This Béchamel sauce recipe also known as the white sauce is the base for many sauces. Every cook needs this sauce for their lasagna, moussaka or a croque monsieur.
It is a really easy and forgiving sauce. You can’t fail and I will share the secret to never getting a lumpy sauce ever. Are you ready to learn how you can make this Béchamel sauce recipe at home? Let’s get started!
Opposed to what you may think the origin of this white sauce is Italy and then brought to France in early 1500.
This white sauce is one of the 5 sauces that are on the Mother of all sauces list. The list consists of:
- Béchamel – a white roux and milk-based sauce
- Hollandaise – a sauce made of egg yolk, butter and a bit of acidity like lemon or vinegar
- Tomate – a tomato based sauce
- Espagnole – a brown veal stock sauce, thickened with a brown roux
- Velouté – a light stock-based creamy sauce
The main base for a white sauce is a roux. A roux is a mixture of butter and flour. If you want to make a vegan version you can substitute the butter with oil.
If you use oil, add a little more and do not let it get too hot because you will fry the flour instead of cooking it.
What is important when making a roux is you give it time set. Just like baking a cake or bread the dough needs time to get done. The same applies to a roux.
White sauce ingredients
To make the white sauce you only need 5 ingredients. Most of them are probably in your kitchen already. You need:
How to make this Bechamel sauce recipe
We start out with a saucepan. Heat the pan over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. When the butter starts to fizz add the flour.
Whisk the flour and butter together into a consistent base. Make sure that the flour and butter are well combined. It will turn into a ball of dough.
Now add the cold milk in one go. As the milk is cold you will have time to whisk away all the lumps while the milk warms.
Whisk ferociously and you will see the creamy sauce come together as the milk warms. It has a thick glue-like consistency.
Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can use a pinch of nutmeg.
A lot of béchamel sauce recipes call for cheese as an ingredient. If you add cheese to this white sauce recipe you get what is called Mornay sauce.
Usually, a strongly flavored cheese is used with a nutty or saltier flavor in Mornay sauce. I’m all for doing what you like not so much what a recipe calls for.
So if you do not like cheese leave it out. If you love cheese, by all means, put it in the sauce. You can add your favorite cheese like:
- Emmenthaler cheese
As you can make bechamel ahead of time there are a number of way you can store the sauce:
- Refrigerate – you can store the sauce in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Cool the sauce as quickly as possible. Put a piece of cling film in direct contact with the sauce. So no skin can form on top of the sauce.
- Freeze – put the sauce in a freezer proof container and once cooled store it in the freezer
Reheat the sauce
How to reheat bechamel sauce? This is really easy. Thaw the sauce first if you stored it in the freezer. Reheat over low to medium heat in a saucepan.
Stir through and let it warm. If the sauce is really thick you can add a splash of milk and whisk it through the sauce and you are ready to use it.
Use bechamel sauce
Besides as a sauce, you can use this white sauce for many different recipes. You can use it with:
- Lasagna – put it on top of your vegetarian or taco lasagna
- Pasta Alfredo – pour this sauce over your favorite pasta and you have pasta Alfredo
- Croque Monsieur – a fancy sandwich with lots of béchamel sauce
- Moussaka – make it extra thick when you put it on top of your Moussaka
- Enchilada sauce – when you make this delicious sauce you can start with this white sauce
- Spanish croquettes – when you make the base of croquettes start with this roux. Make a thick version and let it set in the fridge before you turn them into croquettes
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Have fun making this bechamel sauce recipe!
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The mother of all sauce this béchamel is also known as white sauce and a great base for your sauces, lasagna, Moussaka, croquettes or croque monsieur.
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup grated Emmenthaler or Gruyere cheese
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. When the butter starts to fizz add the flour
- Whisk the flour and butter together into a consistent base like a ball of dough
- Add all the cold milk in one go. With cold milk, you have time to whisk all the lumps away while the milk warms
- Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can use a pinch of nutmeg and add your favorite cheese
Whisk ferociously and you will see the creamy sauce come together as the milk warms. It has a thick glue-like consistency
Calories: 124; Fat: 9g; Carbs: 6g; Protein: 4.5g;