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.

    Related Recipes

    Homemade Cheese Sauce

    Mushroom Madeira Sauce With Pan Drippings

    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.)