Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce Recipe

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Vicki Butts (lazyme)


From Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian. She says - This sauce is named after the Marquis de Bechamel. In Italian, it's called balsamella or besciamella. The original and full French version also involves steeping some onion and a bay leaf in milk for 30 minutes to infuse the sauce with more flavor but here's an everyday approach. My simplified version is a snap to make and is perfect with baked rigatoni with bechamel sauce. You could also use it the way you would hollandaise sauce.


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4 cups
15 Min
15 Min
Stove Top


  • 5 Tbsp
    unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c
  • 4 c
    whole milk, warm
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, to tasste
  • 1 pinch
    ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch
    nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste

How to Make Bechamel Sauce


  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
  4. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Do not allow the bechamel sauce to boil.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch each of white pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Season the sauce with more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  8. The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Printable Recipe Card

About Bechamel Sauce

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Dairy
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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