Why You Should Learn How to Make Cheese Sauce

Simple Cheese Sauce (Vegetarian)

Regular readers will have noted my fixation with cheeze, notably my 4 minute cheeze sauce. It’s a great, highly versatile plant-based cheeze sauce. And now, I’m showing you how to make cheese sauce! Yes, cheese, with an “s” as in yes, it’s dairy.

Why, Sylvia, why???

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Simple Cheese Sauce (Vegetarian)
Simple Cheese Sauce (Vegetarian)

Eating Together Made Easy

Folks, “eating together made easy” – that’s my mandate and my promise to you!

I want to save you hassle and prep time by providing recipes with easy options for vegans, vegetarians, reducetarians, and omnivores.

One simple way to make it easy to eat together is to start with a plant-based recipe, use it a main for vegans, top it with something cheesy for vegetarians, and combine it with meat or offer it up as a side for omnivores.

For that formula, this cheese sauce is our perfect “something cheesy” for the dairy-lovers.

Do I need to tell you that cheese sauce is delicious over steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, and baked potatoes? I bet I don’t. Other natural pairings are mushrooms, peas, spinach, and tomatoes.

For groups with mixed diets, you can easily cook up some of your favourite veggies, top them with cheese sauce for the vegetarians and omnivores and make 4 minute cheeze sauce for the vegans.

Or if you want to get a little fancier (but not much more time-consuming!) try my Zucchini and Green Pea Fritters. These are 100% plant-based, so they are perfect for the vegans in the group. Vegetarians and reducetarians can enjoy them with a nice drizzle of cheese sauce!

Zucchini and Green Pea Fritters with Cheese Sauce
Zucchini and Green Pea Fritters with Cheese Sauce

This would also be a great cheese sauce to pour over nachos, or to make macaroni and cheese.

How To Make Cheese Sauce: 2 Key Points!

I realized the other day that lots of people don’t know how to make cheese sauce, and how easy it actually is.

The key thing to know about making cheese sauce is that the flavour is highly dependant on the cheese you are starting with. The flavour of whatever cheese you use is going to mellow when cooked. So for example, if you want a really cheddar-forward flavour, you have to use a strong cheddar cheese. You can easily vary the flavour by using different kinds of hard cheese. Think about what you are going to eat it with and go from there.

The second key thing to pay attention to is the temperature when you add the cheese. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the grated cheese. Keep the temperature just high enough so that the cheese melts.

I Didn’t Invent this Cheese Sauce

I can’t claim to have invented this recipe! I honestly don’t know where I first learned how to make cheese sauce. Probably from a print cookbook in the pre-Internet era! I’m betting cheese sauce recipes have been around almost since there’s been cheese, which is apparently 7000 years and counting!

Simple Cheese Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Easy homemade cheese sauce, made with your choice of hard cheese. Delicious over veggies!

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Diet: omnivore, reducetarian, vegetarian
Servings: 8 1/4 cup servings
Calories: 225 kcal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cheese, grated {any hard or semi-hard cheese, such as Cheddar, Montery Jack, Edam, Gouda}
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. 

  2. Whisk in the flour, making a paste. Let the flour/butter cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir in the milk. Turn up the heat to medium and cook stirring until the sauce is thickened.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and add in the cheese, stirring to combine. 

Recipe Notes
Cooking Tips
  • The main problem that can occur is a bit of curdling. You can usually fix this with steady whisking. 
  • If it's too runny, add more cheese. If it's too thick, add more milk.
  • The flavour of the sauce is highly dependant on the flavour of your cheese. Use cheese you love and you will have cheese sauce you love! Keep in mind that cooking will reduce the strength of the cheese. So for example, if you want a strong cheddar flavour, use the strongest/oldest cheddar you can find. 
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition information is an estimate, based on cheddar cheese.


Nutrition Facts
Simple Cheese Sauce
Amount Per Serving (0.25 cups)
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 259mg 11%
Potassium 240mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Sugars 6g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 10.4%
Vitamin C 1.7%
Calcium 35%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Simple Cheese Sauce (Vegetarian)

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I’m working on usability updates and this post is my first one with the printable recipe card option. I’d love to hear what you think!

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