basic white sauce

Before I dive into the white sauce recipe, I’ve often been asked, what’s best, cornstarch or flour? Both have their benefits.

Cornstarch is easy to use and doesn’t clump when it hits the hot liquid. It’s best to use in medium or thin sauces. If you use larger amounts of cornstarch, you’ll end up with a gel-like consistency.

With flour, you run the risk of lumps. However, the sauce is creamier in consistency. If you’re making a thick white sauce, flour is your best choice.

How to make White Sauce


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What you are creating:

A basic white sauce that can be used as the base sauce for many recipes.


Thin White Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • ½ to 1 tablespoon flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • Dash of pepper

  • 1 cup milk (whole, low fat or skim)


Medium White Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • Dash of pepper

  • 1 cup milk (whole, low fat or skim)


Thick White Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¼ cup flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • Dash of pepper

  • 1 cup milk (whole, low fat or skim)


  1. Melt butter in sauce pan on low heat.

  2. Blend in flour, salt and pepper.

  3. Cook until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in milk.

  6. Place back on burner over medium heat and cook to boiling. Use a whisk and stir constantly.

  7. Boil for 1 minute.

  8. Remove from heat.


Medium White Sauce with Cornstarch

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup cold water

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup water.

  2. Melt the butter in sauce pan on low heat.

  3. Pour milk into the saucepan.

  4. Mix in cornstarch with the milk and butter.

  5. Cook over medium heat and cook to boiling, stirring constantly.

Makes approximately 1 cup sauce.

Basic White Sauce Recipe.png

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