Easy Cream Sauce

Cream Sauce

Diana Rattray

Ratings (41)
  • Total: 29 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 14 mins
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 Cups (8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
134 Calories
9g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Makes 1 1/2 Cups (8 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 134
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 66mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This cream sauce is richer than the typical white sauce or Bechamel, and it's just as versatile. Add a few tablespoons of Chardonnay or dry white wine, or add some Parmesan cheese to give this easy basic sauce a little zing. Herbs and other types of cheese may be added as well. See the tips and variations for more ideas.

It is a fabulous sauce to serve over chicken, shrimp, or fish fillets, and it takes just minutes to fix. Alternatively, add a few cups of shredded cheese and use it for a rich and creamy macaroni and cheese. It's an excellent sauce to use as a binder in casseroles, too.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons ​all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Dash kosher salt
  • Dash white pepper (or black pepper)
  • Optional: pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Optional: 4 tablespoons dry white wine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cream sauce ingredients.
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to appear around the edge. Keep warm.

    Cook milk in saucepan
    The Spruce
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

    Heat butter in saucepan
    The Spruce
  4. Add the flour and stir until mixture is well blended. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    Add flour to mixture
    The Spruce
  5. Gradually stir in the hot milk. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until sauce begins to boil and thickens. Simmer, frequently stirring, over very low heat for 5 minutes.

    Add milk to flour and butter mixture
    The Spruce
  6. Stir in cream and wine, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little nutmeg and herbs if desired.

    Finished easy cream sauce
    The Spruce
  7. The recipe makes about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of medium thickness cream sauce.

Tip

  • The white pepper is just to keep the sauce white. If you prefer the flavor of black pepper, feel free to use freshly ground black pepper.


Recipe Variations

  • Sauté 1 clove of pressed or minced garlic in the butter for a minute before adding the flour and then proceed with the recipe.
  • Sauté 1 tablespoon of minced shallots in the butter until translucent. Add the flour and continue with the recipe.
  • Sauté 1 tablespoon of minced shallots in the butter until translucent. Add the flour and continue with the recipe.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped herbs or about 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs. 
  • For onion flavor without the texture, add a slice of onion to the milk when heating. Remove the onion slice before you add the hot milk to the roux.
  • Add 1/4 cup each of Parmesan cheese and shredded Gruyere along with the salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded smoked Gouda cheese (4 ounces) and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to the sauce along with the salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until the cheese has melted. Use it in macaroni and cheese, over poached eggs, or with steamed vegetables.