This is a quick and easy bechamel sauce.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

139.3 calories; 4.5 g protein; 8.7 g carbohydrates; 28.8 mg cholesterol; 682.6 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (103)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2011
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. Read More
(211)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/22/2007
I found this bechamel sauce too watery. Read More
(11)
143 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 95
  • 4 star values: 33
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2011
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. Read More
(211)
Rating: 5 stars
04/28/2009
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!! Read More
(77)
Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2008
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. Read More
(75)
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Rating: 4 stars
02/07/2013
Excellent instruction for those new to this kind of home made sauce base and the taste of this recipe is very good while also easy to spice in different ways. However still like our family recipe a bit better. I puree a sweet onion until it's literally pulped then saute the onion in a bit of butter and olive oil or coconut oil (the oil keeps the butter from burning). After the onion has cooked down and out for a good five minutes or so we add the nutmeg. We put nutmeg is almost everything and the 1/4 tsp called for here is a good amount. Also helps the "onion" flavor to mellow for those who aren't fond of onion (like my boyfriend before I started cooking for him; I began pureeing the onion simply because he does not like the texture of onion and thought he didn't like the taste - now he knows better). After the onion is pureed we add the amount of butter called for in this recipe or thereabouts and begin incorporating the flour straight into the onion all the while mixing and mashing like it up together. The flour and onion mixture will begin to smell a bit nutty and turn slightly golden - this is what ya want. Then whisk in your milk or cream and there ya have it. Excellent rendition of this simple bechamel sauce with a bit more panache. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
04/14/2011
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. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2008
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. Read More
(14)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/26/2007
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! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
07/26/2008
Your patience will be rewarded with this one. Read More
(14)
Rating: 3 stars
10/22/2007
I found this bechamel sauce too watery. Read More
(11)