How To Thicken Cheese Sauce For The Best Result

There are several ways to enjoy cheese sauce, such as tossing it with fries, enjoying it with a bag of tortilla chips, cooking in some pasta, or even enjoying it as mac and cheese. But if the sauce is too thin, you must figure out how to thicken cheese sauce for the best results.

So how do you thicken your cheese sauce? The most common way of thickening cheese sauce is by cooking it longer so the excess liquid dries up. If this doesn’t help, try adding a thickening agent or even more cheese to give you the perfect texture.

If you have already made cheese sauce that is too thin, there are many ways that you can thicken it instead of discarding it. This article covers several methods to achieve this.


Why Is My Cheese Sauce Thin?

There are several reasons your cheese sauce might not come out as you expected. In most cases, cheese sauce gets too thin when you don’t cook it as well as you should. It also gets thin if you add excess liquid to the mixture. 

Milk-To-Cheese Ratio

It is a common mistake among first-time cheese sauce makers to ignore using a recipe. A recipe is important not just for cheese sauce but when making any meal. Using a recipe will ensure you have the measurements right and keep everything in proportion.

You might mess up the milk-to-cheese proportions when you don’t use a recipe. By doing so, the sauce might become too thin or even too thick. To prevent this from happening, you should always use a recipe in making your cheese sauce until you no longer need it.

Cooking Times

The cheese needs enough time to melt and mix properly with the milk in the right proportion. After it melts, you can hold on a bit and allow it to cook slowly on low heat until it becomes smooth and consistent throughout.

Sometimes, you might want to use whole cream milk alternatives like skimmed milk or mix the whole cream and skimmed milk together in halves. However, you might have to reduce the quantity because of its low-fat and contains more water.

How To Thicken My Cheese Sauce

The most common way to thicken cheese sauce is the addition of thickening agents such as starch agents, cheese, or egg yolks. These ingredients ensure that your sauce does not get too runny. You can also thicken your cheese sauce by cooking it for a longer time under low heat.

Meanwhile, the cheese sauce won’t thicken until it cools down, so you have to allow a margin for that to happen. There are different methods by which you can thicken your cheese sauce. Use the most convenient method for you and allow enough time for each method to work before trying the next.

Allow It To Simmer On Low Heat

Simmering your cheese sauce is probably the best and easiest way to reduce the amount of liquid in it. To do this, cook the sauce on low heat for a longer period while stirring it continuously until it becomes consistent. This also allows the excess liquid in the sauce to evaporate. 

It would help if you stirred it from time to time, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom or form clumps in the pan. The procedure might be slow, but you can hasten it by transferring the sauce to a wider pan to increase its surface area reaction to heat and then whisk until it becomes even.

Add Starch

Adding thickening agents will help remove excess liquid from cheese sauce, and a perfect example is cornstarch or all-purpose flour. To do this, make a little slurry out of any of the two and add it to your cheese sauce. Pour the slurry into the sauce and let it cook for a while.

However, you might want to be careful with the thickening agent you use so you don’t get a cheese sauce that’s too thick and tasteless. It will also make it very clumpy when it cools down, requiring frequent reheating. Therefore, I advise you to begin with small amounts of thickener first.

Add Egg Yolks To The Sauce

Egg yolk is also a thickening agent and can be used in place of cornstarch or all-purpose flour. After adding the egg yolk to the cheese sauce, you must let it cook while constantly stirring to achieve your desired consistency.

Add More Cheese

You could also thicken cheese sauce by adding more cheese to the mix. There’s no such thing as “too much cheese,” so you can always add more until it is thick enough. To do this, add enough shredded cheese to the sauce while it is still on the stovetop. After that, mix the sauce until the shredded cheese melts and blends equally with the cheese sauce. Remember to adjust the seasoning after adding more cheese to keep it balanced.

Final Thoughts

There are several ways to enjoy cheese sauce, but it sometimes turns out too thin. Using the tips outlined in this article, you can thicken your cheese sauce and enjoy it with your dish of choice. 

About The Author

Hi There, I'm Lisa Anderson. I'm a 30-year-old with a passion for cooking, art, and dogs (not always in that order). With a background in both cooking and writing, ShiftyChevre is a collection of my experiences with food, recipes, lifestyle, and other kitchen-related topics.

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