Cheddar Cheese Sauce

I miss yellow cheese!! Seriously, every single cheese here is white. White, white, white. It looks like I'm eating a bowl of glue. Come on people! Would it kill you to have yellow cheddar cheese?!

Anyway, this cheese sauce is completely customizable. It can be left mild with no additional seasonings, but I think adding a little of something, like hot sauce, really adds to the flavor without making it too spicy. Hot sauce, cayenne, diced jalapenos are all options. You could even stir in salsa or chili. And, I love that there is no processed cheese involved! Not that I could find it here anyway...It's quick to whip up for those late night nacho cravings. Or, am I the only one who has those?! It's also great for dunking pretzel bites!

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

3 cups


  • 2 cups (480 mL) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (32 g) flour
  • 2 cups (230 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 mL) hot sauce, optional
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional


Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove top until warm but not scalding hot.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle over the flour, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the warm milk to the butter/flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and whisking (very important!) until the mixture is thickened, around 5 minutes.

Add the cheese and continue whisking until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and any additional seasonings such as hot sauce or cayenne. Taste and adjust as needed.

The sauce will thicken upon cooling. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat before serving.


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