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Basic White Sauce

For years, I've used this smooth white cream sauce for pasta to make many dishes. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. —Lois Gelzer, Standish, Maine
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
  • Makes
    1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 cup 2% milk


  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Use immediately or refrigerate.

White Sauce Tips

How do I make a perfect white sauce?

Mastering this basic white sauce recipe, also known as Béchamel, takes little time and puts a world of recipes at your fingertips. It's even one of the essential French "mother sauces" that you learn in cooking school! Whisking the butter and flour well while slowly adding the milk will result in a smooth, creamy sauce every time. If you end up a with a broken sauce, no worries! There are ways to fix a broken sauce in no time flat.

How is white sauce used?

You can use white sauce by drizzling it over asparagus, baked chicken or grilled fish. It's also the base for many other favorites like classic creamed spinach and biscuits and sausage gravy.

Can white sauce be made in advance?

Using the sauce immediately ensures optimal consistency for your recipe, but it can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days if needed. When ready to use, warm gently over low heat and whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add warm milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time. Freezing is a good option if you have an abundance of sauce. Spoon sauce into a freezer-safe container, placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce; seal tightly and freeze for up to 6 months.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 51 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 81mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Remenec
    Feb 12, 2021

    Great tasting recipe and easy to make! It tastes great on vegetables or poultry. I got a lot of requests for this recipe when I made it on Thanksgiving.

  • Emme
    Dec 17, 2020

    I loved it To make it sweeter you can add some cheese

  • Tara
    Oct 19, 2020

    It was very good.

  • Errol
    Sep 9, 2020

    Excellent and I did see the milk in the recipe. I am a Mainer living in exile in NC and my mother taught me how to make this years ago. thanks for the refresher. to thicken a weak sauce add a pinch of cornstarch.

  • Dawn
    Aug 11, 2020

    To the ones that did not hit the view recipe. Your the dumbass

  • Rob
    Aug 10, 2020

    How much milk am I supposed to add?? Milk is not even listed on the ingredients list. What kind of dumbass would give an incomplete recipe a good review??

  • Cody
    Jul 10, 2020

    Helps to include all ingredients in the ingredient list

  • Shack3
    Jun 23, 2020

    Yummm. I had leftover pasta (bow tie style), a piece of rotisserie chicken. Threw in some frozen peas/carrots. Very good. Thank you. I did have to add about 1/4 cop milk as was thick but have a feeling my tablespoon was heaped

  • Lisakhanya
    May 26, 2020

    No comment left

  • astarzynski
    May 17, 2020