- Dish type
- Side dish
- Cheese sauce
This is a top notch cheese sauce, like no other you've had. Just a bit of booze ensures that this cheese sauce is bursting with flavour.
11 people made this
- 300ml boiling water
- 4 teaspoons gravy granules
- 300ml Frosty Jack's Cider
- 1 shot pomegranate absinthe
- 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 100g Cheddar cheese, grated
- 10g plain flour
- 40ml milk
- 1 knob butter
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min
- Dissolve the gravy granules in the boiling water. Set aside.
- Add cider, absinthe and malt vinegar to a small pan. Simmer over medium heat and reduce the mixture down to 30ml, then add the prepared gravy and leave to simmer.
- Coat the cheese in the flour, then add the cheese to the gravy mixture in the pan, ensuring it is not boiling. Stir gently until the the cheese is melted, then stop immediately.
- Add the milk, butter and freshly ground black pepper, and stir gently. Simmer without boiling for one minute to keep warm, then serve.
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Easy Homemade Cheese Sauce
This fabulous creamy homemade cheese sauce is one of the quickest, easiest sauces to make. It’s perfect for dipping broccoli and other veggies or drizzling over baked potatoes, nachos, or french fries.
You’ll be so glad to have this little recipe in your back pocket because it’s so useful and versatile.
Need a quick lunch? Steam some broccoli in the microwave and top with cheese sauce. Nachos for dinner? Cheese sauce. Baked potato feeling a little sad? CHEESE SAUCE IT.
If you have a couple of minutes and some cheddar cheese, you could probably make this sauce right this second.
Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce
Cheese sauce lovers are going to fall head over heels with this pepper jack cheese sauce! Made with yellow onion, garlic, heavy cream, our own roux, Cabot Sharp Cheddar and Cabot Pepper Jack, this cheese sauce promises rich, bold flavor that will having you coming back for more. Whether you use it as a nacho cheese dip or to serve over sautéed veggies, you won’t need to search for sauce recipes using pepper jack cheese any longer once you’ve tried this one! Be sure to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter with your friends and family.
One-quarter yellow onion, chopped
2 whole garlic cloves
2½ cups heavy cream
½ cup roux *(see recipe below)
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cabot Pepper Jack, grated (about 1 cup)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Interested in creating this tasty recipe?
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
STIR onions and whole garlic cloves in medium saucepan over medium heat, until fragrant.
ADD cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer and whisk in roux. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.
REMOVE from heat and stir in cheddar and pepper jack cheeses stir until melted. Pour sauce through strainer, discarding onions and garlic loves. Season with salt and pepper.
*Roux makes ½ cup or 16 servings
1 cup clarified butter
1¾ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
HEAT clarified butter over medium heat in sauté pan whisk in flour. Let mixture bubble gently until light blonde in color. Let cool.
Recipe courtesy of Cabot Creamery Cooperative. Photo courtesy of Katie Webster.
The Best, Easiest Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipes
Gatherings for the Super Bowl will look a little bit different this year, but one thing will remain: nachos.
Some people like their nachos sprinkled with straight-up cheese that’s melted in the oven, while others prefer a sauce -- either a traditional homemade queso fundido or one from a jar. But what’s the easiest option to make at home? Aside from jarred cheese sauce, here are some answers from cheese experts.
The easiest ways to make homemade cheese sauce
Let’s start with preparation methods. There are endless ways to make nacho cheese sauce, starting with traditional methods.
Nacho cheese sauce, of course, is an offspring of traditional queso fundido, which is usually made with traditional Mexican cheeses like asadero or Chihuahua. It’s sometimes made with cream, and it usually doesn’t include cheddar. The Americanized versions of it, however, usually include cheddar or Velveeta.
The chefs we spoke with suggested two particular techniques that they find to be good options for home cooks:
Start with either Velveeta or cream cheese and add some more flavorful cheeses to the mix
Make a roux out of butter and flour, and then add milk and specialty cheeses
And there are plenty of fans of both.
Team Processed Cheese
“All the chefs say it’s processed cheese that does the best job, so who am I to argue?” said Laura Werlin , James Beard award-winning author of six books about cheese.
The Velveeta route is pretty easy ― just melt a block of it, and if you want to add some oomph, add a couple of cups of the shredded cheese of your choice. Or, if you’re a bit snootier, sub cream cheese for the Velveeta.
Sheana Davis, a chef, cheesemaker, caterer and owner of The Epicurean Connection in Sonoma, California, is also a fan of incorporating processed cheese. “I like cream cheese and Velveeta, a 50-50 mix, but made in the microwave,” she said. “The beauty of this mix is that you can reheat it, and it doesn’t break down.”
Davis used to make this in hotel room microwaves when her daughter was on a traveling soccer team. She’d take 1 pound each of cream cheese, Velveeta and cooked ground beef, and then stir in a package of taco seasoning.
Other chefs, however, recommend making a roux, which is a mix of butter and flour. You melt the butter, and then whisk in the flour to cook it into a smooth paste for a minute or so before whisking in milk or cream and then melting in grated cheese (i.e., the base of macaroni and cheese sauce).
“I do have a soft spot for Velveeta, but it’s best for a grilled cheese sandwich, not for nachos,” said Gregory León, chef and owner of Amilinda restaurant in Milwaukee.
For nachos, León prefers making a roux with unsalted butter and flour ― about 4 tablespoons of butter to 2 tablespoons of flour ― and adding 3 cups of cream and then 1 pound of shredded pepper jack cheese and a half pound of shredded cheddar. “If it’s too thick, then I add a little more cream to thin it out,” he said.
“Just keep an eye on the roux ― that’s the secret of it, and keep stirring,” León said. “For a cheese sauce, I don’t want it to get any color. I want it to stay as blond as possible.”
Cheese selection matters
For the cheeses, León chooses whatever pepper jack he finds at the grocery store. But when it comes to cheddar, hands down, it’s Hook’s 5-year-old cheddar. “I like the pepper jack because it adds a little bit of spiciness, and I like the cheddar because it’s a classic, and I feel like it has to be there,” he said.
To finish off his nachos, he adds some green onions, cilantro and guindillas, which are little pickled Spanish peppers. “They’re from the Basque region, and I slice them up really thin and put them on top,” he said.
Rebekah Henschel, fourth-generation owner at Henning’s Cheese in Kiel, Wisconsin, said the question is not whether to use Velveeta or not use Velveeta. The important question, Henschel said, is which cheeses will flavor your nachos. “I think most people want spice so a pepper jack or habanero jack if you want something spicier,” she said. “It just depends on what you’re looking for.”
At Henning’s, which has won several international awards for its flavored jacks and cheddars, there’s a wide variety of cheeses, each with a different level of heat. If you just want a teeny touch, Henschel recommends hatch pepper cheddar, which is a sweet chile pepper that grows in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico.
The next level would be the chipotle cheddar or the pepper jack, but for those who want it spicier, you can keep kicking it up, perhaps to an option with a “fiery habañero finish.”
But if you have an ulcer or kiddos who can’t stand the heat, Henschel recommends going old-school with straight cheddar, Monterey jack or a colby jack. “Colby jack is buttery and creamy, and if I don’t want spice, this is a really good cheese,” she said.
An argument for straight-up melted cheese
Davis sometimes likes to take an entirely different approach to nachos ― in both cheeses and technique.
“In Sonoma, we grew up on Vella and Sonoma Cheese Factory cheese so during the Super Bowl we’d go to Sonoma Cheese Factory and buy a shredded mix,” Davis said. “It was a 1-pound bag, and it was clearly made of leftovers, so the joke was it would never be repeated, but it was always delicious.” Davis said it usually had a mix of jalapeño jack, pesto jack, cheddar and other cheeses.
Fast-forward to today when Davis recreates that eclectic mix herself using pesto jack, jalapeño jack and cheddar. To make the nachos, however, Davis uses the simplest of culinary techniques: She simply spreads the chips onto a cookie sheet and sprinkles the cheese right on the chips. Then she puts it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bakes it for 12 minutes. “I don’t use a roux. I just grate and melt the cheeses and put them right on our chips,” she said. “The pesto jack actually picks up on the flavors of the salsa you add to your nachos.”
Davis recommends supporting your favorite taqueria or Mexican restaurant by getting chips and salsa as takeout to make the nachos even better. “Freshly made chips make the dish,” she said. “Pre-pandemic, restaurants didn’t always want to sell you a bag of chips, but now that everyone has takeout, they’re glad to sell it to you.”
A regular dinner, she says, is nachos with these fixings added: black beans, rinsed and drained, jalapeños, and shredded chicken. She once made this for Sid Cook, an award-winning master cheesemaker who owns Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle, Wisconsin. “He had come to my home after a cheese conference, and he was expecting a bechamel sauce and something fancy,” she said. “It was a life-changing event for him. I could totally see it in his eyes ― he couldn’t believe it.”
A year or two later, Davis went to visit Cook and his family in Wisconsin. “Guess what he made me?” she said. “It was nachos, but he had personally made the pesto jack, the pepper jack and the cheddar.”
Easy Cheese Sauce
Four simple ingredients are all you need for a versatile, velvety easy cheese sauce that has the power to transform plain pasta, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, roast beef sandwiches, and more. For added flexibility, this quick-cooking sauce can be modified with a simple cheese swap, and I’ve included a thorough list of the best melting varieties — and the ones to avoid — below.
As written, the following recipe calls for cheddar or Cooper sharp, which are family-friendly, economical options that complement a wide range of ingredients — and which happen to be favorites in our house! That said, there’s lots of room to fancy it up it’s just important to choose the right cheese.
Because of varying moisture content, not all cheese melts equally. For the smoothest, silkiest sauces, block cheese is usually recommended. (As a bonus, block cheese tends to be cheaper than pre-shredded.) That said, I’ve taken many a shortcut using pre-shredded cheese, and it can work quite well. In this case, know that some brands work better than others, and the fewer additives on the label the better.
So which cheeses melt the best? American (including Cooper Sharp), Cheddar, Swiss, colby, fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Monterey Jack, and Muenster are good melters. Blue and other soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert melt well, too — just be sure to remove the rind first.
Beyond cheese choice, what will ensure a smooth, flavorful sauce?
- For the smoothest sauce, hand grate from a block of good quality cheese
- You may freeze the block of cheese for a few minutes to make grating easier, but make sure the cheese is at room temperature before making the sauce
- As an option to grating, the cheese may be finely chopped
- Cook the flour in the butter for one minute to eliminate any “floury” flavor
- For a gluten-free option, cornstarch works beautifully in place of flour — just use 1/3 as much, as noted in the recipe
- Thicken the sauce before adding the cheese, and only heat until the cheese is melted — overheating can cause the cheese to harden and release fat, creating a lumpy sauce
Which cheeses don’t melt well? Feta, cotija, queso fresco ricotta, halloumi, and creamy goat won’t melt into a smooth sauce. Mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar curds will melt but tend to be stringy.
So now that we have all the tools in place to make a deliciously smooth sauce, what are a few more ways to enjoy it?
- Stuffed baked potatoes — add chili, broccoli, bacon, chicken, ham, diced tomatoes and/or black beans, as desired
- Simple sauce for pasta — stir in veggies and protein of choice for a complete meal
- Dip for tortilla chips and sauce for nachos
- Topping for cheesesteaks and open-faced roast beef sandwiches
- Sauce for quick stovetop mac and cheese
- Sauce for steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower or your favorite sautéed veggies
My kids are major fans, especially my younger son who’s a bit choosy about cheese sauce. It’s best served right away, although leftovers are still quite good when gently reheated.
Spicy Cheese Sauce Recipe
Want a great hot cheese sauce to add to your recipe collection? Try this Hot & Smoky Cheddar Cheese sauce &ndash we promise you won&rsquot be disappointed! Cabot Hot Habanero Cheddar and smoked paprika combine perfectly, resulting in a wonderfully rich, smoky cheese sauce you&rsquoll love. Make, enjoy, and then share this recipe with family and friends on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
To make this hot cheese sauce, you&rsquoll start by melting 2 tablespoons of Cabot Unsalted Butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a roux and then whisk in milk until smooth. Add in salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly for about 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and smoked paprika until smooth, and it&rsquos all set to enjoy. This sauce is a great accompaniment to mashed potatoes, onion rings, and fries, and is especially delicious served over pork chops or on a burger!
Not feeling the heat? You can always make a milder version by using ¾ cup of Hot Habanero Cheddar and ¾ cup of Seriously Sharp Cheddar instead of all hot habanero cheddar. While we don&rsquot think you&rsquoll have any leftovers of this sauce, it does refrigerate well if you do.
If you loved this recipe, we think you&rsquoll also love our Jalapeno Cheese Sauce recipe, which uses Cabot Pepper Jack and pickled jalapeno! Cabot is a cooperative of over 800 farm families who all work diligently to produce only the highest quality products. We&rsquod love for you to share your thoughts about this hot and smoky cheddar cheese sauce with us. If you could rate and review the recipe once you&rsquove tried it, we&rsquod really appreciate it!
2 tablespoons Cabot Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1¼ cups fat-free or regular milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper (white pepper if desired)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces of Cabot Hot Habanero Cheddar, shredded (about 1½ cups)
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
Interested in creating this tasty recipe?
Get the ingredients you need at a convenient nearby location.
MELT butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and stir to make a roux.
WHISK in milk, and whisk until smooth, scraping roux out of the corners of the saucepan with a heat-proof spatula if necessary. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, 2 to 4 minutes.
REMOVE from heat and stir in cheese and smoked paprika. Stir until smooth. Try this over mashed potatoes and pork chops.
*To make a less fiery version of this sauce, try using ¾ cup of Hot Habanero Cheddar and ¾ cup of Seriously Sharp Cheddar.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat remove from heat. Stir in the flour, salt, dry mustard, and pepper.
Put the saucepan back on the heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Gradually add milk or light cream, stirring until well mixed.
Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add the cheese and cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and well blended.
Serve with pasta or vegetables and enjoy.
How to Use
- Macaroni and Cheese: To make a quick macaroni and cheese, combine the sauce with 3 to 4 cups of cooked and drained macaroni. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and top with buttered breadcrumbs and more cheese, if desired. Bake in a 350 F oven until bubbly and breadcrumbs (if using) are browned (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Stuffed Baked Potatoes With Broccoli: Bake 4 to 6 large russet potatoes until tender. Split the potatoes open and fluff the potato lightly with a fork, leaving the shell intact. Arrange on plates. Top with hot cooked broccoli and ladle cheese sauce over the broccoli.
- Chicken or Turkey Sandwich Melts: Arrange 4 thick slices of toast on a baking sheet. Top each slice of toast with turkey or chicken slices and a slice of tomato. Drizzle with cheese sauce then top with bacon. Put under the broiler until heated and cheese sauce is bubbly.
How to Store and Reheat Cheese Sauce?
Store the cheese sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It can be reheated on the stovetop over medium heat or in 30-second increments in the microwave.
Why Isn't My Cheese Sauce Smooth?
One reason may be that the roux—the melted butter and flour mix that thickens the white sauce—might be overcooked or burnt. The recipe's recommended heat and cook times should prevent that. It's also important to add the dairy slowly and stir constantly while doing so. The cheese may be a factor as well. Freshly shredded cheese works better than packaged shredded cheese. When adding it, the heat should be low to avoid breaking the cheese, which will cause a grainy sauce. Try adding half of the cheese and stir that in until it melts, then add the rest. You can also remove the pan from the heat during that step, heating it only if needed to aid melting.
Pretty much any way to cook potatoes is tied at number one in my book, but scalloped potatoes might have a slight edge over all the other recipes. They're creamy, the perfect amount of crispy, and just incredibly flavorful. If you make this recipe in a bigger dish, keep in mind that commenters recommend making extra sauce — otherwise, the potatoes might get a tiny bit dry.
Creamy White Cheese Dip
Looking for the ultimate white cheese dip? There are some people who are fanatic about this. Almost cult like, if you will.
Some Mexican restaurants serve this and people are dying to get their hands on the recipe so they can make it at home.
Now whether this recipe is that good, well, that’s up to you. I think you will be pleased. I know I got the consistency right.
This is an amazing sauce in which to dip your chips. You can use it to top burritos, enchiladas, nachos and tamales. Vegetables like carrots, celery, and broccoli work well too.
I rarely notice white cheese dip on restaurant menus that I frequent here in California. But it has none-the-less gotten my attention. Visitors to my website have been asking me if I have a recipe for it. Now I do.
This recipe is often referred to by many different names. It is called queso blanco, mexican white cheese dip, TexMex cheese dip, or chili con queso. “And boy is it delicious”, they say.
The Search Is On
I started experimenting by melting the cheese in a double boiler and adding all the ingredients like so many other recipes say to do. That worked, sort of. But the cheese tended to get grainy and clumpy. Definitely not smooth and creamy like I’ve heard about.
I tried different cheeses too, thinking it was the cheese. Teleme had a nice flavor but was way to grainy for my liking.
Monterey jack seemed to work quite well in terms of flavor but the consistency would clump or separate.
Asadero, sometimes referred to as Quesillo Oaxaca, which was hard to locate, seemed to be the cheese of choice. But the consistency wasn’t coming out right either.
Just melting the cheese, any cheese just didn’t seem to get the results I was looking for.
My goal was creating a dip that was smooth, creamy, and stays soft like the nachos you buy at a football or baseball game but with better flavor.
Finally I discovered the technique to make the sauce that would give me the texture I was looking for.
Because of this secret, you can use pretty much any cheese that melts reasonably well.
Here are some cheeses you can try, Monterey jack, teleme, white or yellow cheddar, white american (land of lakes) and of course asadero and mozzarella.
The Secret To Making It Smooth and Creamy
The French get all the credit. Instead of just trying to melt the cheese directly which really doesn’t work well, the French developed what is called a Bechamel sauce. This technique creates a white dip that is creamy, smooth and stays soft.
Just what I was looking for!
Bechamel is one of 5 basic mother sauces originating of French cuisine. It works great for this creamy Mexican white cheese dip.
And don’t get scared off by the fancy name. A bechamel sauce is really easy to make.
And for those with inquiring minds, the 4 other mother sauces are:
- Veloute, is a light broth or blond sauce, sometimes with egg or cream added
- Espagnole, is a brown sauce traditionally made with beef broth achieved by cooking the roux longer till it browns
- Hollandaise, made with butter and eggs
- Tomatoe, which is a red sauce
Back to the Bechamel sauce. Not only is it easy, it will only take you a few minutes to make.
First you start with a roux which is equal parts (by weight) of melted butter and flour.
The mixture is whisked in a sauce pan over low heat until the flour turns into a paste. This is cooked for about a minute on low heat stirring constantly.
If you cook it too long it will turn brown and you won’t have a “white sauce”. Your sauce also won’t thicken up as well either.
Milk is then added and cooked until thickened. Then the other seasonings are added. The sauce is then removed from the heat and grated cheese is added and mixed in with a whisk.
The cheese is gently melted which results in a creamy, smooth dip to die for.
How To Vary The Hot Stuff
If you want to make a cheese dip/sauce that is mild but flavorful, just add one or two fresh chopped jalapeno without the seeds and de veined.
Now if you want to spice it up a bit, I have found that adding some canned chipotle chiles, say one or two, finely chopped up, will start adding some kick. The chipotle chiles add a nice smokey flavor to the sauce.
It will however start changing the color of your sauce from white to pinkish red, if that’s a concern to you.
The good thing is that the color will make it easier for you to identify which sauce is which if you were to make both.
So play around with this a little to get the desired hotness you are looking for.
You can even omit the fresh jalapeno and opt for just some of the canned chipotle sauce without the pepper, for some smokey flavor without much heat.
Killer White Cheese Dip
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup white flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 8 oz. canned chopped green chiles, drained
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped OR 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles chopped
- 8 oz. monterey jack or asadero cheese, grated
- salt to taste
- fresh ground white pepper to taste
In a frying pan, saute onion in olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Add the garlic, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 min. Set aside.
Have all your other ingredients ready to go. Grate that cheese, measure out that flour and butter.
Chop up those jalapeno or chipotle chiles and measure out your milk.
Having everything pre measured and ready to go into the recipe, will make things much more organized and easier for you.
The first thing we are going to do is make a roux.
Grab your 2 quart sauce pan and melt the butter over very low heat. We don’t want to see a lot of bubbles going on in melting the butter. Just a gentle melting.
Once the butter is just melted, add the flour and stir with a whisk to blend it together.
Turn the heat up just a little bit so that you can see the flour/butter mixture slightly bubbling. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
Now add a little milk while continuing to stir with the whisk. Add the rest of the milk and turn the heat up to medium.
Continue to whisk for about 5 to 10 minutes. You will notice the sauce getting thick.
Turn the heat down just a little and add the cumin, onion and garlic mixture, the green chiles, and the jalapeno/chipotle chiles. Stir until well mixed and hot.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir.
Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese, one handful at a time.
Stir each handful in with the whisk until melted. Keep adding handfuls and stirring until all the cheese is mixed in and creamy.
Now you get to taste it. Does it need more salt? More heat? You can still stir it in at this time.
If you have one of those small crockpots or fondue pots, that would work well to keep this dip warm.
Serve with tortilla chips. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Watch My White Cheese Dip Video
How to Store Jack Daniels Sauce:
Refrigerate – Allow the sauce to cool for about 1 hour then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Freeze – Allow the sauce to cool for about 2 hours then transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
If you enjoyed this sauce and want to try more like it, these are great:
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