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Bechamel Sauce – Cooking Basics

by Lorena

It’s incredibly useful to know how to make a bechamel sauce. It’s part of many other recipes like lasagne, pasta sauces, soufflés, etc. That’s why I want to show you my tasty and lump-less bechamel sauce. This is the first recipe of my “cooking basics” section here on the blog, so stay tuned!

Bechamel sauce has 3 basic ingredients: flour, butter and milk. The milk can be replaced with oil just like when we made the serrano ham croquetas, and for the milk you can use any type you like. If you use whole milk the final result will be creamier than with skimmed milk, but it will work anyway. You can also use vegetable milk if you prefer. As for the flour, you can use other types but the proportion changes.

What people are most scared of when making bechamel sauce are lumps. To prevent lumps you want to add the milk to the “roux” (mix of flour and butter) off the heat. You add it little by little until you use up all the milk in the recipe. You can see how I do it on the video above.

It’s advisable to make thihs recipe when you need to use it. As time advances the texture will change and it also tends to form a skin on top. To save it for later you need to cover it with something touching the surface of the bechamel sauce so the skin doesn’t form. I use bee’s wax wraps for this purpose to stir away from cling film. Later, when you want to use it, you return it to the heat and add more milk as needed.

A classic bechamel sauce asks to flavour the milk previously with a few ingredients, just like a tea. This makes it taste like more than just milk and it’s SO yum. It’s not necessary to do it if the bechamel sauce is part of another flavoured recipe like with my cauliflower soufflé, for example. Also, you need to consider that every recipe requires a different thickness. For it to be thicker you need to increase the butter and flour ratio to milk. If you want it thinner, you decrease it.

bechamel sauce

Bechamel Sauce – Cooking Basics

3.34 from 3 votes
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Course: Cooking Basics
Cuisine: Low
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 600 ml bechamel sauce
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the milk

  • 600 ml milk
  • ¼ brown onion not chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 2 small thyme sprigs

For the bechamel sauce

  • 30 g butter unsalted or salted
  • 30 g all purpose flour
  • milk from above
  • nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


For the milk

  • Place all the ingredients in a pot over low heat. Leave it to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every once in a while so the milk doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.
  • Pass the contents through a colander and keep the milk.

For the bechamel sauce

  • Melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour.
  • Let the mix cook for 1 minute, mixing constantly with a whisk. This mix is called "roux" (pronounced "roo") in french.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add a drizzle of milk. Whisk together. You'll notice a dough-like mix will form at first
  • Add all the milk one drizzle at a time, mixing in between. When the mix is thin enough, add the rest of the milk in one go. Finish by adding a bit of nutmeg.
  • Return the mix to medium heat and let it come to a boil. While this happens mix constantly with your whisk.
  • From the moment it breaks into a boil, let it cook for a minute. Remove the bechamel sauce from the heat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CravingsJournal or tag #RecipeCJ!

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