How to Make a Creamy Béchamel Sauce

Pan and Whisk with Thick Bechamel Sauce

Béchamel sauce is one of the five mother sauces, and therefore a staple of French cuisine. You can often find it in chicken and fish dishes, or incorporated into lasagna or other baked pasta meals. And despite how fancy-schmancy it sounds, you don’t need any crazy ingredients or tools to make it.

Good to Know: “Mother sauce” — meaning béchamel and four other sauces — is a sauce from which other sauces are derived, so you can take your béchamel and create many other recipes with it.

Easy Béchamel Sauce

Yield: 3 cups


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • White pepper, for seasoning (optional)
  • Nutmeg, for seasoning (optional)
  • Instructions

    1. Warm the milk in a saucepan to a simmer.

    2. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour and stir until smooth. Continue cooking 2 minutes, taking care not to brown the roux, as this is supposed to be a white sauce.

    3. Stir in the warmed milk one cup at a time and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper or nutmeg (if using).

    Pro Tip: Add more or less milk to adjust the thickness of the sauce to your needs.

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