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Student Recipes

Cheap and simple cheese sauce recipe

Cheese sauce is really simple to make, but there's definitely a secret to getting it right. Bin those packaged powder sauces and try this fail-proof cheese sauce recipe.

cheese sauce pot in front of cheese

Credit: Angorius (foreground), Wetwiwat (background) - Shutterstock

Cheese sauce is an obvious favourite amongst students and can be put in lots of different dishes – lasagnas, fish pies, nachos, and, of course, any good pasta recipe.

Even better, learning how to make cheese sauce is pretty easy too. Sure, you could use the powdery packet stuff, but let's be honest – it's pretty gross, right?

This cheese sauce recipe is super easy, super cheap and super delicious. In fact, we've previously seen it described as "sensational" on X (formerly Twitter).

So, without further ado, this is how to make cheese sauce.

Check out our list of foods you can eat past their best. Don't throw your food budget straight in the bin!

Easy cheese sauce recipe


Serves: 1 for cheesy pasta (double if you're making lasagne) | Cost: £0.83* | Time taken: 10–20 mins

  • 40g cheese (we'd recommend cheddar, but any cheese will do) (£0.27)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (£0.11)
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour (£0.01)
  • 1 pint of milk (£0.44).


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add the plain flour and stir quickly so it comes together, looking like a dough or thick, lumpy paste.
  3. Add a splash of milk and stir quickly until it comes together into a fluffier, more doughy texture (it'll still be lumpy at this point, but don't worry!).
  4. Keep adding splashes of the milk and stirring until your sauce has a thick consistency. It should become a smooth, white-ish liquid that is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Add your cheese and stir until it's all blended together.
  6. If your sauce seems a little too thick after adding the cheese, add another splash of milk. You can add a little more flour if the sauce seems too thin, but be warned that this could turn it a bit lumpy.

And there you have it! That's how to make cheese sauce.

You can use it with heaps of different recipes. And, although you can't freeze any leftover sauce, you can keep a bag of grated cheese in your freezer (perfect for making our cheese and onion potato rosti dish, too). This makes it a great comfort food saviour all year round.

If you love delicious meals that cost next to nothing (who doesn't?), check out our monthly meal plan.

* Prices were correct at the time of writing (using prices as guidelines).

Laura Craddock

WRITTEN BY Laura Craddock

Alongside blogging about baking, Laura Craddock shares top tips and recipes for Save the Student to help our readers spend less on food. Laura studied English at the University of Dundee.
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