Thickening Your Cheese Sauce By Using Cheese
Cheese can actually make for a good thickening ingredient as well.
If youd like to add something flavorful to your cheese sauce that can make it even creamier, then going with the cheese option is probably going to be ideal. You can use either shredded cheese or diced cheese to pull this off.
Pour your currently thin cheese sauce into a saucepan and then place it over low heat on your stovetop.
Youre going to want to add shredded cheese or diced cheese to your cheese sauce mix now. You just add the cheese in while you constantly stir to try to thicken things up.
The only potential issue to look out for when using this method is that you could make your cheese sauce too thick. Going from a thin sauce to an overly thick sauce could also be problematic for obvious reasons.
Thankfully, you can take some of the thickness out by adding in one tablespoon of milk if necessary.
You should be able to get the right thickness level for your cheese sauce if you use cheese like this. Overall, it even winds up adding to the overall flavor and creaminess.
If you want to deal with your thin cheese sauce reliably, then try this method out and youll be happy with the results.
Make The Best Cheese Sauce That You Can
Now that you have more information, it should be much easier to make the cheese sauce that you have been craving. You have been given a lot of different options for thickening your cheese sauce and all of them work well.
Some people might gravitate toward using cornstarch as a thickening agent while others might really like using egg yolk. Just try out whatever option sounds the most appealing to you. Youll certainly be able to get things working much better for yourself and your cheese sauce will be tasty.
No one has to accept thin and unsatisfying cheese sauce when they know how to deal with things properly and youre going to be ready to make things right the next time your cheese sauce comes out a bit too thin.
Mac And Cheese Sauce Versatility
Love this sauce and want to mix things up? Here are some ideas on how to repurpose this sauce for something other than mac!
Use on any noodle all out of macaroni noodles? You can literally use 1 lb. of any noodle under the sun!
Nachos we love using this sauce on top of nachos. Think loaded nachos with all the fixings + this cheese sauce.
Burgers/Sandwiches how good would this easy mac and cheese sauce be on top of a burger or sandwich?! Im drooling.
Chili Mac and Cheese mix this cheese sauce with 1 lb. of noodles and a batch of homemade beef chili for some chili mac! Check out our sister sites Chili Mac and Cheese recipe!
Dip when I dip you dip we dip. Grab your favorite tortilla chip and dip away!
More of our Favorite
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Quick Mac And Cheese For One
A quick recipe for mac and cheese for one. Easy, cheesy, and oh so good.
Is it lunchtime? Is it dinner time? Are you starving? Do you need a mac and cheese fix? Yes? Well, Ive got just the thing for you: mac and cheese for one.
This homemade macaroni and cheese is just as quick as the kind that comes out of a box, is one thousand times more delicious, and wont leave you with a mass of gross congealed leftovers.
I grew up in a boxed mac and cheese household, and just like when I learned how to make homemade mashed potatoes, when I discovered how easy homemade macaroni and cheese was to make, I had no idea why we hadnt just been making it from scratch all along.
It takes exactly the same amount of time, and if you keep a basic stocked kitchen, cheese and any sort of pasta in your house, YOU HAVE THE INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THIS.
The Difference Between Sharp And Mild Cheddar
You might end up at the store buying cheese and leaving confused. Cheese comes in a plethora of different varieties, but today we are talking about cheddar because that is what I used in this particular recipe. Cheddar cheese can range from mild to old and can be categorized by a variety of different sharpness levels. I gave the option between mild or sharp cheddar because I feel their flavor profiles work best for this sauce.
Sharpness attributes to how tangy or how much bite the cheese has, which comes from how long the cheese has been aged. Aging is the only difference between mild and sharp cheddar, therefore the longer the cheese has aged naturally, the sharper and more pronounced the cheddar flavor becomes. Mild Cheddar is typically aged for around 2 to 3 months, whereas an extra sharp could go through the aging process for as long as a year.
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Two: Add Milk And Seasonings
How To Make Mac And Cheese Sauce
Step 1: Make Roux by this point, you already know the ins and outs of a roux and how to make it , so were going to skip to step 2.
Step 2: Whisk in Milk slowly add milk to the roux, whisking constantly so it doesnt burn. Continue to whisk for around 4-6 minutes, or until things begin to thicken.
Dont rush this process. we PROMISE things will thicken!
Step 3: Remove from Heat once things are thick, turn the heat off.
Step 4: Whisk in Shredded Cheese then, add shredded cheese, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and whisk until the cheese melts.
Give your cheese sauce a taste and add more hot sauce, as desired.
Step 5: Enjoy! mix mac and cheese sauce with macaroni noodles and serve immediately.
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How To Make Nacho Cheese Sauce
1. Toss shredded cheese and cornstarch together so your cheese gets coated and you dont end up with any big cornstarch lumps in your sauce. The cornstarch will help thicken your nacho sauce and prevent it from curdling.
2. Heat evaporated milk over medium heat until milk just begins to simmer.
3. Remove the milk from heat and stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and it has completely melted into the sauce.
4. Add hot sauce, salt, and cayenne, and then taste and add more if needed.
5. And the final, most important step: drizzle your homemade nacho cheese over something delicious, and try not to eat the entire pot.
Why Isn’t My Cheese Sauce Smooth
One reason may be that the rouxthe melted butter and flour mix that thickens the white saucemight 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.
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Simple Steps To Make Nacho Cheese Sauce
Making this cheese sauce begins with a roux which means melting the butter and whisking in the flour to create a paste. This will be your thickener for the nacho cheese sauce along with the cheddar. Making a roux is easy and you can find the perfect tutorial here if you need more information. Once the flour and butter are mixed together, add the milk in stages until you have a white sauce. This is called béchamel sauce. The final stage is adding all of that extra sharp cheddar and a pinch of paprika powder. Thats how easy it is to make real cheese sauce for your nachos! Dont forget that by doubling the recipe for this sauce it makes an awesome Mac and cheese!
Ingredients To Make Cheese Sauce
Use this guide and your flavor possibilities are endless!
All you do is add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan and stir/whisk until thick and creamy. Thats it!
I have created several cheese sauces using this simple method, and they are not only delicious, but ready in under five minutes!
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Nacho Cheese Sauce For Parties
This recipe makes a little over 2 cups of sauce, but if you would like to make an even bigger batch, the recipe doubles with no preparation changes.
You can transfer your prepared nacho sauce to a slow cooker and keep it set to warm for a couple of hours. Fair warning, it will do that cheese sauce thing where the top sets and gets kind of sad and ugly looking, but if you give it a quick whisk, it returns to looking smooth and beautiful.
How To Make A Roux For Cheese Sauce
The most important part of any good sauce is a roux which is, essentially, a cooked, thickened combination of butter and flour.
This will be the base of the sauce and it only takes a few minutes to whip up! Be sure to stir it constantly and cook the flour to rid of any starchy flavor before adding the other ingredients.
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How Do You Get The Creamiest Smoothest Cheese Sauce
For the creamiest cheese sauce, follow these two tips.
How Do You Make A Smooth Cheese Sauce
To get the smoothest cheese sauce possible, follow these golden rules:
- Use full-fat cheese that you grate yourself as bagged cheese has additives that can prevent it from melting smoothly.
- Let the shredded cheese sit at room temperature for a short time so youre not putting cold cheese into hot liquid.
- Remove the sauce from heat before you stir in the cheese. Overheated cheese can clump.
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Can I Make This In Advance
Yes. Unlike a lot of cheese sauces, this sauce reheats pretty well . It will solidify in the refrigerator but returns to its pourable state when reheated. To reheat:
- On the stove: Transfer sauce to a small saucepan and reheat gently over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to come to a boil.
- In the microwave: Microwave in a microwave-safe dish, stopping to stir sauce every 10-15 seconds as needed until just heated through. Heads up, the sauce will pop and sizzle in the microwave.
Keep These Tips In Mind When Cooking With Cheese:
- Shred, crumble, or finely dice the cheese before heating to ensure quick, smooth melting. The colder the cheese is, the easier it will be to cut.
- The less you heat cheese, the better. When making soup, sauce, or fondue, add the cheese last then heat it only as long as it takes to melt. If it gets too hot it will get tough. Often, you can remove the pan from the burner the residual heat will melt the cheese.
- Allow the shredded cheese to come to room temperature before adding it to a hot mixture.
- Starch will keep the cheese from curdling. If using all-purpose flour, add it to the mixture before the cheese it needs to be cooked for a few minutes to remove the starchy taste.
- Adding an acidic ingredient such as wine or lemon juice will help prevent the cheese from becoming stringy. This is why most cheese fondue recipes have a base of white wine. Simply sprinkle some lemon juice over the shredded cheese before heating it.
- Reduced-fat cheeses melt differently than regular full-fat cheeses. Reduced fat cheese will take longer to melt and will not have the same velvety consistency in the sauce. Be sure to shred reduced-fat cheese very finely, and allow it to melt over very low heat while stirring constantly.
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Why This Mac And Cheese Sauce
Out of all the recipes on the internet, why choose this cheese sauce for mac and cheese?
- 7 simple ingredients
Technically the hot sauce is optional, but I promise it makes this cheese sauce SO GOOD. A little vinegar really does bring out the flavor of the cheese sauce.
Gather And Prep Your Ingredients
The first thing you need to do make cheese sauce out of a block of cheese is shred your cheese. If you’re short on time, you can use pre-shredded cheese instead of a block, but there are several benefits of shredding the cheese yourself.
Pre-shredded cheese often contains preservatives, like potato starch or cellulose, that help prevent the cheese from clumping, according to Ochsner Health. But these preservatives also interfere with the way the cheese melts.
You’ll often find pre-shredded cheese that won’t melt as easily or when it does melt, it leaves clumps and lumps in your cheese sauce. Pre-shedded cheese also has a different texture. Because a block of cheese doesn’t have the same preservatives, you’ll end up with a creamier sauce that tastes fresher, too.
As an added bonus, you can generally get more out of a block of cheese compared to a bag of shredded cheese. An 8-ounce bag of pre-shredded cheese has about 2 cups of cheese in it, but an 8-ounce block will get you about 2 1/2 cups.
To make the cheese sauce, you’ll need two cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus:
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How To Reheat Nacho Cheese:
Heat the leftover nacho cheese in a skillet over medium low heat until melted and warm. Add 2 tbsp of water and whisk until the cheese looks smooth and creamy again . If the sauce is still too thick and doesnt flow well, add more liquid and whisk again. Do not reheat nacho cheese in the microwave.
Easy Ingredients For Creamy Cheese Sauce:
With just 4 simple and familiar ingredients, you can make a cheese sauce that is so tasty you will want to drizzle it on everything! Basic ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry and fridge will combine easily and make a creamy sauce everyone will enjoy.
- Butter: Gives the sauce rich flavor.
- Flour: Thickens the sauce.
- Milk: Thins the sauce out a bit and adds sweet flavor.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Freshly grated cheese will melt better and give a stronger flavor than the coated shredded cheese you can buy in a bag at the store.
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Can I Use Gluten
Yes, a gluten-free flour made with rice flour can be substituted in an equal amount for the all-purpose flour called for in this recipe.
Cook the flour and butter over medium-low heat for two minutes, whisking constantly.
Add about 1/4 cup of whole milk and whisk until smooth.
Continue adding the milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often until it begins to thicken.
Stir in the garlic powder and black pepper.
Remove from heat, add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until smooth.
Tips For Cheese Sauce Success
Here are a few tips to help make sure your nacho cheese sauce is a success:
- Make sure to cook the flour in the butter for one minute. This helps cook out the floury flavor.
- Use medium cheddar for smoother results. Sharp cheddar tends to break or become grainy easier than medium cheddar.
- Remove the pot from the heat before stirring in the cheese. Overheating the sauce once the cheese has been added can cause the sauce to seize up and become thick and/or grainy. If needed, use only low heat to help the cheese fully melt.
- Use block cheese and hand shred it when possible. Pre-shredded cheeses sometimes contain a lot of anti-caking powders, which can cause a powdery flavor in your cheese sauce.
Scroll down for the step by step photos!
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How To Make Cheddar Cheese Sauce
To make about 4 cups of cheese sauce, melt Cabot Salted Butter or Cabot Extra Creamy Premium Sea Salted Butter in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour a little at a time, until well blended. Continue stirring for a minute or two longer.
Whisk in milk and continue stirring until sauce is thickened. Add grated Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and blended.
For another rich, easy cheese sauce, make our Roasted Garlic Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Did you know Cabot is a co-operative of farm families who continuously strive to produce the best dairy products around? Wed really appreciate it if you could rate and review this cheese sauce recipe when you have the chance.