Bechamel Sauce

Béchamel Sauce is a delicious base white sauce. Let's learn to make creamy silky Béchamel Sauce at home, then use for any day, any flavor creamy pasta dinner. Only need 6 ingredients and 15 minutes.

Bechamel Sauce
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Learn to make creamy silky Béchamel Sauce at home that need only 6 ingredients and 15 makes to make. This easy and better-than-store sauce is perfect base sauce for creamy pastas, lasagna, and rich sauces. Make once, use many ways. A must try! 

Since the Béchamel ingredients and process of cooking is so easy and simply, the art of making the best béchamel sauce is in the right temperature and quality of ingredients. Once you master that, you will always make a delicious, consistently rich and creamy Bechamel Sauce.

Let's get started!

To make Béchamel Sauce, you need these 6 ingredients:

  1. Flour
  2. Butter
  3. Milk
  4. Nutmeg
  5. Salt
  6. Black Pepper

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients

I recommend to use unbleached all purpose white flour and good quality whole milk. Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt as per taste.

How To Make Béchamel

To make Bechamel, always start by bringing the ingredients at equal temperature. i.e. Butter and Milk. A fridge-cold milk will yield a lumpy Béchamel. 

The technique of bringing sauce ingredients to same temperature is a generation-old culinary trick. It can be used for any sauce where ingredients are emulsified to make smooth sauce. 

So to start making Béchamel, first step is to heat milk until it is lukewarm. you can heat milk any ways you prefer:

  1. Microwave is microwave safe container.
  2. Add milk to a small sauce pan and leave on low heat while cooking flour and butter for béchamel.

Once milk is lukewarm, this is how to make Béchamel:

  1. Melt butter in a wide, heavy-bottom sauce pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter and cook stirring often until flour is cooked but not brown.
  2. Add milk in two batches. First batch to bring down the temperature of flour-butter mixture.
  3. In second batch all remaining milk goes in. This approach helps keep sauce temperature more even and hence does no lump. 
  4. Let sauce thicken until it evenly coats back of spoon and leaves a clear line when removed  from spoon with finger. (check in the step 4 photo below)

Steps To Make Béchamel at Home

TIP: If you still see lumpy sauce, don't worry. Lower the heat of stove. Use a Whisk to break the lumps and whisk continually until sauce thickens.

Cooling Down Béchamel Sauce

When cooling down sauce for later use, cover sauce surface with a plastic cling wrap. This prevents milk fats to collect on top and sauce stays smooth and creamy as when it was made.

Make Ahead

Béchamel is a perfect make-ahead sauce. A fresh cooked batch of Béchamel will stay good in refrigerated for 3-4 days. I recommend to let sauce come to room temperature. Refrigerated cover, in a container will lid, until ready to use. 

Creamy Silky Béchamel Sauce

Friends, Béchamel is an ever-green white sauce that you can use in variety of dishes. I'm listing few recipes below in which I always use batch of fresh homemade béchamel. This weekend, make some, then try following recipes. I hope you will enjoy it as mush as we do.

Happy Cooking! --Savita

Recipes to Try

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Ratatouille Queso Blanco

Bechamel Sauce

5 (5 reviews)
Bechamel Sauce
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Italian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 2.5 Cups - Serves: 5
Nutrition: 171 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • Béchamel Sauce
  • 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cup Milk (whole milk)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt and Black Pepper (adjust per taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter

Directions

  • 1. Lukewarm Milk Add milk in small sauce pan and let it heat at low heat until milk is lukewarm. Or add milk to microwave safe bowl and heat for few seconds until lukewarm. Set aside.
  • 2. Make Roux In an another heavy bottom sauce pan, heat butter until just melted (not browned), sprinkle flour over butter and cook stirring often with wooden spoon, until flour is cooked but not started to brown. (3-4 minutes on medium heat)
  • 3. Make Sauce Add one cup warm milk slowly and stirring often so that flour does not form lumps in the milk. Once milk is thoroughly mixed in flour and butter mixture and no signs of lumps, add remaining warm milk, mix well, and continue cooking until sauce starts to thicken. (10-15 minutes on medium heat)
  • 4. Test Béchamel for Doneness and Season Sauce is ready when it is thick enough to leave a smooth coating on the spoon. Season béchamel with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Adjust salt per taste.
Savita's Notes:
  1. Use Good Quality Ingredients: I recommend to use unbleached all purpose white flour and good quality whole milk. Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt as per taste.
  2. Follow recipe card steps as-is to make a lump free sauce. If you still end up with lumpy sauce, don't worry. Lower the heat of stove. Use a Whisk to break the lumps and whisk continually until sauce thickens.
  3. When cooling down sauce for later use, cover sauce surface with a plastic cling wrap. This prevents milk fats to collect on top and sauce stays smooth and creamy as when it was made.
  4. A fresh cooked batch of Béchamel will stay good in refrigerated for 3-4 days.
  5. Make a Rich Béchamel Sauce (perfect for pasta or béchamel lasagna), replace half of the milk with heavy cream, or beat in two egg yolks (yolk only) immediately after sauce is ready and off heat.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @SAVITACHEFDEHOME on Instagram and hashtag it #SAVITACHEFDEHOME

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11 Responses

  1. I've always skipped recipes that had béchamel as an ingredient because I thought it would be too hard to make. With this recipe I can now make those other recipes.
    Oh, Andrea. Béchamel is easy to make! I'm glad you will now try it. Honestly, this is the reason I decided to share this recipe as we all try many things first time.
  2. The pinch of nutmeg is my favorite part, might've gone a little heavy handed with it because it just makes the sauce shine!
    Nutmeg is such a classic in white sauce. I can't imagine Béchamel sauce without nutmeg. However, nutmeg does not make sauce shine but it is properly cooking of butter and flour. Plus butter is organic yellow cream butter which makes a lot of difference.
  3. Absolutely delicious. This recipe is a keeper. I'll never buy bechamel sauce in store again.
    It sure is! So easy to cook plus so much better than store bought Bechamel. I also love the fact that we know what has gone into it! Isn't it?
  4. I love a good basic recipe and bechamel is one of those sauces you can use for so many dishes! I think Ill try it with your butternut squash mac and cheese.
    For Squash mac and cheese you just add cheeses to this recipe. I'm sure you will love the flavors. Let me know when you get chance to try!
  5. This is such a classic, that everyone should know how to make. A really helpful tutorial.
    Thanks Dannii. I agree, this is the one of the most used classic, sauce.
  6. This is a great sauce. Making it second time today! Thanks for the helpful tips. I enjoyed it and ready to make some more :)