This Cheddar Cheese sauce is the cheesy version of the French Bechamel sauce. It is straightforward to prepare from scratch at home. The ingredients are limited in numbers and are readily available.
You can easily prepare this sauce even before your meal. This sauce is the English parallel to the French Mornay sauce, another variant of the bechamel sauce, including gruyere and parmesan cheeses. Even if available ready-made, it is best to make it at home.
Base For Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Similar to other French sauces, this sauce will also have a roux and milk base. All-purpose with unsalted butter is being used to make the roux. We would not recommend substituting the flour with wheat flour. That will affect the colour and taste of the roux.
Another base product will be milk. If you do not want to add milk, you can opt for light cream.
Spices For Cheddar Cheese Sauce
This sauce doesn’t contain many spices except originally the original salt & pepper seasoning. The dominating taste in the sauce is of the cheddar cheese we are using. It is now prepared using mustard- either seed, dry, or powdered for more flavouring and pepper or sometimes Worcestershire sauce. Also, black pepper is replaceable with white pepper. But you can add more spices if it is too bland for you. So you are allowed that much liberty with this sauce.
TR’s Extra Shots
- Herbs – If you wish, you can add herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, or even coriander to it.
- Smokiness – You can derive a smoky flavour from this sauce. Just replace the simple cheddar with smoky cheddar cheese.
- Cheeses – You can make this with half gruyere and half parmesan cheese. Or cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
- Flavour – If you want to add some colour and flavours, you can use pimentos. It also won’t be too spicy to handle. You can also add some nutmeg to it.
- Spices – Apart from the spices mentioned above, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder are a great addition.
- Utensil – Use a large, heavy-bottom pan to make the sauce. It will make it easier to boil and stir the ingredients. Plus will lessen the risk of burning.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to use cheddar cheese sauce with?
The cheddar cheese sauce is highly versatile and has multiple uses. British use this in fish pie, macaroni & cheese, cauliflower cheese, parmo, lasagna. It is also good to use stuffed baked potatoes with broccoli and chicken or Turkey sandwich melts or any rice recipe. Pour this over meats, pasta, vegetables, and even as a dip. So basically, with almost everything. Even with nachos, make this sauce in the Tex-Mex version with Mexican peppers.
How to store cheddar cheese sauce?
This sauce is edible for two days if refrigerated adequately covered. You can reheat it when you want to use it. Reheat it on medium heat or for 30-second in the microwave.
Why is it not as smooth?
It could be because the roux might be overcooked or burnt. Be careful about the heat and cook time while making it. Also, remember to add the dairy slowly and stir it constantly. Another reason could be the cheese itself. Make sure to use freshly grated cheese. The heat should be low when you add that, or the texture will be grainy instead of smooth. For convenience, add cheese in batches.
How can I thicken cheddar cheese sauce?
One thing you can do is burn the milk more. Just leave it on the heat for a bit more time than mentioned. The second option is to add more flour (approx 1 tbsp) to get it to thicken. Or you can add tapioca starch to the roux. It is a gluten-free thickening agent you can use. Use about 2 tbsp of tapioca starch for thickening.
Can I make cheddar cheese sauce vegan?
Yes, we can make cheddar cheese sauce as a vegan. You have to replace all the dairy products here with their vegan version.