This Fontina Cheese Sauce is rich and thick with so much cheesy flavor and a kick of spice from cayenne and Cajun seasoning. It’s perfect over pasta, chicken, veggies, and more!
I was inspired the other day to make a cheese sauce after my BF and I ended up at Olive Garden for a late night summer. I had a similar cheese sauce with my pasta and, like any true foodie, I knew that I had to make my own.
And boy did I! I’d call it an Olive Garden copycat, but I think my Fontina Cheese Sauce is just that much better.
What is Fontina Cheese?
Fontina cheese is a semi-soft, rich, and creamy cheese. It has a smooth buttery flavor with hints of nuttiness. It’s often compared to gruyere, provolone, or gouda in texture and flavor.
And it’s so good melted into a cheese sauce for mac and cheese!
Ingredients Needed for Mac and Cheese Cheese Sauce:
- Butter and Flour - forms a roux which helps thicken the cheese sauce.
- Milk - any kind of milk will work. The higher the fat in the milk, the creamier the mac and cheese cheese sauce.
- Seasonings - we’re kicking the flavor up with Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and garlic salt.
- Cheese - use freshly grated Fontina cheese.
How to Make Cheese Sauce for Mac and Cheese
In a small pot, whisk together flour and melted butter. Slowly add in milk, whisking constantly.
Season with Cajun seasoning, garlic salt, then melt in the cheese. Again, stirring constantly.
How Do You Keep Cheese Sauce for Mac and Cheese Creamy?
There are a few things you can do to make sure that your cheese sauce is nice and creamy every time:
- Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses contain an anti-caking agent that can result in a gritty/grainy texture. Freshly grate your cheese for the best texture.
- Cook on low heat. Low heat prevents clumps from forming as the cheese melts.
Stir constantly. Make sure you’re constantly whisking as the cheese melts to keep the sauce nice and smooth.
More Quick Tips
- Play with texture. Make the cheese sauce thicker or thinner by just adjusting the amount of milk used. It’s all personal preference here!
- Use room temperature milk. Cold liquids take longer to thicken. Set the measured amount of milk out on the counter a while before making the sauce to let it warm up a bit.
- Love spice? Be generous with the cayenne or add in a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
You can serve this cheese sauce over whatever cooked noodles you like for a delicious homemade mac and cheese.
But it doesn’t stop there! It’s also great drizzled over chicken, on broccoli, over roasted veggies, on nachos, slathered on your favorite burger, you name it. You really can’t go wrong!
We love pairing this sauce for a creamy mac and cheese over blackened chicken with peas.
How to Store
The cheese sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. I like to store it in an airtight resaleable glass jar or plastic container.
How to Reheat Homemade Cheese Sauce
To reheat your leftover cheese sauce, you have a couple of options:
- Microwave: Microwave in 30 second intervals to prevent hot or burnt spots until warmed through.
- Stovetop: Reheat in a saucepan on low on the stove until warmed through. Stir frequently.
More Cheese Sauce Recipes
It’s no secret that I love macaroni slathered in cheese. While this Fontina Cheese Sauce is delicious, if you can’t find Fontina Cheese, have no fear. These recipes will have you just as deep in cheesy goodness!
Ultimate Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe
Spicy Taco Mac and Cheese
Slow Cooker Barbecue Mac and Cheese
If you’ve tried my Fontina Cheese Sauce recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivore, Twitter & Facebook.
Fontina Cheese Sauce
- 6 tbs butter
- 6 tbs flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teas Cajun seasoning
- ½ teas Cayenne pepper
- ½ teas black pepper
- ½ teas garlic salt
- 6 oz fresh grated Fontina cheese
- In a sauté pot, whisk flour into melted butter.
- Slowly pour in milk, continuously whisking.
- Add Cajun seasoning through garlic salt and melt in the cheese. Keep stirring!
- This sauce thickens up quickly so feel free to add a bit more milk to thin it out a little – I will the next time I make it.
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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Customer Service is pretty much non-existent, I hate going somewhere and feeling like I am bothering someone to get waited on. People now seem so caught up in themselves they rarely ever smile when you see them, or hold the door or thank you for holding the door. I could go on too! So I totally get your post, would love to see things change!
I agree. Also, I really dislike when I thank a clerk, and he/she says: "No problem".
Of course it isn't a problem, it's your job and business! Grrrr...
I'm pretty sure it's a reflex response and they're not expecting you to read into it or think they are so self-involved that they expect to be thanked. If you feel so strongly that they're just "doing their job" and it shouldn't be a problem to deal with customer (like yourself), I'm surprised you even thank them!
Ooh, that looks so yummy. Well, the Olive Garden is good but for me, it is a little on the salty side. But the creativity is there. Yours looks so much better.
Thanks again for stopping by my blog on SITS day. You're awesome!
I feel the same way about customer service. Great post!
Great recipe! I added a lot more milk! 🙂 If you are serving to children cut down on the seasoning! Other than that great!