer for later (see tips below).

Freeze For Later: Freeze leftovers in an air-tight freezer container for up to 3 months.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on the microwave. Warm up in the microwave or over low heat in a pan on the stove, stirring occasionally. Add more milk to thin it out when rewarming, if needed.


Gluten-Free Version: You can use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat flour to make this gluten-free.

Can You Make This Dairy-Free? I haven’t tested this as a completely dairy-free sauce. I do know that plain almond milk will work in place of the dairy milk and plain cashew cream cheese (like KiteHill) would work in place of the cream cheese. But I don’t think the dairy-free shredded “cheese” would work well in place of the normal shredded cheese. However, if you have success with a dairy-free version, please let me know in the comments below!

To Make This Into Alfredo Sauce: I often tweak this to use as an Alfredo sauce by stirring in 1 teaspoon of minced garlic during Step 1 (while making the roux). Then, I use grated Parmesan cheese in place of the shredded cheddar cheese. It’s delicious!

Cream Cheese: I use full-fat plain cream cheese. Low fat will work, but it just may not be as smooth of a sauce.

Cheese Substitution: I like shredded cheddar cheese, but you can use another shredded cheese to mix things up, like Colby jack, pepper jack (for a spicy twist!), mozzarella, or Monterey jack.

If freezing, thaw in the fridge or using the defrost setting in the microwave, and then rewarm in the microwave or over low heat in a pan on the stovetop. You might have to stir in a little milk to thin it back out when you warm it up.

© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: American Method: Stove top