|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||22%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||34%|
|*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.|
English parsley sauce sometimes gets a bad reputation, thanks to memories of thick, gloopy sauce served lukewarm. It's an old-fashioned sauce that's fallen out of favor with some, but it doesn't deserve to be relegated to the history books. Parsley sauce is a quick and simple sauce that can be extremely delicious.
This parsley sauce recipe is made of fresh parsley, butter, English mustard, milk, and flour. It's a great way to give a basic white sauce a gentle flavor and use an abundance of parsley. The creamy parsley sauce is ready in about 20 minutes and pairs perfectly with baked or pan-fried fish or baked ham. Additional embellishments can be included, such as other fresh herbs, lemon juice, or Parmesan cheese.
Click Play to See This Traditional English Parsley Sauce Come Together
"The parsley sauce was flavorful and attractive, and it was an easy recipe to follow. It would be an excellent sauce to serve with fish or seafood, and with the mustard it would be great with meat, especially corned beef or ham." —Diana Rattray
2 tablespoons/25 grams butter
2 tablespoons/20 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons English mustard, optional
1 cup/250 milliliters milk, more as needed
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Stir in the flour and mustard (if using). Stir thoroughly to form a thick paste. Cook gently for 2 to 3 minutes more, watching the heat to ensure the paste does not burn. This will cook off the taste of raw flour in the finished sauce.
Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, frequently whisking to make sure there are no lumps. The sauce should be quite thick but still pouring consistency. If too thick, add a little more milk.
Add the fresh parsley and stir well. Season with a good pinch of sea salt and a few black pepper grinds. Taste and add more as needed.
Keep the sauce warm, on low heat, until needed. If keeping sauce warm for more than 15 minutes, laying a piece of buttered parchment paper on the surface will prevent a skin from forming. If a slight skin does form, whisk thoroughly over heat, and it should disappear.
- If the sauce is too thick, whisk in milk a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If the sauce is too thin, whisk a small amount of flour with a little water to create a slurry. Whisk into the parsley sauce over heat and cook until thickened.
- Dried parsley is not a good substitute for the fresh herb, particularly in this recipe. Like cilantro and some other leafy herbs, parsley loses most of its flavor when dried and will result in a bland sauce.
- Add finely chopped chervil or tarragon and a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This variation is great with fish.
- If serving with boiled or baked ham, reserve some of the cooking liquor and make the sauce with half milk and half stock.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese and serve over cooked vegetables au gratin.
Can Parsley Sauce Be Frozen?
Though it's best served when freshly made, parsley sauce will keep covered in the fridge for a day or two and can be reheated. Freezing parsley sauce is not recommended since it will affect the creamy texture. It only takes a few minutes to make, so it's best to whip up a fresh batch.