How To Make Cheese Sauce
Hot Gooey Melted Cheese
I love this seriously easy cheddar cheese dip rich, hot gooey and unctuous, its perfect for an evening on the sofa with a box set.
Serve with crisps, crackers, crusty bread or raw vegetable crudités and just dip! Share with friends or keep it all to yourself!
In the past, I have followed elaborate instructions for fancy cheese fondue with gorgeous results, but this super easy hot cheese dip recipe is my new favourite. Quick and simple, its great for a friends and family fondue night without the need for a fancy fondue pan.
The secret to this easy hot dip is using cornflour. It thickens the sauce and gives that lovely takeout-style gloopyness.
Easy Ingredients For Creamy Cheese Sauce:
With just 4 simple and familiar ingredients, you can make a cheese sauce that is so tasty you will want to drizzle it on everything! Basic ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry and fridge will combine easily and make a creamy sauce everyone will enjoy.
- Butter: Gives the sauce rich flavor.
- Flour: Thickens the sauce.
- Milk: Thins the sauce out a bit and adds sweet flavor.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Freshly grated cheese will melt better and give a stronger flavor than the coated shredded cheese you can buy in a bag at the store.
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How To Make Cheese Sauce Step By Step Photos
Start by placing 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour in a small sauce pot.
Heat the flour and butter over medium flame and whisk together until they become bubbly and foamy. Continue whisking for about 60 seconds. This mixture is called a roux and is what will thicken your sauce. Letting the roux cook for about 60 seconds slightly toasts the flour and gets rid of that raw floury flavor, but you want it to stay blonde, so if it begins to brown, remove it from the heat.
Whisk in one cup of whole milk. Turn the heat up slightly and let it come to a simmer . Because the small volume, it should come to a simmer very quickly .
When it reaches a simmer, the milk will thicken. When its thick enough to coat a spoon like in the photo, turn off the heat.
Whisk in 6oz. shredded medium cheddar, one hand full at a time, until it is melted into the sauce. If needed, put the pot back over a low flame to help it melt, but the residual heat should do most of the work.
Finally, season the sauce with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp chili powder.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if needed. And thats it! Now you have real ingredient, really delicious, homemade nacho cheese sauce.
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Queso Cheese Dip Ingredients
The three ingredients I used to make this simple cheese dip are:
- plenty of real cheddar cheese
- half and half for richness
- corn starch to thicken
Cant beat that, 3 ingredients that you likely already have on hand!
I used Argo® Corn Starch because its a brand I trust and can always rely on for a consistent result to thicken my soups, sauces, stir-fries, gravies and so forth.
I like to use it here because it skips a step in making a roux with butter and flour and that also equates to little less cooking time too.
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How To Make Cheese Sauce For Pretzels
MELT. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour on top of the butter and cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring. It should form a thick paste. Then whisk in the milk until slightly thickened.
STIR. Remove from heat and slowly begin to mix in the shredded cheese until smooth. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. If you need to thicken it down a bit, add a few Tablespoons of warm milk.
STORE. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
How To Make It With Canned Chili
If you are in dire need of a quick fix Chili Cheese Dip, you can certainly sub in your favorite canned chili in the place of fresh ground beef.
- If this is the case, add a 15-ounce can of beef chili, Rotel, and the beef broth to a large skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- If youre using canned chili, omit both the chili powder and the cornstarch from the recipe below.
- Another ingredient that will have to be altered is the taco seasoning. Because of the high sodium content in canned chili, either leave this ingredient out or take care to use a low-sodium taco seasoning so that your Chili Cheese Dip is not overly salty!
- Once your chili mixture has reached a simmer on the stovetop, add in the cubed Velveeta and the Cheddar, stirring occasionally until melted.
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Real Cheese Queso Dip
So… here it is. This is a great basic recipe, feel free to play with it.
Toss in some chopped chilis , maybe some chopped cilantro .
Swap out some or all of the cheese for Monterrey Jack, or another favourite cheese in that texture/hardness level.
Its very adaptable! The amount of cheese you end up needing will depend on how much liquid is in your salsa, and what kind of cheese you’re using.
Want to get a bit fancier with it? Try our earlier recipe, Southwest Fondue!
How To Prep Homemade Bean Dip
Cook the beans until they are very soft. Then drain off the liquid and reserve for later use.
To make the best restaurant-style bean dip at home, simply:
Pour the bean dip into a serving dish, top with a bit more pico de gallo, and enjoy with tortilla chips or fresh veggies.
The Best Homemade Bean Dip keeps well stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
You can serve this dip at room temperature, or reheat on the stovetop in a small sauce pan. Be sure to stir frequently and add a splash of water if needed before enjoying again.
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Tips For The Best Cheese Dip
- The cheese dip will be a little runny at first, but will nicely thicken as it cools. With that said, this dip is best enjoyed right after making.
- You can always scale down the ingredients for a smaller party or make a double batch for a bigger game day get-together.
- Buy the best quality cheddar cheese you can for the best flavor.
How To Make It With Leftover Chili
If you have leftover homemade chili, you can absolutely use it as the base for this Chili Cheese Dip!
- Just add two cups of leftover chili, Rotel, and only three-quarter cup of beef broth to a large skillet. Because there is no way for me to gauge the consistency of your homemade chili, its best not to add all the beef broth at once. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- With a homemade chili, you omit both the chili powder and the cornstarch from the recipe, and again, its best if you use low-sodium taco seasoning.
- Once your homemade chili and broth mixture has reached a simmer on the stovetop, add in the cubed Velveeta and the Cheddar, stirring occasionally until melted.
If the mixture is too thick, you can add in the remaining quarter-cup of beef broth!
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Keep These Tips In Mind When Cooking With Cheese:
- Shred, crumble, or finely dice the cheese before heating to ensure quick, smooth melting. The colder the cheese is, the easier it will be to cut.
- The less you heat cheese, the better. When making soup, sauce, or fondue, add the cheese last then heat it only as long as it takes to melt. If it gets too hot it will get tough. Often, you can remove the pan from the burner the residual heat will melt the cheese.
- Allow the shredded cheese to come to room temperature before adding it to a hot mixture.
- Starch will keep the cheese from curdling. If using all-purpose flour, add it to the mixture before the cheese it needs to be cooked for a few minutes to remove the starchy taste.
- Adding an acidic ingredient such as wine or lemon juice will help prevent the cheese from becoming stringy. This is why most cheese fondue recipes have a base of white wine. Simply sprinkle some lemon juice over the shredded cheese before heating it.
- Reduced-fat cheeses melt differently than regular full-fat cheeses. Reduced fat cheese will take longer to melt and will not have the same velvety consistency in the sauce. Be sure to shred reduced-fat cheese very finely, and allow it to melt over very low heat while stirring constantly.
Hints & Tips For Seriously Easy Cheese Dip
- The turmeric and tomato puree are optional, but they do make this dip a gorgeous rich orange colour and a give a real punch that suits tortilla chips. You could add a little red chilli too, to create a Mexican feel.
- Substitute some of the cheddar with mozzarella for a really stringy dip.
- Try a different cheese like a good mature Red Leicester.
- Leave out the garlic powder if its not your thing. You could use a little mustard instead.
- You could add curry powder for a hint of heat, resulting in a delicious cheesy curry sauce for chips.
- Add some Italian seasoning.
- Serve with a dollop of onion chutney for an onion cheese melting pot.
- Make a double or quadruple batch and serve in a fondue pan over a low flame at a party try using gruyère and Dijon mustard instead of the cheddar and tomato.
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Create That Smooth Silky Sauce
A combination of cornstarch and evaporated milk creates that silky smooth sauce. Let them simmer together and thicken slightly before adding your cheese.
TIP: Taste test dip with the chips youre serving them with so as not to over-salt! Adjust seasonings if needed.
Take the experience to a whole other level by frying up your own Tortilla chips! Just cut tortillas into triangles shallow fry in oil, drain on a paper towel lined plate and season straight away with flaky sea salt.
Youll love them more than store bought chips!
How To Make Cheese Dip
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together half and half and cornstarch until smooth.
- Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
- Immediately stir in cheese and return to low heat and stir to fully melt cheese. Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping.
- Note that the sauce will not reheat well so scale as needed.
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Tips For Easy Homemade Queso
- How to make queso thicker: If you want to make your queso thicker, use more cornstarch and water. Mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch along with 2 tablespoons of the queso dip in a small bowl. Gradually add the thickener back into the queso dip and stir to incorporate.
- How to make queso smoother: To keep your queso dip smooth and creamy, add in small amounts of milk while cooking and be sure to whisk well to avoid lumps. If it gets too thick and chunky once youve served the dip, you can put the bowl into the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt it again.
- How to make queso healthier: There are a variety of ways to make queso dip healthier including use of low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt and skim milk.
Make Ahead + Keep Warm
Make ahead: Prepare as directed, then store in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, simply heat back up on the stove or in the microwave.
Keep warm: This cheese sauce is great served right from the stove, but if its going to be more than 10 minutes before I serve it, I like to transfer to a mini crockpot to keep warm.
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Cottage Cheese Dip Ingredients
All of the ingredients in this cottage cheese dip are there for one reason and one reason only to pack a flavorful punch!
There isnt one single ingredient in this cottage cheese dip recipe that I dont love!
And what makes it even better is that all these ingredients are healthy.
To make your very own cold cottage cheese dip from scratch, you will need:
- 1 ½ cups of Low Fat Cottage Cheese
- & frac18 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon 1% milk
Who would have thought that eight little ingredients could be transformed into such a delicious dip.
TOP TIP if you want to make this cottage cheese dip even tastier, try using fresh onion and garlic instead of onion and garlic powder.
Trust me when I say it really makes a difference!
What To Serve With Cottage Cheese Dip
There are so many things that you could serve with your homemade cottage cheese dip to turn it into a fully fledged appetizer!
You could serve your homemade cottage cheese dip with fruit and veggies to make a healthy snack.
Some of my favorites are sliced banana, pineapple chunks, berries , melon, avocado, canned peach slices and apple slices.
Another of my favorite uses for this cottage cheese dip is to stir it into a pasta dish.
The hot pasta makes the cottage cheese warm and creamy. Add plenty of fresh black pepper for the best results.
My kids love baked potatoes. This cottage cheese dip can make a whole meal when you serve it on a baked potato with some fresh salsa. If that doesnt scream quick and healthy dinner, I dont know what does!
Getting bored of plain old buttered toast? This cottage cheese dip recipe can be used to make breakfasts great again. Spread it on some toast or better yet, add it to your scrambled eggs for a protein loaded breakie!
If you like a bit of heat, you can season your cottage cheese dip with your favorite blend of spices.
This cottage cheese dip is a perfectly healthy substitute for traditional sour cream and horseradish dips and theres so much more that you can do with it!
One of my favorite family meals is buffalo chicken wings.
Cottage cheese dip is the best condiment to serve with this meal because the creaminess compliments and cuts through the heat of the buffalo sauce.
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What Goes Into This Homemade Nacho Cheese
- Cheese- Extra sharp cheddar is the best and most flavorful.
- All-purpose flour.
Making this cheese sauce begins with a roux which means melting the butter and whisking in the flour to create a paste. This will be your thickener for the nacho cheese sauce along with the cheddar. Making a roux is easy and you can find the perfect tutorial here if you need more information. Once the flour and butter are mixed together, add the milk in stages until you have a white sauce. This is called béchamel sauce. The final stage is adding all of that extra sharp cheddar and a pinch of paprika powder. Thats how easy it is to make real cheese sauce for your nachos! Dont forget that by doubling the recipe for this sauce it makes an awesome Mac and cheese!
How To Store Queso
I always question the best way to store leftovers and how long will leftovers last. To store extra queso, youll want to allow it to cool and then place it in an airtight container. You can keep the queso in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
You can also freeze extra queso by placing it into an airtight storage container or plastic zip-closure bas and then place in the freezer. To thaw, place the queso in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and then warm slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop.
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How Do You Make A Smooth Cheese Sauce
To get the smoothest cheese sauce possible, follow these golden rules:
- Use full-fat cheese that you grate yourself as bagged cheese has additives that can prevent it from melting smoothly.
- Let the shredded cheese sit at room temperature for a short time so youre not putting cold cheese into hot liquid.
- Remove the sauce from heat before you stir in the cheese. Overheated cheese can clump.