An easy Homemade Cheese Sauce for appetizers, cooked vegetables, pasta, and baked potatoes. It’s ready in 5 minutes with just 3 ingredients.

A bowl of cheese sauce with tortilla chips on a platter.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Homemade Cheese Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for homemade cheese sauce.

Ingredient notes

  • Shredded cheese: It’s okay to use pre-shredded cheese here. Although they are tossed with agents to prevent the cheese from sticking together, it will still melt and thicken up fine.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine cheddar cheese and cornstarch. Toss until cheese is evenly coated.
Shredded cheese tossed with corn starch in a sauce pan.
  1. Stir in evaporated milk and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until cheese is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm until serving time. Or, transfer to a slow cooker on the “warm” setting for serving.
Cheese sauce in a sauce pan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Slow cooker: Make the recipe as directed below, on the stove, and then transfer it to your favorite slow cooker (I used one of the “mini sizes” and there is room for a double batch of this cheese sauce recipe). I’ve left it on the “warm” setting for a few hours and all it ever needs is a little stir. It works really well!
  • Spicy: You can stir in a can 4-ounce of diced green chiles, drained, for some extra flavor and heat. You can do that on the stove or in a slow cooker. If you add them to the slow cooker, just be sure the cheese sauce is back to “hot” before serving (the chiles might cool it down temporarily).
Drizzling cheese sauce over broccoli.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you’ve ever had!

1 hour 40 minutes
View Recipe

Drizzle cheese on these

Tortilla chips next to homemade cheese sauce.

Homemade Cheese Sauce

An easy Homemade Cheese Sauce for appetizers, cooked vegetables, pasta, and baked potatoes. It's ready in 5 minutes with just 3 ingredients.
5 from 24 votes
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 8 (¼ cup) servings
Course Appetizer, Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 118

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, combine cheddar cheese and cornstarch. Toss until cheese is evenly coated.
  • Stir in evaporated milk and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until cheese is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm until serving time. Or, transfer to a slow cooker on the "warm" setting for serving.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Shredded cheese: It’s okay to use pre-shredded cheese here. Although they are tossed with agents to prevent the cheese from sticking together, it will still melt and thicken up fine. 
  • Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Slow cooker: Make the recipe as directed below, on the stove, and then transfer it to your favorite slow cooker (I used one of the “mini sizes” and there is room for a double batch of this cheese sauce recipe). I’ve left it on the “warm” setting for a few hours and all it ever needs is a little stir. It works really well!
  • Spicy: You can stir in a can 4-ounce of diced green chiles, drained, for some extra flavor and heat. You can do that on the stove or in a slow cooker. If you add them to the slow cooker, just be sure the cheese sauce is back to “hot” before serving (the chiles might cool it down temporarily).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupsCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 176mgPotassium: 28mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 283IUCalcium: 204mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. I think I may have used too much corn starch. I’ve seen this recipe sans corn starch, and I may try it that way next time. It’s still good–a a Dijon or dry mustard might be a good add-in, but delish!5 stars

  2. I don’t comment on blogs. I have to say after many failed cheese sauce recipes this is PERFECT. I’ve tried so many different things and this gets it just right and it’s so easy which is the best part. It has opened the door to try so many new things and cheeses. I have even begun grating my own cheeses to use with this recipe. Highly recommend!!!!5 stars

  3. The flavor and instructions are amazing! I found that the original size of the pretzels was fairly large so I cut each piece of dough in half. I literally couldn’t stop eating them!5 stars

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