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Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Easy cheddar cheese sauce for vegetables made with just 6 ingredients. Perfect for pouring over your favorite veggies! Picky eater kids everywhere will love this delicious recipe.

cheese sauce being poured over broccoli

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 cheese sauce recipe is so simple to make, and tastes delicious!

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

cheese sauce poured over broccoli on a white plate

Cheddar Cheese Sauce Ingredients

  • fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese: don’t skip grating it yourself. Fresh is important here!
  • 2% milk: or whole milk
  • cornstarch: this is the easy thickener that we are using in place of a traditional flour and butter roux.
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • paprika
cheese sauce ingredients in separate glass bowls

How to make cheddar cheese sauce

Step 1: Grate the cheddar cheese fresh from a block

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

Step 3: Stir over medium heat until cheese sauce is thickened, around 5 – 10 minutes.

collage image showing the cheese sauce ingredients being added to a sauce pan

No funny ingredients or junk, just good old homemade cheese sauce.

This is the best sauce to serve over steamed or roasted broccoli.

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

a spoon dripping with cheese sauce over a sauce pan

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.

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

a fork dipping broccoli into a bowl of cheese sauce

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

I’m a big fan of using cornstarch and don’t see that changing any time soon.

It’s just such a time saver!

cheese sauce being poured over broccoli

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.

cheese sauce poured over broccoli on a white plate

The paprika is totally optional, and does not make it spicy, but I like that little extra something something it gives.

If you have super picky eaters, just leave it out for a more mild flavor.

cheese sauce drizzled over broccoli on a plate

Pour over your veggie of choice and call it a win when your kids are eating their veggies without a fight.

I have made this recipe with colby jack cheese too and the taste is almost exactly the same.

a wooden spoon taking cheese sauce from a bowl

I think it’s safe to say that any mild cheese would work here.

Let me know how your kids like this one and leave me a comment below!

We served ours with fresh steamed broccoli, garlic parmesan roasted potatoes, and veggie burgers for a well rounded dinner.

“This is the easiest, best tasting , ‘lightened up’ cheese sauce recipe ever!”

I found this recipe and made it for some roasted potatoes. My fam loved it! I’ll definitely make it again!

a spoon dripping cheese sauce into a sauce pan

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

Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!

easy side dish recipes

Hungry for more? Here are some of our favorite easy dinner side dish ideas.

Be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow Build Your Bite on Pinterest for all the latest delicious recipes!

cheese sauce in a bowl

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a star rating below!

Yield: 8 servings

Cheddar Cheese Sauce for Vegetables

cheese sauce drizzled over broccoli on a plate

How to make easy homemade cheddar cheese sauce for vegetables. Ready in less than 10 minutes and made with only 6 ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


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


  1. Grate the cheddar fresh from a block of cheese
  2. Add the cheddar cheese, milk, cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika to a saucepan and stir on medium heat until to desired thickness (around 5 - 10 minutes)
  3. Pour over vegetables of choice. Great as a cheese sauce for broccoli!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!

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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.


Sunday 10th of July 2022

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

Pamela Kelley

Friday 31st of December 2021

Can you make this ahead of time and refrigerate?

Joy Shull

Saturday 22nd of January 2022

You can, but it's such a short recipe I usually just make and serve it at the same time.


Wednesday 17th of November 2021

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.


Sunday 29th of August 2021

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

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