Skip the freezer section and make homemade broccoli with cheese sauce instead! Steamed broccoli florets are smothered in an easy 3 ingredient cheese sauce for a delicious and kid friendly side dish.

Broccoli with cheese sauce has been a classic side dish for ages, when you make it fresh it’s SO much better than the frozen kind you grew up eating.

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce Recipe | Homemade Cheese Sauce | Broccoli Side Dish #broccoli #cheese #lowcarb #sidedish #dinneratthezoo

A pan of broccoli with cheese sauce that's full of steamed broccoli florets and homemade sauce.

Growing up, my mom used to always serve me broccoli with cheese melted on top. It’s a classic flavor combination that never goes out of style! This broccoli with cheese sauce recipe features fresh steamed broccoli and a homemade sauce. It’s the perfect easy side dish that goes great with almost any meal!

How do I make a cheese sauce?

This is pretty much the easiest cheese sauce ever. It’s a combination of shredded cheddar cheese, cornstarch and evaporated milk. That’s it!

Evaporated milk, shredded cheese and cornstarch in a skillet.

The cheese is tossed in the cornstarch, then added to the evaporated milk and melted until smooth. The end result is a smooth, creamy and flavorful cheese sauce that’s perfect for vegetables, potatoes, mac and cheese, nachos and more!

A pan of melted cheese sauce.

How to make broccoli with cheese sauce

I lightly steam my broccoli, season it with salt and pepper, and then pour the pan of cheese sauce over the top. It’s as simple as that!

A pan of steamed broccoli smothered in melted cheese sauce.

You want to be sure to use freshly shredded cheese here, the pre-grated stuff is coated with additives and won’t melt smooth. Also, since the ingredient list is so short here, the higher quality cheese you use, the better flavor you’ll end up with. I like to use a high quality medium cheddar cheese. You can also make this sauce with other cheeses like Monterey Jack!

A pan of broccoli topped with cheese sauce.

Broccoli with cheese sauce is best served immediately, while you can refrigerate and reheat the leftovers, the cheese sauce will be a bit grainier upon reheating.

My family adores this dish, I typically serve it alongside chicken, fish or steak. No one can resist all that cheese!

More fabulous side dishes

5 from 23 votes

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of broccoli with cheese sauce that's full of steamed broccoli florets and homemade sauce.
Skip the freezer section and make homemade broccoli with cheese sauce instead! Steamed broccoli florets are smothered in an easy 3 ingredient cheese sauce for a delicious and kid friendly side dish.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Serves 4


  • 3 cups broccoli florets steamed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese use freshly grated cheese
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk


  • Add the cheese and corn starch to a bowl and toss to combine. 
  • Place the cheese mixture and evaporated milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth and thick.
  • Add additional evaporated milk if needed to thin the sauce.
  • Season the broccoli with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and serve.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 61.8mg | Calcium: 464mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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5 from 23 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I love your recipes. They are my 1st go to whenever im making something. But it figures I don’t have any evaporated milk in the house. Can I use regular milk I don’t want to use another recipe thank you

  2. All I have is sharp cheddar in a block. I’ll shred it in my Vitamix. Is it going to taste bad that it’s sharp cheddar? I’m going to try it and I’ll let you know.

  3. Looking forward to making this later today for our Dinner guest.. I’m sure by all the comments, it’s going to be a winner! I’m using evaporated milk, along with shredded cheddar cheese..
    Dee Mauldin. 09/14/2020

  4. 5 stars
    Great cheese sauce! I didn’t have any evaporated milk and used half and half instead. We served it over broccoli and baked potatoes.

  5. can we use craft cheese mixed with cheddar? and what other milk substitutes can i use i only have milk. will butter work with some milk? or no? gotta get my kids to like it or he wont touch it again lol 🙂

    1. Unfortunately there is not a substitute for cornstarch in this recipe, the cheese will clump together without it.

      1. Actually, potato starch works well and so does a little flour mixed with water to make a slurry does too. I use it and it comes out well.

    1. I have never tried this with regular milk, I don’t think it would work as well because evaporated milk is thicker than regular milk!

    2. My son is lactose intolerant. So… I use a hard white cheddar and a milk that are both lactose free. I spice mine up with a tablespoon of mustard and a tablespoon of chili powder.
      My family love it.

  6. 5 stars
    Keeper. And that’s rare for my wife. Thanks for sharing. Oh yes. Looked like glop, but all of sudden cheese sauce came together.

  7. 5 stars
    Everything is better with cheese! I’m thinking this cheese sauce could be used even for nachos.

  8. 5 stars
    My family loves anything with melted cheese. Maybe the kids will eat more broccoli if I top it with melted cheese!

  9. I love how simple and easy this recipe is. I’ll have to make this for the whole family. So much better to make my own cheddar cheese sauce than to buy a premade one!

  10. I always skip the preservative filled food and make my own spin on food, too. Your broccoli with cheese sauce looks oh so delicious and heartwarming!