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White Sauce

white sauce Side
White Sauce
  • Prep 5 min
  • Total 10 min
  • Servings 16

This white sauce, also known as Béchamel sauce, is one of France’s four “mother sauces,” and it’s a perfect complement to many dishes. Pair it with vegetables, turn it into a creamy casserole or ladle it over seafood or sliced chicken. MORE+ LESS-

September 21, 2018

Ingredients

2
tablespoons butter or margarine
2
tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4
teaspoon salt
1/8
teaspoon pepper
1
cups milk

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.
  • 2
    Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute.

Expert Tips

  • There are few more essential recipes in an accomplished cook’s repertoire than a basic white sauce. Called a béchamel in France, it’s the start of any number of recipes, from a cheesy mac ‘n cheese to a creamy chicken pot pie.
  • Stir the butter and flour together with a wooden spoon or wire whisk. Stir constantly as you pour in the milk so no lumps form, but if there seems to be a few once the sauce thickens, strain the sauce through a wire-mesh sieve.
  • To make an irresistible cheese sauce, start with making the white sauce with a dash of dry mustard added to the flour. Once the sauce is thickened, stir in shredded cheese—try a sharp Cheddar, a nutty fontina, or a combination of aged Parmesan and Romano.
  • Use a thick cheese sauce stirred up with hot cooked macaroni, poured over toasted tortilla chips for a homemade nacho platter, or spooned over simple omelettes.
  • Replace the milk with a flavorful chicken or beef broth to make a simple gravy. Stir in some chopped fresh herbs, finely chopped green onion, or a pinch of curry powder to switch things up.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Calories
25
Calories from Fat
15
% Daily Value
Total Fat
2g
3%
Saturated Fat
1g
4%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
5mg
2%
Sodium
55mg
2%
Potassium
25mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate
1g
0%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
0g
Protein
0g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
0%
0%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
0%
0%
Iron
0%
0%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
0
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • In France, this white sauce recipe is one of the four basic sauces called “meres” or “mother sauces,” the basis of all other sauces. White sauce for fish and white sauce for chicken are classic preparations, but you also can find all sorts of creative ways to make this basic white sauce a regular part of special occasion meals, or as a brilliant way to bring new life to ho-hum leftovers. Add grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheese, and you’ve created Mornay Sauce. Try adding shredded sharp cheddar instead to make a zippy cheese sauce that’s equally at home with steamed broccoli or a plate of nachos. If you’d like to try more traditional favorite recipes, intriguing variations and fresh new takes, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in recipe collection, Betty’s Best Slow-Cooker Sauces.

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