East Hampton’s School-Made Cheese Sauce

Yield 72 1/2 cup servings

Recipe shared by Jen Bove MS, RD Nutrition Services Director  East Hampton Public Schools, Connecticut 

East Hampton School District created this from-scratch cheese sauce when supply chain issues prevented them from receiving their regular packaged cheese sauce. This has become one of their favorite recipes and is perfect for mac and cheese, nachos, baked potatoes, waffle fries, and more. No special special equipment is needed, just a pot, a whisk, and a big spoon. If available, a tilt skillet can be used. This recipe takes about as long to make as it does to heat up a bag of pre-packaged sauce.

Standardized Recipe Card with Picture Guide


  1. Wash hands and kitchen surfaces and wear gloves.
  2. In large saucepan or tilt skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Add flour and whisk until a blonde, very thick roux is reached.
  4. Whisk in milk until well combined and bring to a simmer (do not boil).
  5. Allow mixture to thicken, then remove from heat and stir in the cheese and spices.
  6. Place in a covered steam pan and hold at 135F.
  7. Whisk before serving.
  8. Serve in 1/2 cup portions.

Note: you can substitute half of the cheddar cheese with American Cheese for a creamier, milder sauce.

How this cheese sauce credits

½ cup of cheese sauce credits as two meat/ meat alternates. Mixing one recipe of this sauce with nine quarts of macaroni will give you a very creamy mac and cheese that credits as one grain equivalent and two meat/ meat Alternates. 

Ways to spice up the sauce

This sauce is delicious on its own, but to spice it up a bit: 

  • Add chopped pickled jalapenos when you add the cheese for even more flavorful nachos.  
  • Substitute a half cup to a cup of milk for buffalo sauce, to make a tasty mac and cheese that middle and high school students will flip for. 



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