Béchamel Sauce | Classic White Sauce

Béchamel Sauce is most commonly known as a white sauce, which is a classic basic sauce. It is widely used, particularly for egg, vegetable and gratin dishes, and for filled scallop shells. It can be used as a basis for other sauces, made by adding different ingredients (Larousse Gastronomique)

Creamed Corn Made With Béchamel Sauce

To me, making a béchamel sauce is one of the easiest things to do. It really takes not time at all, and is so versatile. When making a white sauce it is important that you do not let it boil. And just as important is ensuring that the flour is cooked so that you do not taste it. This sauce as a base for cheese or pepper sauce is ideal. But it can also be used to make creamed spinach, and creamed corn. You can add mushrooms for a decadent mushroom sauce to serve with steak and chicken. This is a pushy recipe that I urge all of you to master. Once you have done so you can add any flavourings that work for you. A little bit of sherry for oomph maybe? Or some burnt leeks to make them oh so creamy.

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Béchamel Sauce | White Sauce

This basic recipe is so useful as a stepping stone to good sauces
Recipe Category: Sauces
Makes enough for: 1 batch Béchamel Sauce
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 500 mls milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thick slice of onion
  • 1 blade mace *
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g flour
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to season
  • ground nutmeg to season, optional


  • gently heat the milk with the bay leaf, onion and mace
  • remove from the heat just before it comes to a boil
  • cover and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes
  • strain the milk and discard the flavourings
  • melt the butter over a low heat
  • add the flour and stir briskly until it is smooth
  • you do not want the flour to change colour (this is known as a roux)
  • gradually stir in the milk
  • bring to the boil and beat to prevent lumps forming
  • season and add some nutmeg if desired
  • simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally


* if you do not have any mace use nutmeg instead

Creamed Spinach

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22 thoughts on “Béchamel Sauce | Classic White Sauce

  1. I could never remember the quantities of flour and butter when I first got married. Thank heavens I eventually mastered making a sauce; the packet ones are just so bleurgh 🙂

    1. I cannot stand the after taste of packet sauces! I always remembered it was the same amount flour to butter – just the amount of milk to use got me 🙂

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