Skip to Content

Cheese Sauce for Broccoli

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

cheese sauce for broccoli

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
cheese sauce drizzled over steamed broccoli

Cheese Sauce for Broccoli

Joy Shull
How to make easy homemade cheddar cheese sauce for broccoli. Ready in less than 10 minutes and made with only 6 ingredients!
4.46 from 159 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Gluten Free
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 134 kcal


  • 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


  • 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.



Calories: 134kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 8gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 199mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 344IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe? Tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite!Let us know how it was!

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating


Saturday 6th of January 2024

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.


Monday 14th of August 2023

Love it! Thanks for the quick recipe, it came in really handy!!


Sunday 30th of July 2023

Can I substitute Wondra for cornstarch?

Joy Shull

Monday 31st of July 2023

I have not tested it with this so I cannot confirm if it would work.

Margie H

Wednesday 12th of July 2023

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!


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

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

Joy Shull

Monday 29th of August 2022

Yes that will work also.