Total Time
10 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/2 tablespoons)

This mild, kid-friendly sauce is creamy and velvety, with a subtle tang from sharp cheddar. Try it with steamed or sautéed veggies, baked potatoes, nachos, open-faced roast beef sandwiches, and hot cooked macaroni or penne. Using sharp cheddar cheese is important here, as you want the zippy flavor mild just doesn't have. And here's a bonus: This slimmed-down sauce boasts a fraction of the fat you'd find in regular or processed cheese sauces.

How to Make It

Combine 1/4 cup milk and flour in a saucepan; stir with a whisk. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup milk and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

Chef's Notes

Tips: Remove from heat, then stir in the cheese to ensure that the sauce doesn't curdle. The flour helps stabilize the dairy mixture, but if it's boiled after the cheese is added, the sauce will separate or curdle.

Ratings & Reviews

Great base for macaroni

November 25, 2016
I doubled the recipe and combined it with some leftover noodles and ham.  I put it in a casserole dish, topped with some crushed crackers, and baked it for 15 minutes.  It would be easy to add some leftover veggies for a nice filling casserole on a chilly day.


February 24, 2016
The sauce was gummy and had no cheese taste, had to add more cheese.  The Cooking Light Cheese Sauce recipe made with cornstarch is much better.

Best cheese sauce

October 21, 2015
Simlply follow the directions and the smoothest most amazing Sauce will result. Use an aged cheddar and you'll have plenty of flavor, add jalapeños and macaroni, spark up a fattie and prepare to relax.

lperejma's Review

July 20, 2013
Because no butter was blended with the flour to make a roux, the sauce came out incredibly gritty and powdery tasting. The butter is essential to blend with the flour so you don't have that problem. I also put in 3 times the amount of cheese because you could hardly taste the cheese by adding the recommended amount in the recipe.

amcs76's Review

May 12, 2013

JrCook's Review

February 04, 2013

mmathews71's Review

August 16, 2012
Very easy and quick. Added a little dijon mustard for a bit of a kick, was fantastic!

mommabeth's Review

June 13, 2012
My family LOVES this recipe and I love how low in fat it is and they don't even know it....

KCSeattle's Review

March 26, 2012
This was super easy and delicious!