Basic Bechamel Sauce Recipe -
Basic Bechamel Sauce Recipe
  • READY IN 40 mins

Basic Bechamel Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is a quick and easy bechamel sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 quart Change Servings
  • PREP

    5 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    40 mins


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the flour has softened and not longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes, then season with salt and nutmeg.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 22, 2011

Thanks for reminding me of the basic proportions of butter, flour, and milk. Can be seasoned 1000 ways to serve as a base for zillions of dishes. I use it instead of condensed cream of mushroom soup to bind casseroles when I don't want the mushroom taste. With a little nutmeg it is the "creamed" part of creamed spinach. It surrounds the main ingredients in chicken pot pie. It isn't much by itself--its glory is what you can do with it and the rich, comforting texture it gives to a dish, especially casseroles. I looked up the recipe for something to use to bind a salmon casserole, and of course I will add minced onion and seafood-friendly seasonings like Worcestershire to it. If it is too thin for your purpose, simply turn the heat down as low as possible (or put it in the top of a double boiler) and continue cooking and stirring until it thickens more, and/or add grated cheese. For the guy who found it didn't work for pastitsio, that is because the sauce traditionally used for that dish is not actually bechamel, but more of an unsweetened, soft egg & cheese custard. Unfortunately many recipes for moussaka and pastitsio incorrectly refer to the topping as bechamel simply because some flour is used in thickening the milk base (as is done in bechamel) before the egg and cheese are added.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 22, 2007

I found this bechamel sauce too watery.

Apr 27, 2008

This turned out perfectly but you have to be patient and cook it the recommended time. Next time, I might put in a little less salt.

Apr 28, 2009

I was comparing Bechamel Sauce Recipes and this is similar to the one I found on Food Network by Mario Batali which I've made before with the exception of an increase in the nutmeg by 1/4 tsp. This recipe is fabulous and I have added a splash of white wine as I used the sauce for Spinach Lasagna. Decreased the salt to 1 tsp. due to the parm and romano I used with the Ricotta in the filling. Wow and Excellent!!

Apr 14, 2011

This turned out wonderful. Simple recipe and great results! I made it for a party of 2 with only one cup of milk and it thickened faster than I expected. Really watch it on the stove if you make a smaller portion. Seemed much faster than 20 minutes to thicken.

Jul 26, 2008

Your patience will be rewarded with this one.

Oct 26, 2007

Wow, this is great. This is what I expect from a bechamel sauce recipe! I think the user who thought it was too water maybe didn't give it time to thicken up, because mine was perfect!

Nov 10, 2008

I thought this was a great recipe! I have made many attempts at making white sauce and this so far has been the best. The only thing I did was add 1/2 an Onion to it during the simmering part. It absorbs alot of the onion flavor. Then I removed it. Thanks for a good recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 139 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 8.7 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 29 mg
  • 10%
  • Fat
  • 9.7 g
  • 15%
  • Fiber
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 4.5 g
  • 9%
  • Sodium
  • 683 mg
  • 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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