“ Type: Sauces „
Sainsbury's Basics Cheese Sauce
Description: Sauces / Serve as a topping for pasta noodles, lasagne or vegetables.
I used to be a little bit of a food snob and would usually buy the more expensive brands but have recently been converted to the supermarkets own ranges which offer savings to the consumer by spending less on fancy packaging and instead, using plain and functional wrappings.
Previously, I would walk past these ranges in the mistaken belief that chap and nasty packaging meant cheap and nasty products. In fact, many of the products that I have tried have been surprisingly good which has made me keen to try more. And let's face it, the packaging just gets thrown in the bin, so why spend extra on it!
Pre-prepared cheese sauce is one of those things that makes my mother cringe when she sees me buying it but unfortunately, I have never been able to make my own. I use exactly the same recipe as other people and yet it manages to taste floury and lumpy so instead, I cheat and buy packets or ready made instead.
A 500g tub of this cheese sauce costs £1.35 and like all items in the range, has plain white packaging with orange writing on it.
The cheese sauce inside is quite pale with a decent cheesy smell. It is very thick, so much so that I like to add a little bit of milk to make it slightly thinner.
The taste is surprisingly good, of course it isn't as good as home made but loads better than packets of cheese sauce mix which can sometimes taste a little bit artificial. The sauce goes well with vegetables, pasta or just as a sauce to to meals instead of gravy. I like to use it to make a quick broccoli bake, or add to pasta with bacon and cherry tomatoes but because it is so versatile, you can use it for anything you like really.
I will keep buying this sauce, it is thick, cheesy and tasty and incredibly convenient and easy to use. Okay, it isn't as good as making your own, but if you lack the time or ability, then it is a decent stand by instead!
Ingredients are as follows;
skimmed cows milk
4% cheddar cheese with vegetarian rennet
5% cheese flavouring
The cheese flavouring also contains yeast extract.
Whenever I go shopping I stock up on a tub of pre made cheese sauce as I love creamy cheesey pasta. I love to cook it with pasta and add whatever vegetables I can get my hands on as an easy cheap meal.
The cheese sauce comes in a plastic small tub with a peel off lid. The tub is full of premade fresh sauce, no need for mixing or cooking, just heating up. The problem with it being so fresh is that the sell by date is quite close after you buy it. To get round this the easiest thing to do it to pop it in the freezer and let it defrost naturally for a couple of hours before use, and if you are more pushed for time, sink it into hot water or put it in the microwave.
I am not sure if the tub is recyclable or not, but it is reuseable once washed. I cook the pasta for the time it states on the pack and then put it in an oven dish and cover with the cheese, and add some cooked vegetables. I often add some grated cheese on the top for an extra unhealthy snack, to let it go brown.
The cheese sauce is quite strong and smells very strong too. This could put you off if you are not into cheese in a big way! I love the taste of this sauce, it is cheesey and creamy and that's all I ask for in a sauce. It cooks to be smooth and not lumpy, although I like it quite thin so I add some milk too to make the sauce go a bit further.
If you like cheese sauce this is a great easy way to incorporate it into your meal time.
Ready made cheese sauce can be so useful yet if the sauce is poorly flavoured then it can ruin the food that you are going to pour it over the top of. I have tried using the packets of Colman's and Schwartz cheese sauce mixes that you just add milk and butter to but I can't get used to the tangy and rather artificial flavour that comes along with them.
I agree that cheese sauce is fairly easy to make but if time isn't on your side then it is good to have an alternative to consider. A good tasty cheese sauce can demolish a sizeable chunk of tasty cheddar into the bargain, so combine the cost of the cheese used along with the milk and butter and home made cheese sauce may well be far nicer but not necessarily a cheaper option.
A 500g tub of the Sainsbury's basics cheese sauce cost £1.29. so that isn't a bad price at all.
The tub isn't beautiful, just the plain white and orange colours of the Sainsbury's Basic range.
On the front of the tub there is a good sized chunk of what looks like Swiss cheese to me but the list of ingredients assure me that it is cheddar cheese.
The list of ingredients are fairly straightforward, skimmed cows milk, 4% cheddar cheese with vegetarian rennet, wheat flour, cornflour, salted butter, 5% cheese flavouring, salt, pepper, a dash of mustard powder and cayenne pepper.
The cheese flavouring also contains some yeast extract.
So, we have a large tub filled to the brim with enough cheese sauce to cover a large cauliflower or to use for a family sized lasagne or to just serve in a sauce boat with any meal.
The Basic range sauce looks pretty pale, you know when you have made your own cheese sauce and have used some good rich cheese and it develops a pale creamy colour? It doesn't look like that at all, as it sits in the tub you would more than likely think that it was just a plain white sauce.
There is a change of tune when you smell the sauce, the cheesy smell is there and plentiful.
Overall the sauce has a creamy consistency, there is purity of colour and it is reasonably thick.
I have used the ready made cheese sauce for a lasagne many a time and as the mince, pasta, garlic and herbs have all cooked along with the cheese sauce the combination of flavours has worked incredibly well. The Basics sauce keeps its creaminess when it has been in the oven and it doesn't separate as some sauces tend to.
The lasagne tasted no different to any other that I have made using my own sauce.
When it came to making a cauliflower cheese there was a slightly different story to tell. Because there are only the two ingredients, cauliflower and cheese sauce there is nowhere for any unusual taste to hide. The sauce poured over the top of the cauliflower easily and when it was cooked in the oven the dish browned well and smelled good.
But for me that was where the story started to change, whereas in the lasagne the cheese sauce had mingled with the other ingredients, in the cauliflowercheese the sauce was laid bare. I was able to pick up that artificial tangy taste that is one I don't care for.
The amount of cheese flavouring that has been used marginally outweighs the genuine cheddar cheese and I am afraid that I was very aware of that.
Again the consistency was good and the sauce browned very well with the help of an extra sprinkling of grated cheddar.
If I am preparing a dish that uses herbs, spices or garlic and it requires cheese sauce then the Sainsbury's Basic variety is ideal but if the cheese sauce was going to go it alone then I would prefer to make my own.
One quarter of the tub contains 71 calories, 3.1g fat, 1.9g saturated fat, 2.1g sugar and 0.85g salt.
The sauce contains gluten, wheat, milk and mustard.
You can freeze the sauce or if you open and use some of the sauce then the remainder must be kept in the fridge and used by the date stamped on the tub.
***Luigi - before I start this review I admit I am ashamed at buying cheese sauce instead of making it and I am sure you will no doubt tell me its incredibly simple to create etc ;) ***
I bought this sauce last week to use as a lasagne topping. My reason for choosing it was mainly due to the price, jar sauces of the same type are now around £2 a jar for the decent ones and I have found with the supermarket's own brand jar varieties that they don't taste as nice. I saw this in the chiller cabinet with all the fresh pasta sauces and thought I would give it a go.
The blurb on the side of the tub said it could indeed be used for lasagne topping and the price was £1.19 so worth a shot. This is a 500g tub which is plenty big enough to cover a lasagne. The packaging is standard basics, white and orange. The tub is a pretty secure affair with a breakable seal on the lid which is good because this is one sauce you would not want to spill on your car etc.
I have to say that when I opened the sauce a couple of hours later in order to pour it over my finished lasagne my first thought was 'oh my god what have I done'. I can only describe the sauce when cold in the tub as looking like a cross between curdled milk and wallpaper paste. Lumpy, gloopy, runny and grey - it hardly looked appetising but at this stage of the lasagne I did not have much choice but to use it.
So, I duly tipped this wholly unappetizing looking mixture over the lasagne. I only used about three quarters of the tub, mainly because it looked so awful I thought it would probably be a case of less is more.
I was very pleasantly surprised therefore, when I opened the oven some 40 minutes later to see a virtually textbook lasagne bubbling away. The cheese sauce had set properly and browned where the grated cheddar I had sprinkled over (emergency procedure) had melted into it. It looked absolutely lovely. On eating the lasagne I can confirm that it also tasted just like it should and the colour was much better than it had looked in the tub - I guess the moral of the story is never judge a book by its cover.
I looked at the ingredients on the back and was pleased to see that despite the price tag it was full of recognizable ingredients instead of a load of chemicals. This is not suitable for anyone with dairy or gluten allergies as it contains both. Nutritionally it also came off better than I was expecting with a quarter of the tub only containing 71 calories and 1.9g of saturated fat.
Overall I was pretty impressed with this product and it is one I will buy again, it won't win any prizes for the way it looks uncooked but it's pretty good as a lasagne topping and definitely worth the price. One of the better items in the Sainsbury's basics range.
Serve as a topping for pasta noodles, lasagne or vegetables.