Easy Cheese Sauce for Pasta or Vegetables

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 8 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup (4 servings)

This old fashioned cheese sauce is a simple preparation, and it is an excellent sauce for broccoli or asparagus. Or use it with pasta, rice, or cauliflower. The recipe makes about 1 cup and can be doubled. Add flour to the sauce to thicken it more (see the variations below the recipe).

What You'll Need

  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk (or light cream) (1 cup for thickened sauce - see variations, below)
  • 1 cup diced process American cheese
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Dash pepper
  • Optional: dash paprika

How to Make It

  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cream and mustard. Heat over medium heat until steaming hot; do not boil.
  2. Stir in cheese, heating and stirring until cheese starts to melt.
  3. Remove from heat; stir until all cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  4. Add pepper and paprika, to taste.
  5. The sauce is not as thick as a roux-thickened sauce, but it makes a good topping for vegetables. It will thicken more as it cools slightly. See below for thicker sauce.


    Thick Cheese Sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour; stir to blend and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of milk or light cream and dry mustard. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in the cheese and heat until melted.

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