I LOVE cheese and this creamy cheese sauce is my ultimate go to for cheesy comfort food. It’s the base for the many different mac and cheese variations that I make and something about it just makes me feel warm and cozy. The kids love it and have all learned how to make it. They love to stir so I can be doing something else in the kitchen and they usually love to chop the cheese, although I think they like to sneak a piece straight off the cutting board even more!
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup flour
- ½ tsp. dry mustard
- 3 cups milk
- 1 lb. cheddar cheese (our favorite is Cabot Extra Sharp), cut into chunks or shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once melted, whisk in the flour and mustard. Cook this for a bit, maybe a minute, stirring the whole time.
- Then slowly and carefully, pour in the milk, whisking quickly the whole time. It will sputter and spatter, just keep whisking. The lumps will go away too as long as you keep whisking.
- That is the key to this recipe – do not let it set, even for a minute, it will burn (yes, I know this for a fact!) – keep stirring and using a whisk is the best way to make sure it’s all even with no lumps.
- So, you stir, and stir, and stir some more until you see it becoming thick and creamy.
- When you just start to see big bubbles pop through the top (and you think your arm will fall off from all that whisking), it’s time to stir in the cheese. Keep stirring it in until all the cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- That’s it! This is a great base for Mac and Cheese, or to pour over vegetables to make them extra special.
You can also easily double this recipe if you are making something for a crowd. I sometimes make a double batch when making mac and cheese so that we have leftovers for lunches during the week. Just double all proportions above and follow the same process.