Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins

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.

Ingredients Nutrition


  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.
Most Helpful

Made it today for a dinner casserole , so good

MaathirAli May 28, 2013

I made half recipe and I had great results. I used skim milk and it worked :D I used a little bit of salt (even if usually I omit salt, but for a bechamel it needs salt). I used fresh black pepper. I omitted the nutmeg. Next time I'll add diced onion in the butter. My mother always made her bechamel sauce and the taste is wonderful. I used the bechamel sauce 3 days later with pasta and canned salmon with the liquid. Very great dinner we had. Thanks Lazyme :) Made for 123 hit wonders

Boomette April 23, 2010

This is SO good. I made exactly as stated. I wanted to use it as a sauce for baked rigatoni, but I only had ziti so it was baked ziti with bechamel sauce. I added some bacon as well and baked it for about 25 minutes. So delicious. I will make this sauce again for vegetables as well. Made for Photo Tag.

Lainey6605 July 30, 2009