Sauce Béchamel

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Preparation info

  • About

    2 cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

New York Times Menu Cookbook

New York Times Menu Cookbook

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1966

  • About

Béchamel, or white sauce, is another of the foundation sauces of French cuisine. It may be made with milk alone or enriched with additional cream, or part of the liquid may be stock.


  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 thin slices of onion
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Dash of grated nutmeg


  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring with a wire whisk, until thoroughly blended.

  2. Scald the milk with the onion and parsley. Strain it into the butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly with the wire whisk. When the mixture is thickened and smooth, add the cream.

  3. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and add a dash of nutmeg.

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