Basic Béchamel Sauce With Lots of Flavour

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 25 mins

This recipe comes from the wonderful book "Mon premier dîner végétarien" by Alice Hart, which I was gifted for my bday a couple of weeks ago. It is a bit more involved than your usual béchamel, but so worth it. The taste is outstanding and really makes gratins and pasta shine.


  1. In a saucepan combine milk, onion, peppercorns and laurel leaf. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain milk through a sieve. If using this sauce in my pasta gratin recipe, keep the onion, if not discard onion with the laurel leaf and peppercorns.
  3. In a second saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk in using a wire whisk. Let colour for 1 minute whisking continuously.
  4. Slowly add the 1/3 of the milk whisking it in so that no lumps form. When sauce looks thickened, add another 1/3 of the milk. Keep whisking and finally add the last third.
  5. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a good pinch of nutmeg.
  6. If you dont use the sauce right away, cover it so that the milk doesnt form a skin on top.
Most Helpful

Great recipe! I made it the same way Boomette did, and it was perfect. Just make sure that you use a large container, and keep an eye on it to prevent boil overs. :) I'll make this again for sure. :) Thanks!!

VeggieCook98 February 02, 2012

I heated the milk onion, peppercorns, laurel leaf in the microwave at high for 5 minutes. Then I followed on the stove-top. This bechamel has a great taste. It was prefect in your Mushroom Pasta Gratin Thanks Lalaloula :) made for the Australian Recipe Swap for December 2011

Boomette December 07, 2011

wow this is really good i made it with Stuffed Cabbage Lasagna and used the onion in it i took the bay leaf out after just 5 minutes cause i have strong laurel leaves lol

Dienia B. November 10, 2011