This simple cheese sauce pasta recipe is perfect when you are craving some serious comfort food. Of course macaroni and cheese is the obvious choice and we truly love it. But there are so many ways to enjoy melty cheese, why stop there?
Making cheese sauce from scratch is so easy, you may never reach for that blue box again.
The best part is, you can use this simple sauce on potatoes, as a dip, or over steamed veggies. It’s so good!
Ingredients/What to Buy
To create this basic cheese sauce recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients. I love a strong cheese flavor but you can really customize this recipe based on your preferences.
You will need:
- Extra sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite shredded melting cheeses)
- Whole milk (or heavy cream if you really want to go for it)
- All-Purpose flour
- Salt and black pepper
Easy Cheese Pasta Recipe Instructions
If you are making a simple mac and cheese with this, start by bringing your water to a rolling boil in a large pot on high heat.
Once the water is boiling, add a pinch of salt and your favorite type of pasta. Reduce to medium heat and cook until pasta is al dente or your preferred consistency.
To prepare the cheese sauce, I like to use the microwave.
To do this, stir together the milk, flour, butter, cheese, and salt in a large microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 4 minutes.
Then, remove the bowl and stir the melted butter and cheese together and and microwave again for another 4 minutes. Stir the creamy sauce until well combined and completely melted.
It’s ok to add a minute or two in the microwave if needed but you don’t want it to overheat.
If you prefer to use the stove, melt the butter in a large saucepan on low heat and gradually add the other ingredients while stirring.
Turn up the heat a little to fully melt the cheese and remove from the stove when melted. Then pour over the cooked pasta.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat using the microwave or on the stove.
What to Serve with Cheese Sauce
Pasta dishes are always better with cheese sauce if you ask me. That said, there are many ways to enjoy it beyond the easy pasta recipes. Try one or all of these ideas.
- Use as a dip for toasted garlic bread
- Pour over your favorite veggies
- Add a little beer while cooking and enjoy with pretzels
- Use it as a cream sauce over your favorite protein like chicken or shrimp
- Add some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick
- If eating with macaroni and cheese, try mixing in a little apple sauce
- Make buffalo chicken mac for a hearty meal
My mom always made this sauce using the sharpest cheddar cheese she could find. That is my starting point too, but if you like another type of cheese, use it!
You could make a cream cheese sauce by mixing it with some parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
Or create a cheese blend with Gruyere or blue cheese along with a few different kinds of cheese for a super flavorful dish.
I think when we are talking the delicious creaminess of a melted butter and cheese recipe, there is really no wrong choice. It’s all good!
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My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s the ultimate comfort food! Warm, melty cheese is pretty much the key to my heart. And I love that you only need simple ingredients to make it.
Next time you need to make side dish I or a complete meal, I hope this recipe is something your whole family loves.
Cheese Sauce Pasta Recipe
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Prepare the cheese sauce by combining the milk, flour, butter, cheese, and salt in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir sauce and microwave on high for another 4 minutes.
- Once cheese sauce is fully blended it is ready to use on your favorite pasta or steamed vegetables. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.