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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.
Course Appetizer, Pantry
Cuisine American
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 (1/4 cup) servings
Calories 118kcal


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


  • 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 1/4 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.



  • 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).


Serving: 0.25cups | Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 28mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 1mg