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


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