A proper cheese sauce is a good thing to have in your repertoire. But it can be a bit of a faff. Who’s got time to make a roux during the busy week? And that’s why I’ve put together this cheat’s cheese sauce… Don’t worry. It’s still loaded with cheese, just without the effort!
Often, you see the word ‘cheat‘ in a recipe title and the recipe involves buying a packet mix or losing out on flavour. I don’t think my cheat’s cheese sauce does either of these things but it still only takes 5 minutes to make.
What’s In Cheat’s Cheese Sauce?
Fortunately, to make this sauce you’ll need to 3 main ingredients along with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- 200 g cream cheese: Acts as the base of the sauce. It melts easily and provides a smooth, rich texture. Cream cheese also helps in binding the sauce together, ensuring it’s creamy and not too runny.
- 50 ml milk: Used to adjust the consistency of the sauce. It helps in thinning out the cream cheese and makes the sauce pourable. The amount of milk can be adjusted depending on how thick or thin you prefer your sauce.
- 100 g Cheddar cheese, grated: Adds the classic cheese flavor. When melted, it gives the sauce a lovely, cheesy taste and a slightly stretchy texture. You can use mild or sharp cheddar depending on your preference for cheese intensity.
- Salt and pepper: To taste
How to Make Cheat’s Cheese Sauce
Step 1: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the cream cheese, milk, and grated cheddar cheese.
You may want to use a whisk for this. Start slowly so that you don’t splatter milk everything, and then whisk more vigorously until everything is incorporated.
Step 2: Heat the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. Take it out, give it a good stir, and then microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes until everything is melted and combined.
Stir well to ensure a smooth consistency.
Step 3: Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste, stir and then use this cheese sauce as you would use a normal cheese sauce made with a roux.
Substitutes and Tweaks
Add some heat by adding a few drops of Tabasco or a pinch of dried chilli flakes.
Give the sauce some freshness by folding in some chopped parsley, chervil, tarragon or coriander.
Instead of sticking with just Cheddar, use other cheese types that melt well, such as Red Leicester or Parmesan.
Spike the sauce with spices and flavourings including mustard, paprika, garlic puree or turmeric.
How to Store Cheat’s Cheese Sauce
Once you’ve made this sauce, you may find you have more than you’re going to use (the recipe is enough for 4 to 6 people but it depends on what you’re using it for). Below are the ways you can store it:
Store your cheat’s cheese sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. Ensure it cools to room temperature before refrigerating, as you don’t want condensation forming in the container.
Cheese sauce should last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. You may find it thickens over time so may need to warm it through gently or add a splash of milk to loosen it slightly.
Cheat’s cheese sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months. Use a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving a bit of space for expansion.
To defrost cheat’s cheese sauce, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Avoid rapid thawing at room temperature to maintain its quality and food safety.