An easy recipe for a creamy keto cheese sauce for broccoli or other vegetables. There's no flour in the sauce! Just heavy cream, cheddar, and spices.
Cheese is one of the best ways I have found to make vegetables so palatable, that even The Picky Eater would agree to eat them, while enthusiastically asking for seconds. 😮
This keto cheese sauce is wonderfully thick, creamy and velvety, yet it contains no flour. How do I do it? Read on to find out!
Cheese makes vegetables more palatable
Personally, I love steamed vegetables. For example, steamed broccoli. I think it's good all by itself, with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. It's even better with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
But some people (ahem, I'm looking at you, dear daughter) need butter and/or cheese on their vegetables to make them palatable, and that's fine.
So I often make cheesy casseroles such as broccoli casserole or cauliflower casserole. They certainly do help the medicine go down! And this creamy keto cheese sauce is another reliable way to achieve the same effect.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this creamy sauce. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Heavy cream: I tried making this with half-and-half and it was a fail. Heavy whipping cream is definitely the way to go.
Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. It flavors the sauce and it also helps prevent it from becoming stringy.
Spices: Garlic powder and cayenne pepper. You can use fresh minced garlic if you'd like.
Shredded cheddar: I like to use sharp cheddar. Yum. 🧀
How to make a keto cheese sauce
It's an easy recipe. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Steam your vegetable of choice in the microwave. Today I used broccoli.
Heat up the sauce - it takes all of 5 minutes to be ready. Simply heat the heavy cream with the Dijon and spices. Then, over low heat, slowly and patiently mix in the cheese until fully melted.
Pour the sauce over the vegetables, then serve.
Do I need to add flour to the sauce to thicken it?
The classic recipe requires flour, which helps improve the sauce's texture. But I find that this no-flour keto cheese sauce is excellent. It's rich, creamy, and its thickness is perfect.
I do recommend using store-bought shredded cheese in this recipe. I suspect that the small amount of anti-caking agent typically added to store-bought shredded cheese (powdered cellulose in the Whole Foods brand) helps the sauce thicken.
If you're shredding your own cheese and you feel that the sauce is too thin, simply stir in a bit more cheese - try ¼ cup more.
You can also mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon cold water and stir that into the sauce. This will add a tiny amount of carbs - 2 grams for the entire recipe. I prefer cornstarch to flour because it's usually gluten-free, and you can use less of it.
Don't skip the mustard
The Dijon mustard adds great flavor to the sauce. But I suspect it also helps prevent the sauce from becoming stringy by adding an acidic component. So please don't skip it.
How to serve keto cheese sauce
It's ideal as a topping for steamed vegetables. I usually serve it with:
Can you make it in advance?
I haven't tried that. You can try refrigerating the sauce, covered, for up to three days. Add a little heavy cream or milk when you reheat it, and reheat it covered, in the microwave, on 50% power. Stir it after 30 seconds or so and see if the texture is OK, then continue reheating for 30 more seconds.
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keto Cheese Sauce
- 3 cups broccoli florets, bite-size (10 oz)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 oz)
- Steam the broccoli florets until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the cream, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and cayenne to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
- Heat the cream mixture over medium heat. When the cream starts to bubble around the edges, lower the heat to low.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar, ⅓ at a time, slowly and patiently stirring it in with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted. Don't stir vigorously or the sauce will become stringy. Turn the heat off as soon as it's all melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the steamed broccoli and serve.
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- Using store-bought pre-shredded cheese seems to help with the sauce's texture. I suspect that the small amount of anti-caking agent typically added to shredded cheese (powdered cellulose in the Whole Foods brand) helps the sauce thicken.
- If you're shredding your own cheese and you feel that the cheese sauce is too thin, simply stir in a bit more cheese - try ¼ cup more. You can also mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of cold water and stir that into the sauce. This will add a tiny amount of carbs - 2 grams for the entire recipe.
- Heat the sauce over low heat and stir the cheese in slowly and gently to prevent the cheese from becoming stringy.
- Please don't skip the mustard - its acidty helps improve the sauce's textue.