The Best Bechamel Sauce

An Easy, Versatile Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Bechamel sauce is the basic white sauce used for making many other sauces as well as an accompaniment on its own.

bechamel-sauceBechamel Sauce A Basic White Sauce

It is easy to make with a little practice and once you have these basic skills you can transform many dishes with a variety of delicious sauces.

This is a great way to use up any leftovers too, as they are a delicious way of improving an otherwise plain dish.

Simply add a few other ingredients to this basic sauce and you have more delicious sauces

There is a nice selection of variations below.

Basic Bechamel Sauce Plus 5 Variations

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An Easy Bechamel Sauce Recipe
Judith Coates
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
10 Min
Total time
20 Min

An Easy Bechamel Sauce Recipe

A bechamel sauce is a basic white sauce used in many French dishes with many delicious variations.


Bechamel Sauce
  • 50 gm/¼ cup butter
  • 40 gm/⅓ cup plain flour
  • 425 ml/1¾ cup milk
  • Salt and white pepper to taste


How To Make Basic Bechamel Sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Work in the flour with a wooden spoon or whisk (my favorite tool for smooth sauce making), and when the mixture begins to froth, remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Add the milk all at once, stirring steadily to avoid lumps forming.
  4. When the sauce is smooth, return the pan to the heat and bring to simmering point.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. [Add a little more milk if the sauce thickens too much.]
  6. Alternative method: warm the milk, and then, once 1 and 2 have been completed, add it little by little, stirring continually and not removing the pan from the heat.
  7. An extra knob of butter, cut into small pieces and added individually, will give the sauce a glossy finish.
  8. If the sauce is made in advance, press a piece of greaseproof paper down onto its surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  9. To keep hot, stand the saucepan on a trivet, or upturned saucer, in a bain-marie.



With your Béchamel Sauce recipe, you can make the following delicious French sauces:

Sauce Velouté

Replace the milk with concentrated chicken stock or fish or veal stock.

Sauce Crème

Add three tablespoons double cream or crème fraiche to the béchamel sauce and finish with a few drops of lemon juice.

Sauce Mornay

Remove your béchamel sauce from the heat and add 2oz parmesan cheese or a mixture of parmesan and Swiss cheese, a little nutmeg and white pepper.

Sauce Soubise

Chop 8oz onions and boil until tender. Drain and put them through a sieve or pulp in a liquidizer. Add to thick béchamel sauce with two tablespoons thick cream and a pinch of nutmeg. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and reheat but do not boil.

Avignonnaise Sauce

Chop together very finely, four shallots and two garlic cloves. Fry gently in olive oil. Add two cupfuls of Béchamel Sauce. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and very gradually mix in the yolks of three eggs, two tablespoonfuls of grated Parmesan cheese and a little minced parsley. It is ready to be served as soon as it thickens. 

It is also the basis for making a great French soufflé dish and if you would like to know how to make one of these tasty dishes there are a few tips and recipes for you at Souffle Recipe.

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bechamel sauce, sauce velouté, sauce crème, sauce mornay, sauce soubise, Avignonnaise Sauce
French Food, Sauces, French Food, Food & Beverage, Home & Garden, Kitchen/Cooking
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