Bechamel Sauce

Béchamel is one of the five French mother sauces. It can be used to make a ton of derivatives, like Mornay, or on its own in mac n' cheese or lasagna.

Bechamel Sauce

Photo by Gina K.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 5

    tablespoons sweet butter

  • 5

    tablespoons flour

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • White pepper, to taste

  • 4

    cups milk, warmed

  • Pinch of grated nutmeg (optional)


Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper, being careful not to scorch the flour (it will change color if too hot). Cook gently for a few minutes then gradually add warm milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or wire whisk. Continue the cooking until the sauce is thickened and smooth. It takes a while! Add the nutmeg if desired. Pour the hot sauce into a bowl and lightly whip it with a wire whisk to give it more body. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving and it will become firmer.


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