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Béchamel Cream Sauce

The French term for a medium-thick white sauce is béchamel.  Béchamel is one of the five “mother sauces” used in culinary cuisine.


In the culinary arts, the term “mother sauces” refers to béchamel, espagnole, hollandaise, tomato, and veloute sauces.


Each sauce is considered a base recipe and is called mother sauce because it is the matriarch of its own unique family.


Use our rich creamy béchamel sauce as a starter recipe for developing your own family of recipes

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How to make Béchamel Cream Sauce

Difficulty: Easy


What you are creating:

Béchamel Cream Sauce is a rich, creamy base sauce you can use as a building block to your own family of recipes.


  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ¼ cups half and half

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Optional: Pinch of nutmeg


  1. Heat the half and half for 45 seconds in the microwave. Do not boil!

  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.

  3. Stir in the flour and cook on medium heat until it turns to a paste and begins to bubble.

  4. Remove from heat and add ¼ of the hot half and half.

  5. Stir until blended.

  6. Return to the burner and add the remaining milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

  7. Remove from heat.

  8. If you are going to use the sauce later, cover it with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming.

Makes approximately 1 cup sauce.


  • Cheddar Cheese sauce: Add ½ cup cheddar cheese after sauce thickens and turn burner down to low heat. Stir until the cheese has melted.

  • Alfredo sauce: Add 2 minced garlic cloves to the sauce as it thickens.  Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese and turn burner down to low heat and stir until the cheese has melted.

  • Mornay Sauce:  Add ¼ cup Parmesan and ¼ cup Gruyere cheeses after the sauce thickens and turn burner down to low heat. Stir until the cheese has melted.

Béchamel Cream Sauce Recipe

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