Bechamel Sauce

"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."
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by Boomette
photo by CookingONTheSide photo by CookingONTheSide
photo by CookingONTheSide photo by CookingONTheSide
Ready In:
4 cups




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. MaathirAli
    Made it today for a dinner casserole , so good
  2. Boomette
    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
  3. CookingONTheSide
    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.


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