Basic Cheese Sauce

This is your basic cheese sauce recipe, using three different cheeses for three different reasons - Cheddar for flavor, Gruyère for meltability and Parmesan for salty seasoning.

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Three cheeses in a saucepan with a whisk on the side.
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A ladle pouring cheese sauce into a saucepan.


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Basic Cheese Sauce

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 25 m
  • Servings:
    Makes 6 cups


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard powder
  • 4 cups milk room temperature
  • 3 cups grated Swiss cheese preferably Gruyère
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg optional


  1. Heat a 2- to 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter.
  2. Add the flour and mustard powder and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Stirring regularly, bring the sauce to a boil. Once it has boiled and thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheeses, salt and pepper. Season with a little grated nutmeg if desired.
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Comments (1)Post a Reply

  1. Hey. I am a really accomplished cook but have never mastered sauces from scratch, thank you for helping on my sauce journey.
    The recipe was perfect.

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