The Best Cheese Sauce

Say Cheese! I love cheese! I love anything with cheese (nachos being my all time favorite snack)! This cheese sauce can be used for so many things! I love it as a nacho sauce, use it to dip wraps and rollups in, use it for a sauce in burritos or enchiladas or on a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich! You will find so many uses for this cheese sauce and you will be so happy I shared it with you!

Homemade cheese sauce on tortilla chips to make nachos

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce

This cheese sauce is easy and fast to make. You will need some cream cheese, cheddar cheese (sharp, medium or mild-it is up to you), some milk, seasonings and cornstarch for thickening.

This cheese sauce has amazing flavor. The ingredients give it a smooth cheesy flavor that taste real! No fake cheese taste here!

Cheese sauce dripping off of a spoon

Making the Cheese Sauce

You will start by mixing all of your spices and cornstarch together, then whisking it into your cold milk.

In a saucepan, on medium heat, start melting your cream cheese.

Cream cheese melted in a saucepan to make cheese sauce

When the cream cheese starts to soften and melt, pour in your milk with the seasonings. Whisk until it’s thickened and smooth.

Add your shredded cheddar cheese.

Whisk until smooth and completely melted. Adjust the cheese and seasonings to your liking. If the sauce is too thick, add some milk (1 tbsp. at a time) until it is to your liking. If you want it thicker make a cornstarch slurry.

Cheese sauce dripping off of a spoon

Why Cornstarch and What is a cornstarch slurry?

This recipe has cornstarch that is added in with the milk and seasonings to thicken the sauce. If cornstarch is whisked into cold liquids it can thicken sauces (gravies and soups too). The trick with cornstarch is it has to be mixed in with cold liquids and then heated or it will create lumps. You cannot add cornstarch to a hot sauce, gravy or liquids or it will be lumpy.

To avoid the lumps that is why the cornstarch is added to the cold milk and seasonings then heated in this recipe.

If you need to thicken an already warmed/heated sauce or gravy (this includes soups as well) then you make a cornstarch slurry.

To make a cornstarch slurry you take equal parts of cornstarch and cold water and mix it together. Remember always use cold water or it will be lumpy. You don’t need massive amounts of each. Just a tablespoon or two of each is all it takes.

Just mix the cold water and cornstarch together then add it to the hot/boiling sauce, gravy or soup and whisk it in. The sauce (or gravy or soup) has to be pretty hot and simmering/boiling to thicken. Add a little at a time, whisking as you add it, until your desired thickness is reached. You can keep making and adding cornstarch slurry as much as is needed.

To thicken this easy cheese sauce: Just take equal parts of cold water and cornstarch and mix it together and slowly add it to the cheese sauce a little at a time over medium heat. Keep adding it until it’s as thick as you like! I would start by adding a tbsp of each and go from there!

Remove from the heat and enjoy.

Cheese sauce dripping off a spoon to show how thick it is

What to eat with the Cheese Sauce

This sauce is versatile and amazing.

Cheese sauce in a dish with tortilla chips around it


I love this cheese sauce on Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, in tacos and of course nachos! You can also add this sauce to veggies. Think of steamed broccoli or cauliflower with this sauce-yum! This sauce is also yummy on baked potatoes!

Cheese sauce on tortilla chips to make nachos

I always double this sauce because I love it that much! This cheese sauce can be stored in your fridge for up to a week. It can be reheated in the microwave or stovetop. You can add a little milk if the sauce is too thick when reheating.

Try my Chilis Copycat Queso or my Fresh Queso made with real cheese and fresh ingredients!

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The Best Cheese Sauce

This Cheese Sauce is smooth and creamy and oh so cheesy! It can be used for so many things from nachos, and dips, to fillings in burritos and sandwiches.
This sauce makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese dip, dip, easy dip, nachos
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Author Beth, The Butcher’s Wife

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded any type of cheddar cheese works great
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • pinch of chili powder more if you want it spicier

Instructions

  • Mix your seasonings and cornstarch together then mix them into your cold milk.
  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the cream cheese. 
  • Once the cream cheese starts to melt, whisk in the milk and seasonings.  The sauce should start to thicken.  Keep whisking until it is smooth and thick.  
  • Add in your shredded cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  • Adjust the cheese and seasonings to your liking as needed. If the sauce is too thick you can add in 1 tbsp. of milk at a time until it is to the consistency you like.
  • Serve immediately. The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools!
  • This sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.  Reheat it in the microwave and add some milk if it is too thick.  

Notes

If the sauce is too thick, add some milk (1 tbsp. at a time) until it is to your liking. If you want it thicker make a cornstarch slurry. Just take equal parts of cold water and cornstarch and mix it together and slowly add it to the cheese sauce a little at a time over medium heat. Keep adding it until it’s as thick as you like! I would start by adding a tbsp of each and go from there!

2 Comments

  1. This was a tasty cheese sauce. Yet, it barely needs any salt because the cream cheese and cheddar cheese already contributes a level of salt. Because the first time it was too salty, I only added a pinch of salt the second time I made it. Otherwise, a nice recipe. Thanks!

    • Beth, The Butcher's Wife

      Hi Sabirah! Thank you for trying the recipe and the feedback! I love things more on the salty side so I am glad you made it twice and got the amount of salt you like! Thank you so much again for the feedback and trying the recipe!❤️

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