Béchamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

This is a good all-purpose béchamel sauce recipe, or white sauce. You can vary it by adding shredded cheese (at which point it becomes a Mornay sauce), by perfuming the milk as it heats with a fresh bay leaf or other herbs, or by stirring pesto into it.–Domenica Marchetti

LC Pleased to Meet You Note

Béchamel sauce, meet Pumpkin Lasagne. Pumpkin Lasagne, meet Béchamel sauce. The melding of rich, creamy, subtly nutmeg-y cream sauce with tender, supple, faintly sweet pumpkin-y pasta is an inspired match if ever there was one. Our work here is done.

Béchamel Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Makes about 3 cups


  • 3 cups whole or 2-percent milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1. To make the béchamel sauce, pour the milk into a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Do not let it boil over. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • 2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot milk in driblets, whisking constantly and taking care to avoid lumps and scorching. When all of the milk has been added, cook the sauce, stirring it frequently with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, for 10 to 13 minutes, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  • 3. Season the béchamel sauce with the salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg, and remove from the heat. (The sauce may be stored in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, adding a splash or two of milk if necessary to loosen it.)
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