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Bechamel Sauce Recipe {Silky, Creamy, Lump Free}

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Bechamel Sacue or Salsa Besciamella is one one the basic sauces in cooking.

It’s also the easiest and fastest sauce to make.

To make Bechamel Sauce or also known as White Sauce you need  just 3 main ingredients –  milk, butter and flour and  2 seasonings – nutmeg and salt.

All it takes to make a perfect, smooth, lump free velvety bechamel sauce is 5 minutes of your time and a couple of tips and tricks that I’m going to share below.

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients & Ratio

ingredients for bechamel sauce (flour, butter, milk, nutmeg, salt)

Main Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Milk

Flour and butter are cooked together is called roux. It served to thicken the milk.

Seasoning

  • Nutmeg
  • Salt

Nutmeg and a pinch of salt is the essential seasoning for classic bechamel sauce.

But you can also add:

Classic Bechamel Sauce uses 1:1:10 weight ratio of flour, butter and milk.

For example: 

  • 30 grams flour
  • 30 grams butter
  • 300 grams milk 

Which translates to:

  • 1 oz flour
  • 1 oz butter
  • 10 oz milk (approx 1 ¼ cup)

This classic ratio will make a medium-thick sauce.

You can add less milk if you wan tot make your bechamel sauce thicker or add more milk to thin it out. Later is necessary when making Pasta Al Forno or Lasagne.

How To Make Basic Bechamel Sauce – Step By Step

  • In a stove-top pot melt butter.
Process of making bechamek sauce - step 1 - butter and flour
  • Add flour and whisk well until a thick creamy paste forms.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Process of making bechamel sauce - step 2 - adding flour and cooking roux
  • Slowly pour in about ⅓ cup of milk. Continue whisking energetically breaking all the lumps. Make sure to scrape well the bottom and sides of the pot.
Process of making bechamek sauce - step 3 - adding link and finish cooking the sauce
  • Once you have reached a smooth consistency add a little more milk. Continue adding milk in small portions until you have used up all the milk.
  • Increase the heat a little and continue whisking and cooking the sauce.
  • Once it starts to thicken, cook it for another 20-30 seconds and turn off the heat. 
  • Continue to whisk. You’ll notice bechamel sauce will continue to thicken even with the heat off. 
  • Once it reached desired consistency, season it with nutmeg and salt to taste or other seasonings (see suggestions above).
  • Give another good stir.
  • If you’re not planning to use the sauce immediately see my tips in the tips and tricks section below on how to score bechamel sauce to prevent skin from forming.

Below you’ll find basic bechamel sauce recipe and its variations.

Bechamel Sauce Variations

Dairy Free Bechamel Sauce

To make dairy-free Bechamel Sauce simply substitute plant based milk (also called vegetables milk) or vegetable broth for milk using the same proportion.

You can also substitute extra virgin olive oil or other hight quality vegetable oil with mild taste for butter.

Vegan Bechamel Sauce

To make Bechamel Sauce vegan all you need is eliminate all diary ingredients. In this case milk and butter. So here it is again.

Vegan Bechamel Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive (1 oz or 30 grams)
  • 3 tbsp leveled or 2 spoons heaping flour (1 oz or 30 grams)
  • 1 ¼ cup plant-based milk or vegetable broth

The process to make vegan bechamel sauce is exactly the same as for classic bechamel sauce.

bechamel sauce in a pot

Tips & Tricks To Make Perfect Bechamel Sauce Every Single Time

  • Add milk/vegetable stock in small portions and whisk vigorously before adding more milk. This will ensure silk smooth texture of your bechamel sauce.
  • Use a whisk. I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a whisk in order to get the a lump free sauce. Not spoon, not even a wooden spoon, use a whisk just like this.
  • Never leave bechamel sauce on a stove top unattended. It cooks in just a couple of minutes so make sure to stir it continuously.
  • Preheat milk until slightly hot but not boiling before use when cooking a bigger portion of bechamel sauce.
  • Place a cling film/plastic wrap right on top touching the bachamel sauce (see picture) to prevent skin from forming.
bechamel sauce covered with a plastic wrap
  • If the sauce turned out too thin, cook it for another minute or two.
  • If the sauce turned out too thick, thin it out adding a little bit more milk.
  • After defrosting, whisk and add a little bit of milk to bring it back smooth and silky texture.

Add extra virgin olive oil and flour in a pan and cook it until thick creamy paste and follow the instructions in the recipe below.

FAQ: Bechamel Sauce / White Sauce 

How to store Bechamel Sauce?

You can store Bechamel Sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a couple of months.

Can you freeze Bechamel Sauce?

Yes, absolutely. I always make a big batch and freeze it either in small zip lock bags or in a small tupperware. Make sure to place bechamel sauce in the freezer only once it’s completely cool.

How to reheat Bechamel Sauce?

When you need to use bechamel sauce simply take it out of the freezer a couple of hours before use, then whip with a whisk adding a little bit of hot milk to get back smooth and silky texture.

How thick should be Bechamel Sauce for lasagna?

When you’re making bechamel sauce for lasagna add some extra milk to the basic recipe. It should be somewhat thin but still creamy as this will help lasagna sheets cook and not dry out in the oven.

What if my Bechamel Sauce got lumps?

If you didn’t you a whisk or for whatever other reason your bechamel sauce got lumps in it, don’t worry. You can still turn it around. Simply pass cooked bechamel sauce through a fine mesh food mill or scrape through a sieve.

Bechamel Sauce Uses

Bechamel sauce is one of the most versatile sauces you’ll ever find.

It’s one of the basic ingredients for lasagna, pasta al forno (pasta bake), vegetable and cheese casseroles and much more! See some of the best Italian recipes with bechamel sauce below.

It’s also the base for other white sauces and cheese sauces like Parmesan Cream Sauce and Asiago Cream Sauce.

Recipes With Bechamel Sauce

bechamel sauce in a pot

Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Bechamel Sacue or Salsa Besciamella is one one the basic sauces in cooking.
It’s also the easiest and fastest sauce to make.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter (1 oz or 30 grams)
  • 3 tbsp leveled or 2 tbsp heaping flour – (1 oz or 30 grams)
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a stove-top pot melt butter.
  • Add flour and whisk well until a thick creamy paste forms. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in about ⅓ cup of milk. Continue whisking energetically breaking all the lumps. Make sure to scrape well the bottom and sides of the pot.
  • Once you have reached a smooth consistency add a little more milk. Continue adding milk in small portions until you have used up all the milk.
  • Increase the heat a little and continue whisking and cooking the sauce.
  • Once it starts to thicken, cook it for another 20-30 seconds and turn off the heat.
  • Continue to whisk. You’ll notice Bechamel Sauce will continue to thicken even with the heat off.
  • Once it reached desired consistency, season it with nutmeg and salt to taste or other seasonings (see suggestions above the recipe).
  • Give another good stir.
  • If you’re not planning to use the sauce immediately see my tips above how to store it to prevent a skin from forming.
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Bechamel Sauce

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