I went through an entire block of sharp cheddar in the last two days.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to say that before starting this blog, but it feels surprisingly good to say.  You know what I WISH I could say?  “I went to the gym everyday for two weeks in a row.”  


Let’s get back to the jalapeño cheese sauce.

This can play multiple roles in your life.  I found it to be crazy delicious with some pretzel bites I made as a test recipe, but here’s what I’m thinking of for another use:  philly cheesesteak “cheez whiz”.  Yeah.  Add that one to my “let’s try this ASAP” list.

But really, back to the jalapeño cheese sauce.  After a few attempts at this jalapeño cheese sauce, I feel as if I finally found the one that I love.  I say I love it because although I had already eaten lunch and tried a couple of pretzel bites with leftover cheese sauce(s) from yesterday, I couldn’t put this stuff down once I tasted it.  Now it’s about 3 p.m., the full-tummy-naptime feeling is starting to set in, and I’m afraid Robert Goulet will start messing with my stuff if I fall asleep.  (If you don’t get the reference, I loved this commercial.)  Was it worth the chance of Robert Goulet destroying my apartment as I sleep peacefully on my couch after a cheese sauce overload?  Yes.  I have no regrets.

When making this for yourself, don’t rush through it … the more patient you are and allow the liquids to thicken, the better the consistency will be at the end.

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  15-20 minutes

Clean-up difficulty:  2

Overall difficulty to make:  3

Overall satisfaction:  8 

Price range?  This dish is under $1 for two people.

What I would change next time?  I want to add some more depth to this sauce at some point, but it completely gets the job done!

For your own version, I recommend:.

  • Add as much jalapeño or garlic as you please.
  • Take your time with this and let the sauce cook slowly.

© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
jalapeño cheese sauce
Serves 2
Spicy cheese sauce perfect for dipping! Jalapeños, garlic and spices blend together to create this cheesy goodness.
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  2. 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 Tbsp. minced fresh jalapeño (with seeds)
  4. 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  5. 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  6. 1/4 cup light beer
  7. 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  9. 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  10. 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  11. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  12. 1/2 cup freshly grated extra sharp cheddar
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk for about 30 seconds until completely combined.
  2. Add jalapeño and garlic, whisk another 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup milk slowly until the sauce starts to thicken. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk in the same way.
  4. Stir 1-2 minutes until the sauce becomes thicker.
  5. Pour in the beer in the same manner you added the milk, whisking slowly to combine.
  6. Bring to a quick boil, then turn back down to low heat.
  7. Add mustard, seasoned salt and pepper, and let the sauce set for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Grate in the cheese and add the paprika and cayenne, whisking slowly to combine. Feel free to let this set for another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve hot!
  1. Add more garlic or jalapeño if you like. You could also substitute minced garlic for garlic powder!
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