White sauce

bechamel sauce or sauce béchamel, a very common French

Sauce blanche


White sauce or sauce blanche in French is a very common sauce in French cooking. It’s quite easy to prepare and require very few limited ingredients: water (or hot liquid), butter, wheat flour, nutmeg… Anyway, it requires attention otherwised the prepration can burn or get lumps.

That white sauce is served with white meat, white fish or vegetables. It is also one of the ingredients of different recipes such as vegetable or potato gratins.

That sauce can be also the starting point for preparing many other sauces: in that case, we personalize it adding other ingredients: spices, chopped herbs, white wine.

Another version of that sauce exists with milk. In that case we call it: “sauce béchamel”. It is used in many prepration such as grilled cheese sandwich, gratins, lasagna, etc…


The sauce blanche recipe


For 2 cups (50 cl)


  • Preparation: 10 minutes
  • Cooking: 15 minutes
  • Total: 25 minutes



  • 0.88 oz (25g) wheat flour
  • 0.88 oz (25g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (50 cl) liquid (water, broth, fumet, stock, wine…)
  • Salt, pepper
  • Nut meg

Comment: you can add more or less liquid depending on the consistency you would like to get: more or less liquid


  • Prepare and weight all the ingredients
  • Slice the butter and melt it a saucepan at medium heat
  • Add the flour and mix well till you get an homogeneous and smooth texture
  • Continue mixing with a wood spoon or a spatula and cooking at low heat for about 3 minutes. In France we call that preparation a “roux blanc”. It’s the basis of many different sauces…
  • Remove from heat and let cool down
  • In the meantime, boil the liquid
  • Off the heat, add 1/4 of liquid in the butter-flour preparation and whisk well (use a kitchen whisk) till you get an homogeneous and smooth and lump free texture
  • Then add another 1/4 of liquid and whisk well
  • Continue adding progressively the liquid keeping whisking constantly
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Slowly bring to a low boil (at low heat) and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Very important: keep whisking constantly
  • If you have lumps, pass the sauce through a sieve


Comment: the tricky part for preparing white sauce consist in avoiding lumps. The only way is to cook at low heat and keep whisking constantly. My tips is to use a Thermomix. It stirs for me ?