Thursday, August 19, 2010

Make it from Scratch: Zesty Cheese Sauce

I'm starting a new series today featuring basic recipes that all frugal cooks should have in their repertoire. This cheese sauce can be used in a variety of ways (I'll show you two of them once we get through the basic recipe).

Zesty Cheese Sauce

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
2 cups grated cheese (we use either all old cheddar or half cheddar and half mozzarella)

In a medium sized, heavy bottom saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add the flour and stir until well coated with butter mixture. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you add it to prevent lumps from forming. Add dry mustard,Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat until sauce thickens, then add cheese and stir until completely melted into sauce.

That's it! (Wasn't that easy?)

Two great ways to use it:

1. Mac and cheese:
Cook 2 cups of macaroni noodles until al dente (you should have about twice as much once they're cooked). Stir into cheese sauce and pour into glass lasagna dish. Mix about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Add about 2 tbsp or so of olive oil or melted butter and mix well with a fork until crumbs are all well moisted (add a bit more fat if you need to). Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top of macaroni (I smooth the top out gently with a fork afterwards). Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

2. Cheesy Vegetable Bake:
When making the cheese sauce, saute 1 diced red pepper along with the garlic and onions. Finish the sauce as directed. Cook about 4 cups of vegetables or so (a broccoli/cauliflower combo works great, but you can use carrots, peas, green beans, corn or any leftover cooked veggies you've got hanging around in the fridge). Stir the cooked vegetables into the sauce, pour into lasagna dish and top with breadcrumb mixture as described above for mac and cheese. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

What are your favourite uses for cheese sauce?


  1. Hi Karen, I think that's a great idea - posting basic recipes we should all have. I probably don't have a lot of recipes I should, lol. My favourite use for cheese sauce is definitely mac and cheese. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Enjoy this GORGEOUS Friday!!!!

  2. Ooh, I love cheese sauce! My mum used to make it to go on cauliflower. The only way cauliflower tasted any good when I was a kid:)

  3. Need a CHEAP way to make zesty sauce


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