Cheese Sauce for Broccoli

4.47 from 160 votes

This easy homemade Cheese Sauce for Broccoli is made with just 6 ingredients. Perfect for serving with your favorite veggies!

cheese sauce for broccoli
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Why we love this cheddar cheese sauce

  • clean ingredients: Made with easy to recognize ingredients and no added junk, this cheese sauce is simple and delicious
  • easy to make: no roux required, all you have to do is add ingredients to a pan, heat, and serve!
  • great for picky eaters: have picky eater kids? Try serving steamed veggies with this sauce and they will love it!

If you’ve ever poured cheese out of a jar to get your kids to eat more veggies, this recipe is for you! This easy homemade cheese sauce recipe is so simple to make, and tastes delicious.

Cheese sauce is my top tip for trying to get my kids to eat more veggies. I mean, I can’t blame them. Add a delicious cheese sauce and I would eat more veggies too!

We love serving it over fresh steamed broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, or whatever veggie we are having for dinner that night.

This recipe uses cornstarch to thicken the cheese sauce, making it super easy and no roux required. Not only is it quick to make, but it is absolutely delicious!

Made this tonight. It was delicious! Used it over broccoli instead of ranch. Will continue to use it with veggies. Tasty!

spoon dripping with cheese sauce

Cheddar Cheese Sauce Ingredients

  • fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese: don’t skip grating it yourself. Freshly grated is important for the best flavor
  • 2% milk: or whole milk
  • cornstarch: this is the easy thickener that we are using in place of a traditional flour and butter roux.
  • spices: garlic powder, paprika, and pepper
ingredients needed to make cheddar cheese sauce

How to make cheddar cheese sauce

Step 1: Grate the cheddar cheese fresh from a block

Step 2: Add the grated cheddar cheese, milk, cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika to a medium sized saucepan.

Step 3: Cook over medium heat until the cheese sauce is thickened, around 5 – 10 minutes, stirring often. Serve immediately with steamed broccoli or veggie of choice

If you have an air fryer you could air fry frozen broccoli and serve it with this cheese sauce for a simple side dish.

What kind of milk to use for cheese sauce

For this recipe, I used 2% milk in place of heavy cream or other higher fat milk. You can’t taste the difference and it still gets thick thanks to cornstarch. You can also use whole milk in this recipe.

cheese sauce for broccoli in a sauce pan

Ever since making my 5 minute nacho cheese sauce, I have been using this method to make all of my cheese sauces.

I may never go back to a roux again, this way is just so much easier and tastes delicious!

cheddar cheese sauce in a sauce pan

All you have to do is stir to avoid burning, and use a whisk to get out any clumps of cornstarch or cheese. You will end up with a velvety smooth cheese sauce!

The color of your cheese sauce will depend on your cheese block. The paprika is totally optional, and does not make it spicy, but I like that little extra something something it gives.

cheese sauce for broccoli

How to serve this cheese sauce

  • over veggies: this sauce pairs well with just about any steamed veggie like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, asaparagus, and more
  • over pasta: need a quick cheese sauce? this would also be delicious with pasta

We like serving our cheese sauce with fresh steamed broccoli, garlic parmesan roasted potatoes, and veggie burgers for a well rounded dinner.

cheese sauce for broccoli

How to store cheese sauce

  • storing: leftover cheese sauce for broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
  • reheating: reheat leftover cheese sauce in a sauce pan over low heat or in the microwave until heated through. Add a splash of milk to thin the sauce out, if needed
cheddar cheese sauce in a sauce pan

Looking for more easy recipes? Be sure to check out this copycat Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce.

cheese sauce drizzled over steamed broccoli
cheese sauce drizzled over steamed broccoli
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cheese sauce drizzled over steamed broccoli
4.47 from 160 votes

Cheese Sauce for Broccoli

By: Joy Shull
How to make easy homemade cheddar cheese sauce for broccoli. Ready in less than 10 minutes and made with only 6 ingredients!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika, optional

Instructions 

  • Add the freshly grated cheddar cheese, milk, cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until to desired thickness (around 5 – 10 minutes)
  • Pour the cheddar cheese sauce over vegetables of choice like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, etc.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 199mg, Potassium: 66mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 344IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 236mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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30 Comments

  1. So quick and easy! I shredded all my cheese blocks yesterday and used that. My toddler still didn’t touch his broccoli. I’m going to mix it with riced cauliflower and try to tell him it’s like Mac and cheese. I normally don’t love frozen steamed veggies but there so affordable and convenient and this cheese sauce really makes them good. Will be trying it with cayenne next time.

    1. 5 stars
      I made this tonight to put on my fresh steamed broccoli. It was very good. I didn’t like that it quickly got like paste. Any idea how to stop that?

  2. This is so easy to make and very delicious. Thanks for sharing I added a bit of salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. So delicious!

  3. Can you use whole milk instead of 2 %? Looks delicious want to make it tonight but only have whole milk.

  4. Made this tonight. It was delicious! Used it over broccoli instead of ranch. Will continue to use it with veggies. Tasty!

  5. This was a delicious and easy recipe. I used pre-shredded bagged cheese because it’s what I had and it worked just fine. The recipe definitely needed some salt to bring out the flavors but otherwise it was perfect.

  6. What if I already happen to have pre shredded cheese? It IS gluten free so there is no starch in the cheese. Any direction would be appreciated. I had a last minute request for a cheese sauce for cheese fries lol

  7. Love this sauce. Great on veggies, pasta. Today I’m making it to use in breakfast burritos with eggs, bacon and tater tots