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Cheddar cheese sauce drizzled over cooked broccoli in a bowl.
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5 from 1 vote

Best Cheese Sauce for Broccoli

This Cheese Sauce is creamy, smooth, and silky! Made with cheddar, half and half, cornstarch, and butter, this sauce is perfect over steamed broccoli, in pasta, as a base for soups, or with fries.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli and cheese sauce, cheese sauce
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 413kcal
Author: Anna


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 ¼ cup half and half see note
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne optional


  • In a glass measuring cup, whisk half and half and cornstarch. Mix well until there are no clumps.
  • Shredd the cheddar on a large-hole size of a box grater. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan (I used 1-quart stainless steel saucepan), melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  • Pour half and half into melted butter, slowly drizzling it in and whisking at the same time. Stop once in a while to let the sauce thicken a little bit.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, whisking often, for 2 to 3 minutes. This will cook off the starch flavor.
  • Add cheddar cheese to half and half mixture and stir in until melted. The sauce should thicken nicely right away.
  • Add the last tablespoon of butter to the sauce and stir until melted. This will enhance the silky texture.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Your sauce is now ready to be served.


  • Use block cheddar cheese and shredded yourself. Store-bought shredded cheese is coated with starch to prevent clumping and it will add chalky flavor to the sauce.
  • Half and half is a mixture of milk and cream and it’s my favorite liquid for making creamy sauces.
  • I used a 1-quart saucepan to make this sauce and it was a perfect size.
  • Store this sauce in a fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 708mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1097IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 484mg | Iron: 1mg