Best Cheese Sauce for Veggies or Pasta

Learn how to make a delicious and simple cheese sauce that is perfect for homemade macaroni and cheese or to drizzle over vegetables.

Learn how to make a delicious and simple cheese sauce that is perfect for homemade macaroni and cheese or to drizzle over vegetables.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a recipe for béchamel sauce (with a fairly elaborate How-To and troubleshhooting). Béchamel is a basic white sauce made from whisking melted butter and flour together into a paste and then using that paste to thicken milk. It’s used in all kinds of other recipes, such as lasagna (like this one!) and soufflés.

Béchamel is a basic sauce so it’s easy to flavor it up in different ways. One of my favorite things to add is cheese. In fact, homemade macaroni and cheese is made with a cheese-doused béchamel.

Cheesy béchamel is also an amazing dip or drizzle for vegetables, especially broccoli.

That’s what I have for you today, an easy, basic but delicious cheese sauce that you can use on pasta or vegetables. It’s so good you can even just dip bread or crackers in it. Go for it!

Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Dijion mustard (optional)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk together to form a paste. Cook for 2 minutes while whisking continuously.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Repeat until you've added 1 cup of milk. Add remaining milk and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Let boil one minute and take off the heat.
  3. Add cheese, salt, and Dijon and cayenne pepper, if using. Stir until cheese is melted.