Easy Cheese Sauce – 4 ingredients! Creamy homemade cheese sauce in minutes for the ultimate nachos, cheese fries or topping vegetables and baked potatoes.

black plate with tortilla chips and easy cheese sauce spooned over the top.

I’ve been making this easy cheese sauce recipe for decades and it’s the creamiest. best tasting you’ll find anywhere. Pinky swear

Bonus: you only need 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to whip it up.

You’ll find yourself drizzling it over everything from steamed broccoli and other vegetables, baked potatoes, french fries and of course, all you need for the perfect nachos.

tortilla chips with easy cheese sauce drizzling over the top

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

  • It requires just 4 simple ingredients!
  • A good cheese cheese sauce is incredibly versatile – from topping your favorite veggies and baked potatoes to making the best Mac and Cheese.
  • It’s also a great cheese sauce for fries!
  • It tastes way better than any you’ll buy pre-made in the store.
  • It uses real cheddar cheese – not processed cheeses.
  • You can also make cheese sauce without flour! Check out my easy recipe for Flourless Gluten Free Cheese Sauce

TIPS for the best cheese sauce:

  • Grate your own cheese. Pre-packaged cheese contains additives that don’t allow it to melt the way freshly grated cheese does.
  • I repeat – do not use pre-shredded cheese. Enough said.
  • Gather all the ingredients ahead of time (including grating the cheese) because this recipe comes together quickly.

What kind of cheese IS BEST?

Use any good melty cheese – sharp cheddar (or extra sharp) is my favorite. Below are a few other ideas:

  • Sharp Cheddar is best for vegetables, a dip pretzel bites, or cheese fries.
  • Gouda is great for ‘adult’ macaroni and cheese.
  • Pepper Jack work for nachos along with this 5 minute Blender Salsa.
  • Use Swiss Cheese and Monterey Jack for any dishes that use ham for a classic combination

what’s in this easy cheese sauce?

  1. butter
  2. all purpose flour
  3. whole milk OR half and half
  4. block of sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated

You’re also going to need a pinch of salt.

how to make cheese sauce:

How to make a roux for cheese sauce:

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium low to medium heat, then sprinkle flour over the top.

Whisk until smooth then continue simmering 1 minute.

Pour in the milk and season with salt then continue whisking constantly until the milk and flour mixture are combined.

Add the cheese stirring well to combine. Give it a few vigorous stirs after the cheese melts to give it an extra creamy consistency.

Taste and adjust salt as you like then eat right away.

WHAT TO DO WITH THis EASY CHEESE SAUCE:

Roasted Broccoli topped with easy cheese sauce on black plate

That may be my favorite part! 

  • Blend with elbow macaroni for an easy, incredibly delicious homemade macaroni and cheese.
  • Use this cheesy sauce for dipping tortilla chips like the ones at sporting events and ​movie theaters.
  • Drizzle over french fries (or even tater tots) for the best cheese fries!
  • Serve with homemade soft pretzels or pretzel bites for dipping.
  • It makes the perfect dipping sauce for any vegetables you’re trying to get kids to eat!

SUBS AND VARIATIONS:

clear bowl with easy cheese sauce garnished with pickled jalapenos

  • Next time you make this delicious recipe add green chiles, a pinch of cayenne pepper and some minced pickled jalapenos for a creamy nacho cheese sauce.
  • For a white sauce use white cheddar.
  • Add a splash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  • An equal amount of corn starch can be used instead of flour.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS:

Let it cool to room temp then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.

Reheat in the microwave or stovetop adding a small splash of milk if needed.

Enjoy!

pinterest pin showing easy cheese sauce

Let’s cook together!

Tried this easy recipe? Leave a comment, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating and TAG ME on social media! @agoudalife or #agoudalife

black plate with tortilla chips and easy cheese sauce spooned over the top.

Easy Cheese Sauce

4 Ingredient Easy Cheese Sauce. Creamy homemade cheese sauce in minutes for topping veggies, baked potatoes or nachos + cheese fries.
4.29 from 53 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories

Equipment

  • box grater to grate cheese

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half can use whole milk
  • 8 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Grate the cheese then set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter then sprinkle the flour over the top.
  • Whisk until smooth then continue simmering 1 minute. Pour in the milk and season with salt then continue whisking constantly until the milk and flour mixture are combined.
  • Add the cheese stirring well to combine. Give it a few vigorous stirs after the cheese is melted in. This will give it an extra creamy consistency.
  • Taste and adjust salt as needed then eat right away.
Keyword cheese sauce, nacho cheese sauce, cheese sauce for fries
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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19 Comments

    1. Perfect. I used lots of Gouda and added cheese spread. Places on stovetop until gouda melted. Very good on schnitzel.

      1. Thank you! — and Yum! I love your variation – can’t go wrong with extra cheese right?! Great idea adding to schnitzel. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Enjoy the day – Bernie

      1. HI Renee – thank you so much for your kind words – I appreciate! I’m really glad you and your husband both enjoyed the cheese sauce. Thanks for taking the time to comment — Bernie

  1. Made the cheese cause tonight to go over some cauliflower and loved it!! Really rich and added a ton of flavor. Made me actually enjoy eating veggies 🙂 I’ll try this over nachos in the future. AND as an added bonus – I was very worried about the cheese sticking to the pot and having a hard time washing and it came out so easily which always makes the end of a meal even better – love an easy clean up!

    1. Thank you so much Lauren! A good cheese sauce makes almost everything better! Definitely a great addition to nachos – or pretty much anything else 🙂

  2. Loved this! I wanted to do something fun for my boyfriend, so I made some cheese sauce to go with my second attempt at air fryer fries. Both went great!

    Mine was a little thick and I had forgotten your advice to add some milk, but neither of us minded because it’s cheese! My boyfriend completely cleaned the bowl! The only change I made was adding a couple splashes of Frank’s Red Hot at the end for a little kick.

    1. Hi Sarah – I’m so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed the recipe so much! What a fun date night idea. Yum – love the addition of Frank’s for a little kick – sounds delicious! Thanks for taking the time to comment ~ Bernie

  3. Thank you so much Lauren! A good cheese sauce makes almost everything better! Definitely a great addition to nachos – or pretty much anything else . And update for article.

    1. Thank YOU!! Now I have new ways to enjoy the cheese sauce – never tried it on burgers OR sweet potato fries – sounds delicious – will be trying ASAP! – Bernie

  4. Hi there – the recipe is indeed there. You have 2 options: hit the Jump to Recipe button at the top of the post that will immediately take you to the printable recipe card – OR – scroll down to the bottom for the same printable recipe card that contains all of the ingredients, amounts and detailed instructions. Please feel free to adjust your recipe rating to reflect this. Have a nice day. — Bernie

  5. Great base! You can use your favorite melting cheese. I saw one comment that someone used preshredded cheese and I cringed-don’t do it chefs! It won’t melt as well with that coating, I love to see people making this sauce instead of that box fake cheese-so many ingredients that aren’t healthy. I also like to add a bit of Tabasco-not enough that anyone would know it was in there but just enough for bit of flavor! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Susie – thanks so much – so glad you enjoyed the recipe but I really love your tips and (thank you!) reminder NOT to use preshredded cheese!! I’ll have to try the dash of Tabasco next time I make it. I appreciate taking the time to comment – enjoy the day — Bernie

  6. Used this recipe for a small batch of Mac and cheese! I used 3 oz of Gouda and about 1.5 oz of medium cheddar and it was delish! My kids enjoyed it, thank you!!

    1. Hi Aaliyah – thank you! I’m happy you (and your kids!!) enjoyed the recipe. That’s a great cheese flavor combo. Thanks for taking the time to comment — Bernie