Mastering the Art of Delia Smith Cheese Sauce: A Step-by-Step Guide

I’ve always been enchanted by the versatility of cheese sauce. It’s a luscious addition to countless dishes, transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. Inspired by the culinary wisdom of Delia Smith, I’ve taken to heart that any cheese can pave the way to a delectable sauce. Here, I’m sharing a cherished recipe that elevates macaroni cheese to a quick, gourmet delight, suitable for any day of the week. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, this recipe is foolproof and guaranteed to impress.

How To Make Delia Smith’s Classic Cheese Sauce Recipe Overview

This easy cheese sauce recipe is a game-changer, especially when you’re in a pinch for time. It’s not just about convenience; it’s about creating a rich, velvety sauce that can complement a variety of dishes, most notably a classic macaroni cheese. The preparation takes roughly 15 minutes, and it yields enough sauce to generously coat servings for 4-6 people. The secret lies in the blend of mature Cheddar and Parmesan, which together create a beautifully balanced flavor profile. Enhanced with a touch of cayenne pepper and nutmeg, the sauce brings a subtle warmth and depth to the palate. This is your go-to guide for making a cheese sauce that could very well become a staple in your culinary repertoire.


  • Mature Cheddar: 3oz (85g)
  • Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano): 1.5oz (42g)
  • Milk: 1 1/4 pint (710ml)
  • Plain Flour: 2oz (56g)
  • Butter: 2oz (56g)
  • Cayenne Pepper: Pinch
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg: A Little
  • Salt and Freshly Milled Black Pepper: To taste


  1. Begin by melting the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for 2 minutes to cook the flour without browning it.
  2. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens into a smooth sauce.
  3. Lower the heat, and add the grated Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses to the saucepan. Stir until the cheeses have melted completely and the sauce is silky.
  4. Season the sauce with a pinch of cayenne pepper, a little grated nutmeg, and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
  5. Your cheese sauce is now ready to be served over cooked macaroni for an instant macaroni cheese, or it can be used as a base for other dishes.

Nutritional Value

This cheese sauce is rich in calcium and protein, thanks to the generous amount of cheese. However, it is also high in fat and calories. A single serving contains approximately:

Calories: 150-200

Fat: 12g

Saturated Fat: 7g

Carbohydrates: 8g

Protein: 7g

Calcium: 200mg

Also Try: Delia Smith Tiramisu Recipe


Can I use other types of cheese?

Yes, you can use different types of cheese in your sauce. Feel free to experiment with your favorites. Gruyère or Emmental are great choices for a smooth, nutty flavor. For a bolder taste, try adding some blue cheese. Mixing cheeses can also create a unique flavor. Just make sure they melt well. Remember, the type of cheese you choose will change the sauce’s taste, so pick ones that match the dish you’re making. Have fun trying out various combinations!

What if my sauce is too thick?

If your sauce turns out too thick, don’t worry. It’s an easy fix. Just add a little more milk to it. Pour the milk slowly and keep stirring. Do this over a low heat. Keep adding milk until the sauce is just right for you. Sometimes it takes a bit of milk, sometimes more. It depends on how thick your sauce got. Remember, it’s better to add milk bit by bit. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

Can this cheese sauce be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this cheese sauce ahead of time. Just cook it as usual, then let it cool down. After it cools, put it in a container. Seal the container and put it in the fridge. It can stay there for a few days. When you need it, warm it up slowly on the stove. You might need to add a bit of milk to get the right thickness again. This way, you have sauce ready whenever you want it.

How can I add more flavor to my cheese sauce?

To add more flavor to your cheese sauce, try mixing in a teaspoon of mustard. It gives a nice kick. A splash of white wine can also add depth. If you like, stir in some chopped herbs like chives or parsley for freshness. Even a bit of garlic powder can make it tastier. For a smoky flavor, a dash of smoked paprika works well. Experiment with these additions to find what you like best. Each one brings something special to the sauce.


This cheese sauce recipe is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. With just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you can create a sauce that’s not only versatile but also utterly delicious. Whether draped over pasta, vegetables, or used as a dip, it’s sure to elevate your meal. Remember, cooking is an art that’s meant to be personalized, so don’t hesitate to adjust the recipe to suit your taste. Enjoy the process and the delightful results!

Leave a Comment