Béchamel sauce

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"White sauce" redirects here. For the sauce used on Fettuccine Alfredo, see Alfredo sauce. For the condiment associated with American halal street carts, see The Halal Guys.
Béchamel sauce
Béchamel sauce.jpg
Milk infusing with bay leaf, peppercorns, shallot, and flat-leaf parsley prior to being added to the roux.
Alternative names White sauce
Type butter
Place of origin Italy
Main ingredients butter, flour, milk
Variations Mornay sauce
Cookbook: Béchamel sauce  Media: Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce (/bɛʃəˈmɛl/ or /bʃəˈmɛl/;[1] French: Béchamel [beʃaˈmɛl]), also known as white sauce, is made from a white roux (butter and flour) and milk. Even though it first appeared in Italian cooking books (constituting one of the simplest sauces of the Italian cuisine), it is now considered one of the mother sauces of French cuisine.[2] It is used as the base for other sauces (such as Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese).[3]


Béchamel was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV. The sauce first appeared in some Italian cooking books of the Renaissance, but was introduced under its familiar name in Le Cuisinier François, published in 1651 by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678), chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, marquis d'Uxelles. The foundation of French cuisine, the Cuisinier François ran through some thirty editions in seventy-five years.

The sauce originally was a veal velouté with a large amount of cream added.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Béchamel definition". Merriam-Webster. 
  2. ^ Michael Ruhlman, The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen, New York : Scribner, 2007, p. 171.
  3. ^ Delmy Dauenhauer, 10 Ways to Use Béchamel Sauce, London : SamEnrico, 2015, ISBN 9781505738384.
  4. ^ Larousse Gastronomique.

External links[edit]