Learn how to make an easy Cauliflower Cheese Sauce for veggies, chicken, pasta and more. This simple sauce has a hefty dose of cauliflower tucked right inside for extra nutrition, but also lends creaminess for a cheese sauce the kids may love!
Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
I love adding veggies to sauces to add flavor and nutrition to food for kids—it’s often an easy and effective way to boost nutrient intake! And the thing about using cauliflower in this cheese sauce is that it adds creaminess and nutrition, but blends right in.
And the best part? You can make it ahead of time, stash it in the fridge, and use it as needed throughout the week.
This easy cheese sauce, which simply blends together without the need to make a fussy roux with flour, pairs really nicely with broccoli and other steamed veggies as an easy side dish.
It’s also gluten-free (if that is an issue in your house) and perfectly smooth.
Ingredients You Need
To make this cheese sauce you’ll need to have the following ingredients ready to go.
- Grated cheddar cheese: You can buy it shredded or shred it yourself on a box grater. You can use yellow or white cheese, depending on your family’s color preference.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking since I prefer to be able to control the salt.
- Milk: I use whole milk, but low fat would work, too, if that’s what you have. You can also use plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk.
- Cauliflower florets: Fresh or frozen will both work here. You can buy a whole head of cauliflower or use precut florets.
- Garlic powder: This is an easy way to add flavor if you’d like to add it in.
TIP: This is a nice way to use up a small amount of lingering cauliflower or to simply offer a yummy dipping sauce to go with dinner.
Here’s a look at how to make cheese sauce so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to see the full recipe at the bottom of the post.
- Gather your ingredients (photo 1).
- Add the cauliflower to a steamer basket fitted in a medium pot with water. Cook until soft (photo 2).
- Drain as needed. Add all ingredients to a blender (photo 3).
- Blend until the mixture is very smooth. Season to taste (photo 4).
How long can I store leftovers?
This makes enough for 2-3 servings, so you can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Reheat it for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve. You can also toss any leftovers with pasta for a quick and healthy mac and cheese.
Of course, you can cut the recipe in half to make less from the start. I like to have extras in the fridge to use for future meals.
TIP: One batch of this quick cheese sauce makes enough for 1 pound of pasta.
What goes well with this Quick Cheese Sauce (besides broccoli)?
You can serve this with additional steamed cauliflower, steamed broccoli, pretzel sticks, chicken strips, or anything else the kids might like to dip into cheese sauce.
It’s great as a dip to serve with Chicken Meatballs, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Nuggets, Tofu Nuggets, or stirred into pasta to make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
How to Store
You can make this up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Best Tips for Success
- Use yellow or white cheese, depending on whether you’d like the sauce to be yellow or white.
- Serve with additional steamed cauliflower, steamed broccoli, fries, pretzel sticks, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Meatballs, as Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, or anything else the kids might like to dip into cheese sauce!
- You can omit the garlic powder for a more mellow flavor.
- You can add a pinch of mustard powder for additional flavor.
- Use store-bought cauliflower florets or cut up a head of cauliflower. You can also start with frozen florets.