Cheese Sauce for Broccoli
Why We Love This Cheese Recipe
This is a fabulously easy, silky-smooth Cheese Sauce for Broccoli, or to spoon over any steamed or roasted vegetable you like!
Now, there is nothing revolutionary here… If you’ve grown up in the United States, you’ve likely had broccoli with cheese sauce at least a few times. But instead of making a roux with flour, which if you don’t cook long enough, can result in a grainy cheese sauce, we’re using a combination of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and milk. Together they make the smoothest “real cheese” cheese sauce you can find. And it happens to be a gluten-free recipe!
So the next time the family is feeling something healthy but not, like, too healthy for dinner, whip up this classic kid-friendly cheese dip recipe in only 10 minutes on the stovetop. I promise no one is going to have trouble eating their veggies with a bowlful of homemade cheese sauce on the table!
5 Ingredients You Need
- Cheddar cheese – freshly shredded is best
- Cream cheese – softened
- Milk – whole or 2%
- Garlic powder – makes the sauce deliciously savory
- Cayenne powder – optional for a nice kick of spicy flavor
How to Make the Best Cheese Sauce for Broccoli
Set a sauté pan (or small sauce pot) over medium heat. Add in the milk, cream, cheese, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Stir as the cream cheese melts. Reduce the heat if needed to make sure it does not boil.
Once the cream cheese has melted into the milk, mix in the shredded cheddar.
Continue to stir until the sauce is smooth.
Get the Complete (Printable) Cheese Sauce for Broccoli Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Taste and add salt or additional cayenne pepper, if desired.
Variations and Serving Suggestions
We love classic sharp cheddar cheese, but feel free to use whatever melty cheeses you like! Freshly shredded Pepper Jack or Colby Jack cheese are both delicious. You can also use pre-shredded bag blends like Mexican Cheeses or Italian Cheese blends. However, bagged cheese does have preservatives for freshness, so the consistency of your sauce won’t be quite as smooth.
Traditionally, whole milk is used in this recipe for the richest and most creamy sauce. But for a slightly lighter cheese sauce for broccoli you can use low-fat 2% milk (not skim) and low-fat cream cheese.
Of course, this classic sauce is *chef’s kiss* perfect on top of steamed or roasted broccoli. But it is delicious with all kinds of side dishes! (I mean, it is a creamy cheese sauce – are you really that surprised?) Pour on top or serve on the side to pour or dip with fresh, steamed, grilled, or roasted veggies like:
- Roasted Vegetable Medley
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- Easy 2-Ingredient Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good melting cheese for sauce?
Cream cheese is the best base for a cheese sauce made without flour. To that, you can add other melty cheeses like shredded cheddar, pepper jack, or Colby jack.
Is broccoli with cheese healthy?
Well, yes and no… The lightly cooked broccoli is of course healthy. But cheese sauce is definitely not a “healthy” food. So if you put ’em together they kind of balance out for a not-too-healthy/not-too-unhealthy side dish.
How do you make keto cheese sauce for broccoli?
Simply swap the whole milk with half and half to make this a keto-friendly recipe in addition to being a gluten-free recipe!
How long does cheese sauce last?
Cool and store the leftover sauce in an airtight container. Keep homemade cheese sauce in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Looking for More Scrumptious Sauce Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Creamy Chimichurri Sauce
- Spicy Mustard Seafood Sauce
- Espagnole Sauce (Demi Glace Recipe)
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (No Cook!)
- Magic Aioli Sauce
Cheese Sauce for Broccoli (Easy and Smooth!)
- Set a sauté pan (or small sauce pot) over medium heat. Add in the milk, cream, cheese, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir as the cream cheese melts and reduce the heat if needed to make sure it does not boil.
- Once the cream cheese has melted into the milk, mix in the shredded cheddar. Continue to stir until the sauce is smooth.
- Taste and add salt or additional cayenne pepper, if desired. Serve over roasted or steamed, broccoli, or go crazy and serve over Brussels sprouts or roasted potatoes!