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This is the perfect or, dare I say, the best Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce that will ever grace your table! Creamy and full of cheddar cheese flavor, this quick and easy homemade cheese sauce is made for dipping and pouring over just about everything.
Creamy Homemade Cheese Sauce
In case you’ve never made your own creamy cheese sauce at home before, let me warn you: this is a recipe you won’t be able to quit! From its smooth and creamy texture to its delicious cheddar flavor, this cheese sauce recipe is perfect for dipping and pouring over just about everything.
Creamy and mild, but with tons of room for seasoning, my kids can’t get enough of this cheesy sauce. To be honest, neither can I! I use it for so many recipes, pouring it over French fries, veggies, nachos, Loaded Baked Potatoes, and more. I can spice it up or swap out the cheeses, and it’s quick and easy to make in mere minutes.
If there’s one sauce recipe to have in your arsenal, this is it!
What You’ll Need
This easy and gluten-free cheese sauce calls for only 5 ingredients!
- Cheddar Cheese: Freshly shredded cheddar cheese, and not pre-shredded. I like to use extra shapr, but feel free to pick your favorite.
- Milk: You can use whole or 2% milk for this cheese sauce, or a dairy-free alternative like oat milk or soy milk.
- Cornstarch: A gluten-free alternative to flour, to thicken the sauce.
- Dry Mustard: Dry mustard powder adds a bit of extra flavor. It makes cheese recipes even more, well, cheesy.
How to Make Gluten Free Cheese Sauce
Here’s how to make the world’s easiest homemade cheese sauce, in just 3 steps:
- Make the Milk Base: Whisk together the milk, cornstarch, dry mustard, and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer to thicken. Stir the mixture often as it bubbles.
- Add the Cheese: Reduce the heat and add in your shredded cheese. Add a little at a time, making sure the cheese is thoroughly mixed each time.
- Serve: Serve your hot melted cheese sauce as an accompaniment to your favorite meals, or as an easy cheesy dip!
Tips for Success
- If Your Cheese Sauce Needs Thickening: If you’re after a thicker creamy cheese sauce, or if you find your recipe has come out a little more runny than preferred, add in more shredded cheese until you reach your desired consistency. Next time, just cook that milk and cornstarch mixture a little longer.
- If Your Cheese Sauce Is Bland: If you find your cheese sauce could use a boost of bolder flavor, it likely isn’t a lack of cheese, but not enough salt! Try adding in more salt a little at a time until you reach your desired level of seasoning.
- If Your Cheese Sauce Is Separating: This cheese sauce recipe includes cornstarch, which should help to prevent the cheese from curdling. And adding the cheese a little at a time also helps. However, overheating the cheese can cause the sauce to break, so be mindful when heating. If your cheese sauce does separate, you can try adding a bit more cornstarch, or a splash of lemon juice, and giving it an extra good whisking until it’s smooth again.
I love this cheese sauce not only because it’s super delicious and gluten-free, but also because it’s so easy to change up the ingredients depending on how you serve it!
You can use a variety of cheeses in place of cheddar, or add in extras to suit any kind of dish. Here are some suggestions:
- Swiss Cheese and Gruyere are creamy and melty and great for dipping. The flavors also pair nicely with ham!
- Monterey Jack or Chili Cheese can be used if you’re serving this cheese sauce over chicken nachos or other Tex-Mex dishes. You can also add chili powder, chilis and diced tomatoes to this recipe for an easy homemade queso.
- Use a combination of Parmesan Cheese and Sharp Cheddar for a Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese sauce.
- Add in an extra spoonful of Grainy Mustard or Dijon to make a delicious pretzel dip.
There are so many ways to make use of this homemade cheese sauce. The real question is what can’t you serve it with! In my house, the list is pretty short. Enjoy this creamy sauce with just about anything (the kids especially love it as a pretzel dip!).
Here are ways to serve this gluten-free cheese sauce:
- As a snacking dip with bread slices, chips, nachos, pretzel bites, Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters or Cauli-Tots.
- As a topping for, well, literally anything! Pour this cheese sauce over vegetables like steamed or Roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower, and drizzled over meat dishes like grilled chicken breasts or steaks.
- As a condiment for French fries or sweet potato fries, hot sandwiches, Homemade Chicken Tenders, Burgers, and hot dogs.
- This cheese sauce happens to be perfect for topping a Fully Loaded Baked Potato . Or even just poured on a plain baked potatoes (see that link for how to cook them in the oven, stove, microwave, Instant Pot, slow cooker, or air fryer) or one covered with beef chili.
How to Store and Reheat Extra Sauce
This homemade cheese sauce actually stores and reheats really well. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can easily reheat cheese sauce on the stovetop, or the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between until the sauce is heated through.
Can I Freeze This?
I love making this sauce in batches that can be frozen and then thawed at any time! You can freeze cheese sauce in a freezer-safe bag or container (or in portions) for up to 4-6 months. Thaw frozen cheese sauce in the fridge and then reheat it as usual.
A useful way to freeze cheese sauce portions is to pre-freeze the sauce in ice cube trays, then pop out the frozen cheese cubes and store them in a freezer bag until you’re ready to thaw and reheat them.
More Easy, Cheesy Recipes to Try
- Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- Cheesy Zucchini Rice Casserole
- Layered Mexican Cheese Dip
- Gluten Free Cheesy Vegetarian Breakfast Bake
- Cheesy Maple Dijon Chicken Foil Packets with Veggies
Homemade Gluten Free Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz. from a block, not pre-shredded)
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, dry mustard, and salt.
- Turn on the stove to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Let it gently bubble, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes or until thickened.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the cheese a little bit at a time, stirring in completely after each addition.
- Serve over baked potatoes, French fries, or as a dip for pretzels, chips, and more.