Basic Medium Bechamel Sauce With Variations

Making Sauce in a Saucepan
Yvonne Duivenvoorden/Radius Images/Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup (4 to 6 Servings)
Ratings (8)

Bechamel is a basic French white sauce. This recipe includes several variations, including Mornay, mustard sauce, herb sauce, and more.

This is a medium sauce. For a thin sauce, use 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. For a thick sauce, use 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour.

See Also
Classic Hollandaise Sauce

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heated milk
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste
  • Optional: freshly ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan or saucier over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture is well blended. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  2. Gradually stir in hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to boil and thickens.
  3. Simmer, stirring frequently, over very low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little nutmeg, if desired.
  5. Makes about 1 cup of medium thick sauce.

    Mornay Sauce Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to 1 cup of hot sauce; stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with a little mustard or Worcestershire sauce to taste.

    Velouté Sauce Substitute chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable broth for the milk.

    Herb Sauce Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped herbs or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs to 1 cup of hot sauce. Cook for a minute or two longer to get more flavor from the herbs.

    Cream Sauce Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy cream to the finished sauce. For an onion flavor, add an onion slice to the milk when heating; remove onion slice before adding milk to flour and butter mixture.

    Mustard Sauce Combine 1 teaspoon dry mustard to flour used in sauce. This sauce is especially good with fish and chicken.

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    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 126
    Total Fat 7 g
    Saturated Fat 4 g
    Unsaturated Fat 3 g
    Cholesterol 14 mg
    Sodium 303 mg
    Carbohydrates 12 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 3 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)