Classic Béchamel Sauce Recipe

When it comes to sauces, classic béchamel sauce is the Jack of all trades. This sauce is easy to whip up and is suitable for a beginner cook to make, and it only requires a few ingredients. This makes it light on the wallet and an easy trip to the grocery store.

Recipe developer Eric Ngo came up with this tasty version of the classic recipe that pairs well with so many things. When asked what he likes best about the sauce, Ngo said, "It is very versatile. I like how you can use this sauce in so many dishes: lasagna, croque monsieur, mac n cheese."

As for his inspiration to make this dish? "Béchamel is known to be one of the five mother sauces. The inspiration comes from one of my favorite movies, 'The Hundred Foot Journey.' There's a scene where the chef makes the five mother sauces," Ngo shares. What a fun back story for this classic, versatile sauce. 

Gather the ingredients for a classic béchamel sauce

The first thing you need to do is make a list and head to the store to pick up any ingredients you don't have stocked at home. You will need milk, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.

Once you have those items, you can make this classic béchamel sauce.

Melt the butter and add flour

Grab a saucepan and place it on your stove. Turn the heat to low and add the butter to melt it. Once the butter is fully melted, add the flour to the pot. Turn the heat to medium and whisk for about 2 minutes to combine the butter and flour together.

Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Now it's time to add milk to the mix. "I recommend using whole fat milk. You can even make it extra creamy by making this recipe half milk, half heavy cream," Ngo shares.

Once added, stir the sauce for 5 minutes. After the sauce thickens up, you can add salt and pepper, to taste. Then, sprinkle in a dash of nutmeg for a little extra flavor. Nutmeg is the secret ingredient. "Using a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg really enhances [the sauce] by adding a nutty flavor," Ngo shares.

Stir the sauce

Once you add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, continue stirring for another minute. Be sure to stir the edges of the saucepan as well, as this will prevent the mixture from burning.

Serve and enjoy

Now, you can remove the béchamel sauce from the pan and pour it into a serving dish. The sauce is best when served warm. Ngo recommends serving this with "Lasagna, croque monsieur, mac n cheese, and crepes!"

If you have leftovers, be sure to store them in the fridge. They will last for about two days,

Classic Béchamel Sauce Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Classic bechmel sauce is easy to make, and is actually considered one of five mother sauces. Learn how to make it the right way.
Prep Time
Cook Time
béchamel sauce in a bowl
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 sprinkle nutmeg
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat.
  2. Once fully melted, add the flour and stir with a whisk for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the milk and stir for another 5 minutes.
  4. Once the sauce thickens, add the salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle in a dash of nutmeg, if desired.
  5. Stir for an additional minute, making sure you also stir the edges of the saucepan to prevent burning.
  6. Serve warm, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Calories per Serving 143
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 27.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 6.2 g
Sodium 312.7 mg
Protein 4.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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