Learn How to Make Bechamel Sauce with these fail-proof instructions! Smooth, creamy, classic bechamel sauce can be achieved with just 5 simple ingredients that are probably in your kitchen right now. You’ll love whipping up this timeless sauce!

A bowl of bechamel sauce is dusted with nutmeg.

Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel sauce is often referred to as one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It’s a very basic white cream sauce that can be added to an endless list of various recipes! Plus, you can really dress it up with various ingredients (garlic being the most common addition) if you so choose. It’s a true classic and it’s so easy to whip up with a handful of inexpensive ingredients.

To make this bechamel sauce recipe, all you need is butter, flour, milk, salt and nutmeg. When it comes to preparing it, you simply have to make a quick roux, stir in the milk and season to your liking. Voila! You have a perfectly creamy bechamel sauce ready to use however you so choose. Add it to your lasagna, serve it as a dip with crusty bread, or use it in place of “cream of” soups in various recipes.

The flavor of bechamel sauce is a bit on the blander side. That’s because it’s meant to compliment whatever it is added to with a creamy consistency rather than overpower it. Also, you can always feel free to stir in any seasonings you like if you want to make it more flavorful! A dash of onion powder or cracked black pepper go a long way.

Milk is being whisked into a pan.

How to Make Bechamel Sauce

Making the very best bechamel sauce is so easy! For more details about ingredient measurements and step by step instructions, simply scroll down to the recipe card.

  1. Make a roux. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, continuing to cook and whisk until the flour turns a light golden brown color and has a nutty aroma. This should only take about 3-4 minutes or so.
  2. Make it creamy. Whisk in the milk. Reduce the heat to low. Keep simmering, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has slightly thickened into a smooth consistency. This part will take you about 10-20 minutes.
  3. Enjoy! Season with just a little bit of kosher salt (or flaky sea salt) and some freshly grated nutmeg.
A golden spoon is placed next to a small bowl of bechamel sauce.

Ingredient Notes

Let’s take a quick look at the wonderfully short list of ingredients needed to make French bechamel sauce:

  • Butter – I prefer using unsalted butter. That way, I can sprinkle in as much (or as little) salt as I want to right at the end and better control the amount of sodium in the sauce.
  • Flour – This is used to create the best thick consistency for the sauce.
  • Milk – I recommend using whole milk for the best creamy consistency.
  • Kosher Salt – Measure with care! If you accidentally make your sauce to creamy, you’ll have to toss it out and start over again.
  • Nutmeg – Freshly grated nutmeg gives the bechamel sauce a certain je ne sais quoi!

What does bechamel taste like?

Traditional bechamel sauce is on the blander side – and that’s for good reason! It’s meant to be the simple base of whatever it’s added to. It should compliment rather than consume. It’s creamy, smooth, and subtly enhanced by a little bit of salt and nutmeg.

For more flavor, feel free to experiment with various seasonings! You can also mix in a little bit of garlic when you melt cook the butter. Fresh herbs, like thyme, are always nice when mixed in right at the end as well. Be sure to comment and let me know what you add to your bechamel!

A spoon is drizzling sauce back into a bowl.

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A spoon is drizzling sauce back into a bowl.

Get the Recipe: Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Béchamel sauce is a classic French white sauce with a rich, creamy texture. It's one of the essential "mother sauces" forming the base for many other delicious sauces and is incredibly easy to make.
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  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1 saucepan


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook and whisk until the flour turns a light golden brown and has a nutty aroma, approximately 3-4 minutes
  • Whisk in the milk and turn the heat to low. Continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, approximately 10-20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and nutmeg.
  • Serve hot or use in your favorite recipes using Béchamel Sauce.
Calories: 65kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 162mg, Potassium: 76mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 184IU, Vitamin C: 0.001mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 0.1mg