béchamel sauce

many dates

aka. 'white sauce.'

The Béchamel sauce was named after Louis de Béchamel (1630-1703), [who] was a steward to Louis XIV of France. Béchamel sauce is definitely the easiest basic sauce to prepare. Traditionally it was made by adding heavy cream to a thick velouté sauce, but today the sauce is almost always made by thickening scalded milk (Infused with a onion pique (Studded onion) and thickening with a white roux and adding seasonings. Very popular with vegetable, egg, gratin, and pasta dishes. (source)

Béchamel sauce is easy to make. It is mild-flavored, should be bright white and thick but smooth, with no lumps.

This is one of five 'mother' sauces of the French cuisine. Many other sauces can be derived from this one. I make this regularly, but I rarely stop here, usually add something to it. It is obvious that—depending on what is added—the derived sauce may not be white anymore.

See also: mushroom béchamel sauce


This is what you need for 1 quart:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • up to 1 qt. milk, warm
  • S&P, nutmeg
Pic1: fennel with béchamel sauce



Pic2: melt butter
Pic3: fry flour
Pic4: add milk


Pic5: add more milk
Pic6: nutmeg
Pic7: simmer

B. a more complicated recipe:

(source) This is the French cuisine version of béchamel sauce . As nearly always, it is too elaborate to my liking to have much practical value for daily use. Once the  onion thing is done, it is very similar to the above recipe.

Béchamel Sauce Yield: 1 L (1 qt.)
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 30 min.

Ingredients by weight


C. béchamel sauce in recipes

Pictures below were borrowed from the internet.


Pic8: fisherman's pie
Pic9: lasagna
Pic10: chicken parmo


Pic11: moussaka
Pic12: pastitsio
Pic13: veal Orlov

A few dishes made with béchamel sauce:



derivative sauces:

Béchamel sauce is the base for a number of other classic sauces.

Take note that there may be considerable variations between recipes from different sources.

From another source:

Anchovy Béchamel Sauce
This sauce is best served with fish.

Béchamel Cheddar Sauce
A classic that is the basis of many cheese sauce products today, including Mac & Cheese, CheezWhiz, and Velveteen.

Cream Sauce Béchamel
A very heavy and flavorful sauce used sparingly and in small quantities.

Béchamel aux Oeufs (Ecossaise)
This delicious sauce is used in fresh pasta and can be used as a heavy salad dressing.

Mornay Sauce (cheese and egg yolk)
Mornay sauce is a popular sauce in fine dining establishments and uses Gruyere and parmesan cheeses to complement pastas and meat dishes.

Mustard/Moutard Sauce
Mustard is a natural pair to dairy and this sauce makes for an excellent compliment for pork or lamb dishes.

Nantua Sauce
A popular seafood sauce that works wonderfully with lobster, crayfish or crab.

Parsley/Persil Sauce
A great sauce that is visually contrasting and adds freshness to the béchamel.

Soubise Sauce
Soubise sauce is a popular muted onion sauce that works well with pastas and pork/lamb.