Béchamel sauce, commonly known as White Sauce, is a sauce that has graced many a plate and many a palate since the 17th century in France after its debut in 1533. The thick and creamy sauce made from a mixture of roux and milk has been considered a ‘mother sauce’ in the French cuisine since time immemorial. Originally from Italy, it is no wonder why it is absolutely perfect for pasta dishes, topping off lasagna and yes, pizza too! Wondering how to make white sauce? You do not need anything fancy to make this, just good old butter, plain flour and milk because the secret to the perfect white sauce is not in the ingredients, but in the method. Put on your apron and let’s get saucy!
Basic white sauce recipe
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 3 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Place the milk, sliced onion, bay leaves and black pepper in a saucepan on low heat.
- Gently stir and leave on the low heat for about 10 minutes; this allows the flavours to soak in the milk and provide a rich and flavorful base.
- DO NOT allow the milk to boil as this will ruin the sauce.
- Remove the milk from the heat and strain out the onions and bay leaves.
- In a saucepan, add the butter and allow it to melt.
- After melting, gradually add in the flour while properly mixing. This forms the roux. Continue to mix in the flour allowing it to cook until the roux begins to bubble on the surface.
- Quickly add in the milk while still whisking to remove all lumps that may form.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium-high heat.
- When done, season with sea salt to taste.
- If you are looking for a simple and easy recipe for white sauce, this is it. It will go well paired with pasta of your choice.
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Easy white sauce recipe
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1/3 cup of plain flour
- 4 cups of whole milk (1 liter)
- Salt (as needed)
- Black pepper (as needed)
- 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.
- When melted, add in the flour while properly mixing to form the roux.
- Let the mixture sit on the fire until it has boiled down or cooked.
- Next, completely turn off the heat. Gradually add in the milk whilst whisking to avoid the formation of lumps.
- Whisk until it is fully mixed and then place the sauce back on fire; medium heat.
- Switch from using a whisk and back to the wooden spoon. Stir occasionally as it thickens.
- After it has boiled and is ready, add in the grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Mix well and it is ready to serve. This is recipe that will not fail you.
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- 800 ml whole milk
- 70 g butter
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg
- In a small cooking pot, heat the milk for a few minutes. Set it aside before it boils.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add in the all-purpose flour and whisk constantly for 2 to 3 minutes to make sure the roux cooks and combines perfectly.
- After a perfect combination has been achieved, pour in all of the warm milk. Continuously whisk the mixture until it thickens.
- Add in the salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
- Continue whisking and then let it cook over medium heat until it is creamy and smooth.
- Take it out of the pan and it is ready to use.
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white sauce for pasta
- 1 cup of Penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Water-to boil the pasta
- Finely chopped garlic
- Cubed bell peppers (as needed)
- Chopped carrots (as needed)
- Boiled corn (as needed)
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 11/2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Put the water in a cooking pot, add in a tablespoon of oil and salt and place over high heat.
- Bring the water to a boil and add in the penne pasta.
- Boil the pasta for approximately 7 minutes or until it is soft.
- Strain the cooked pasta and place it in a bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil, add in the chopped garlic and sauté until it becomes golden brown.
- Add in the chopped carrots, cubed garlic and the boiled corn. Sauté the vegetables for a while.
- Take the sautéed vegetables out and place them in a plate.
- Using the same saucepan used to sauté the vegetables, add the butter and let it melt.
- Once melted, add in the flour and mix well to form the roux. The use of a whisk is recommended to make the roux perfect.
- Gradually add in the milk whilst whisking to form a perfect combination.
- Let the mixture cook and become thick and creamy. Add in your chili, black pepper and salt.
- When it begins to boil, add in the fried vegetables and stir.
- Then, add in your penne pasta and mix well until it is fully coated.
- In case you were wondering how to make white sauce for pasta, this the right recipe for you!
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Classic white sauce with cheese
- 35 g of butter
- 25 g of flour
- Black pepper
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Place the butter in a saucepan. As it melts, add in the flour and bring them together.
- Let the roux cookout to get rid of the flour taste that will ruin the flavour.
- Add the milk to the roux 1/3 at a time.
- Pro Tip: Using cold milk prevents the formation of lumps.
- Occasionally, take the sauce off the fire while mixing in the milk to prevent it from burning.
- Once creamy, add in the second portion of the milk and continue whisking it together.
- Add the last portion of the milk, the salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Mix in until it is well combined.
- Add in your cheddar cheese and mix with a wooden spoon until the cheddar cheese has completely melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.
- This recipe was brought forth by Britain’s Master Chef, Gordon Ramsay, as the easiest and most perfect way to make béchamel.
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2-minute Vegan white sauce
What about how to make white sauce for Vegans? That is right. We have Vegans covered too. Here are a few recipes tailored just for vegans. All you will rely on is your microwave.
- 1 tablespoon of plain flour (10g)
- 2 tablespoons of non-dairy vegan butter (30g)
- 4 tablespoons of vegan soy milk (60g/ml)
- In a mug, mix the butter, soy milk and plain flour all together with a fork.
- Proceed to place the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Take it out and whisk the mixture with a fork until it thickens.
- Place the mixture back into the microwave for another 30 seconds or until it reaches its boiling point and forms bubbles on the surface. This is an indicator that the flour has cooked completely and will not affect the taste.
- Mix the sauce with a fork, add approximately 2 tablespoons of milk, and then continue to mix.
- Set it back into the microwave for the final 30 seconds.
- Then, take it out, add in salt, garlic powder, black pepper and Italian herbs as needed.
- The sauce is ready for use after mixing well. It can be added directly onto the pasta and sautéed vegetables to completely coat them.
- Repeat the above steps from 1 to 6.
- Add in nutmeg and salt to taste. Perfect for lasagna.
- Repeat the steps from 1 to 4.
- Mix the sauce with a fork and add in 2 tablespoons of non-dairy vegan cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of soy milk and mix well.
- Set the sauce back into the microwave for the final 30 seconds. The cheese should have completely melted and combined perfectly with the rest of the sauce without forming any lumps.
- Add salt and chili flakes to season and mix well. It is perfect to top off nachos and pizza.
- Follow steps 1 to 6 in the first methodology.
- Take out the sauce, add 1 tablespoon of Agave syrup (15g) and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
- Mix well. This forms a tasty custard that pairs well with brownies.
You can now stop wondering how the mysterious white sauce is made and finally try it out yourself using one of these recipes. The ingredients are all available at your local supermarket and are inexpensive; thus, you can make or recreate your own little piece of France and Italy in your very own kitchen and at a low cost. The recipes are also full proof, ensuring that you will definitely enjoy the fruits of your kitchen labour to the fullest. Certain tools such as the whisk and skillet can easily be replaced by forks and normal saucepans respectively. Remember, a perfect. white sauce is all about the method of preparation and not the ingredients. Bon appetite!