This recipe for Low-Carb Cheddar Cheese Sauce makes a creamy, decadent topping for your favorite meat or vegetables. Unlike most cheese sauces, it has no flour, so you can use it as part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, diabetic, or Banting diet.
This recipe was originally published on December 15th, 2017. I have updated this post to give additional information.
The recipe for Keto-Friendly Low-Carb Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Our version of cheddar cheese sauce takes out the carbs but not the taste. The sauce has a silky texture and is loaded with cheddar cheese goodness. It’s quick, simple, and full of hearty flavors. It’s pure keto comfort food. If you’re looking for a keto-friendly food to make the world seem warmer and cozier, this sauce fits the bill.
Garlic and onion are pungent seasonings that add a savory cheese goodness. Meanwhile, red pepper offers hints of spiciness, and salt, together with black pepper, helps balance the overall flavor.
This recipe is also very versatile. If you find the taste of garlic overpowering, reduce garlic amounts or altogether leave it out. The same goes for red pepper; you can omit it for those who are avoiding nightshades or simply don’t like even a hint of spice.
Kids will love this cheese sauce. Its mild, inviting flavors can win over any palate, leaving no room for picky eaters! Make this sauce to top vegetables regularly, and your kids will make them disappear.
I love serving this sauce over veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. But it’s so versatile; you don’t have to stop there. You can use it as a savory topping for chicken, pour it over your favorite ingredients to make a casserole, or scoop it up with some low-carb tortillas. The possibilities are endless!
The Inspiration for our Keto Cheese Sauce
I’ve always loved cheese sauce and used to make a similar sauce using a macaroni and cheese recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. I still love cheese sauce. I still love my cookbook. But that recipe required lots of flour to thicken the sauce, so I went to work in the kitchen to create a low carb version.
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Is Cheddar Cheese Keto-Friendly?
Absolutely! Cheddar cheese contains just 0.4 grams of carbs per 28 grams slice, with a relatively high-fat content to give a gooey texture.
If you don’t have any cheddar cheese at hand, I recommend substituting it with gruyere or blue cheese. They are both low in carbs and help make a robust sauce that you can also incorporate into your keto diet.
What’s the best cheddar cheese for cheese sauce?
All cheddar cheese varieties are low in carbs. Whether yellow, off-white or pure white, they all have low carbohydrate amounts.
The other significant difference to note is that of taste. Some cheddar cheeses are mild, while others are bold in flavor. I recommend going for mild-flavored cheese if you like a delicate cheese sauce, and choose bold cheddar for a stronger, dominating cheese flavor.
That said, it all comes down to taste and preference, and presentation, of course! For that golden, glossy finish, use a rich, yellow cheese. However, you’ll still get an equally pleasant sauce with white cheddar. The most important thing to remember is to serve the sauce melting hot for the creamiest experience!
How to thicken low-carb, keto-friendly cheese sauce
One problem with a lot of recipes for cheese sauce is that they are thickened with a roux. This is a mixture of flour and butter. The downside is that the flour adds a lot of carbs.
Today, you won’t need any flour. In this recipe, the sauce is thickened by the heavy cream and the cheese itself. Heavy cream is the elixir that makes this sauce thick, rich, and smooth. Another bonus is that it provides fat to keep my keto followers happy. That, plus cheese, makes a melt-in-your-mouth creamy sauce that’s going to change your keto dinners.
Using cheese and cream not only makes the sauce keto-friendly, but also gives the sauce a silkier texture than traditional cheese sauces. Even the flavor is better since the cheese goodness is unadulterated by fillers.
Can I adjust the thickness of the cheese sauce?
Yes, you can make this sauce thicker or thinner to suit your taste. If you would like to make the sauce thinner, simply stream in a little more cream or almond milk while whisking the sauce.
If you feel that the sauce isn’t thick enough, no worries, just add more cheese! This will thicken the sauce without the need for additional fillers.
Other Low Carb Cheese Recipes
This low carb cheese sauce is extremely delicious; you’ll be tempted to eat it straight. While eating it with a spoon is definitely an option, it’s also wonderful spooned over other foods. I drizzle it on anything I want to add a bit of cheese goodness to.
We used it in this broccoli cheese casserole to make a tasty dish and loved the final result. The sauce lends mild flavors to the broccoli and accompanies it with a pleasant, creamy texture that completes the ultimate winter comfort food.
If you like, use cauliflower in place of the broccoli. Cauliflower is just as tender as broccoli. It also works great with cheese sauce and is an excellent low carb option.
If you love cheese, you might want to try our recipe for Taco Crusted Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts. our Low-Carb Ham and Cheese Sandwich Braid Recipe, or these Keto Cheese Chips from My Keto Kitchen.
This Low-Carb Cheddar Cheese Sauce is a recipe you can get creative with. Try different cheeses and different herbs and spices. It’s a recipe that you can make your own. Enjoy!
Low-Carb Cheese Sauce
This Low-Carb Cheddar Cheese Sauce adds creamy goodness to your favorite meat or vegetable. It's not thickened with flour, like most cheese sauces, so it can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, diabetic, or Banting diet.
In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, heat heavy whipping cream over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
When cream just begins to simmer, whisk in the cheese, garlic, onion powder, red pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper. Turn heat to low.
When cheese has melted, remove the sauce from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Whisk again, just prior to serving.
Serving size: about 2 tablespoons
Fat (g): 11
Carbs (g): 1
Fiber (g): 0
Protein (g): 3
Net carbs (g): 1