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Best Ever Homemade Cheese Sauce

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This really is the Best Ever Homemade Cheese Sauce. Seriously, it’s good with just about anything, or eat it straight off the spoon! It’s made with creamy cheese, onions, garlic, spices, and a touch of jalapeno.

Ok, let me be honest for a sec. We hesitate to put the word “best” in front of any recipe. Of course, we think it’s the best, but that’s a matter of preference.

There are only a handful of recipes on our site that have ever been called “The Best,” and some of those have been changed as the years have gone by. Most recently, these soft chocolate chip cookies.

We still have the “Best Banana Bread” and “The Best Chocolate Cake,” and for now this recipe, the best ever homemade cheese sauce. It will forever be my personal favorite.

The best ever homemade cheese sauce in a white bowl with jalapenos.

So, a little about this cheese sauce, because that’s really why you’re here. It starts off with a simple bechamel sauce, add some half and half, the cheese and that’s pretty much it.

In less than 20 minutes, you’ll be the proud owner of a pan of liquid gold!

Top down view of homemade cheese sauce next to a bowl of chips.

You may be wondering why I’m totally in love with homemade cheese sauce.

It would be so much easier to open a jar of cheese dip or melt a block of everyone’s favorite cheese product.

Close up view of cheese sauce with chips n the background.

Here’s the deal. When John and I first got married (back when I couldn’t cook), I ate a ton of processed cheese products.

He wanted to make me a cheese dip from scratch with real cream, cheese, and seasonings. It was such a sweet gesture, but I wasn’t convinced that it would taste better.

Top down view of cheese sauce, jalapenos, and chips on a blue towel.

I gave in, and let John make the cheese dip. Clearly, I was wrong.

His homemade cheese sauce was a thousand times better than what I’d been eating all my life. Since he made it from scratch, he added all my favorites like garlic, onions, and jalapenos.

Cheese sauce and jalapenos in white bowls.

Not to mention, John was able to control how spicy it was. Anytime we want extra spice, he tosses in a little more red pepper or uses pepper jack cheese.

Maybe we want a gooey sauce. He’ll swap out Monterrey Jack cheese for Muenster.

White bowl with cheese dip on a blue towel.

John’s cheese dip eventually evolved into a homemade cheese sauce after we started using it on vegetables, chips, eggs, noodles, bread, or pretty much anything that tastes good with cheese. 

Top down view of cheese dip, jalapenos and spoon, and chips.

*Notes: This recipe is very versatile.  The cheese flavors are interchangeable, but the consistency of the sauce may not be the same.

 Jalapenos and red pepper flakes are optional.  Add more to increase the heat level, or decrease the amount to reduce the spiciness.  

This sauce reheats best at low heat on the stove top, but if the sauce becomes too thick, add a tablespoon of half and half, milk or heavy cream. 

My favorite cheeses to use are Cabot Creamery brand.  Cabot Creamery brand is not a sponsor of this post.

If you like this homemade cheese sauce recipe, please leave us a comment and rate the recipe card. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram searching for Berly’s Kitchen!

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Yield: 10 Servings

Best Ever Homemade Cheese Sauce

This really is the Best Ever Homemade Cheese Sauce. Seriously, it’s good with just about anything, or eat it straight off the spoon! Yeah, it’s that good!

This really is the Best Ever Homemade Cheese Sauce. Seriously, it’s good with just about anything, or eat it straight off the spoon! Yeah, it’s that good!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped, (seeded and membranes removed for less heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 14 ounces good quality shredded cheese, (cheddar, pepper jack, Monterrey jack, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottom stock pot on low-medium heat.  A 5-quart stock pot works well.
  2. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, red pepper flakes and salt. Continue to cook over medium heat until tender. About 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir to combine. Using less flour will result in a thinner sauce. Using more flour will result in a thicker sauce.
  4. Continue to stir for about 3-5 minutes to allow flour taste to cook out.
  5. Add half and half stirring frequently. Do not allow half and half only needs to be warm enough to melt the cheese.
  6. After half and half begins to steam, slowly add shredded cheese about 1/2 ounce to an ounce at a time while stirring the mixture with a wire whisk.
  7. Continue to stir until all the cheese is melted before adding additional cheese. Adding cheese too quickly will cause the temperature to drop and cheese to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  8. Add cheese 1/2 ounce to an ounce at a time until all cheese is added.
  9. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  10. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 520mgCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 13g

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Adam

Sunday 17th of May 2020

Totally awesome recipe, perfect over French fries topped with bacon bits .yum yum

John

Monday 18th of May 2020

Good Morning Adam, that's great to hear! Kim and I are glad you liked the cheese dip. Thanks for coming back to comment on and rate the recipe card. Have a great day!

Ronnie Williams

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

Hey Kimberly, Ronnie here from Southern Food Junkie. I am so glad I scene this today. I have been wanting to make a dish this week that I will need a cheese sauce for. I have been putting it off all week making it for the family because I keep forgetting to find a simple recipe for the cheese sauce. This was just in time. Thanks so much. I shared on my twitter feed also. TTYL

Southern Food Junkie

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

If I end up using it I will take some pictures and tag you in it. Thanks again, Ronnie

Kimberly

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

Hi Ronnie,

Thanks so much for sharing the post! This recipe is fairly easy to make, and you can change up the cheeses to match the flavors of your dish. Let us know if there are any questions. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!