Easy Cheese Sauce for Pasta or Vegetables

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Photo: Diana Rattray
  • Total: 8 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 3 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
159 Calories
16g Fat
2g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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).


  • 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

Steps 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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