Chef John's White Sauce

Chef John's White Sauce

 Made  times
Chef John 26402

"White sauce is one of the “mother sauces” in traditional culinary training and is used in many popular dishes."
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22 m servings 192 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



  • Calories:
  • 192 kcal
  • 10%
  • Fat:
  • 14 g
  • 22%
  • Carbs:
  • 11.8g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 5 g
  • 10%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 40 mg
  • 13%
  • Sodium:
  • 180 mg
  • 7%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 cup cold milk, about 1 minute. Stir in second cup of milk for an additional minute.
  3. Stir in remaining 2 cups of milk, cayenne pepper, salt, thyme, and nutmeg; bring to a simmer over low heat until sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.


  1. 20 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

I didn't change a thing and loved it!!

Most helpful critical review

Looks better than it tastes unfortunately

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Most positive
Least positive

I didn't change a thing and loved it!!

I skipped the thyme in this recipe. I browned some chopped onion and fresh minced garlic in the butter before adding the flour. After the sauce was made, I added some ground mustard and a touch ...

This is a BASIC sauce. Add whatever spices will complement whatever you're going to use it on. Important: you want to cook the butter/four mix at a temp that will cook the flour without burni...

For a basic, more versatile white sauce, omit the nutmeg and thyme. (Actually, I’m not sure I’d like that combination. For my tastes it would be either/or) For a thinner white sauce, use 1 T....

I cannot resist making a comment here. Chef John did a great job presenting this recipe, however, I have to laugh when I read reviews of folks who consider themselves "pro's" and obviously have...

Thank you so much! I had a basic recipe for white sauce and lost it and couldn't find a good one to replace it. This was exactly what I was looking for. I did add some chopped onion and garli...

This turned out good-but made alot so I had to throw out the rest..I used this sauce for my macaroni and cheese dish and my son loved it...A keeper!!!

I consider myself a pretty good cook, but I had some trouble with this sauce. It took me over half an hour to be able to come up with something good because it was very bland. I ended up adding ...

This was absolutely awesome! I made a vegetarian lasagna but didn't really like the sauce that was with that recipe. So, I went looking for something with a bit more flavor. I found this!! It is...

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