Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce (/ˌbʃəˈmɛl/ French: [beʃamɛl]) is a sauce traditionally made from a white roux (butter and flour in a 1:1 mixture) and milk.[1] Béchamel may also be referred to as besciamella (Italy),[2] besamel (Greece),[3] or white sauce (U.S.)[4] French, Italian and Greek Béchamel sauce recipes include salt and nutmeg as a seasoning base.[5][6][7]

Béchamel sauce
Bechamel sauce (2428653187).jpg
Alternative nameswhite sauce, besciamella, besamel
Main ingredientsButter, flour, milk
VariationsMornay sauce

Béchamel sauce is one of the "mother sauces" of French cuisine.


Milk infusing with bay leaf, peppercorns, shallot and flat-leaf parsley prior to being added to the roux

Some legends attribute the invention of béchamel to Louis de Béchameil, a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century. Others assert that it was brought to France from Italy in 1533 and named for the flour and water beautifying masks, 'balsamo,' used by women in Florence.[8] The first named béchamel sauce appears in The Modern Cook, written by Vincent La Chapelle and published in 1733,[9] in which the following recipe for "Turbots (a la Bechameille)" appears:

"Take some Parsley and Chibbol,[10] and mince them very small, put in a Saucepan a good lump of Butter, with your Parsley and Chibbol, and some minced Shallots, season'd with Salt and Pepper, some Nutmeg, and a dust of Flour: Take a Turbot boil'd in Court Bouillon, take it off by pieces and put it into your Stew-pan: put in a little Cream, Milk, or a little Water, put it over the Fire, and stir it now and then, that your Sauce may thicken; then let it be of a good Taste, dish it up, and serve it up hot for a first Course."[11]


Béchamel can be used as is in dishes such as Lasagne al Forno (Italian)[12] or Moussaka (Greek),[13] or as the base for other sauces such as Mornay sauce, which is béchamel with cheese.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "How to Make Bechamel Sauce". escoffieronline.com. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  2. ^ Farideh Sadeghin (7 January 2008). "Besciamella (Italian-Style Béchamel Sauce)". saveur.com. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  3. ^ Nancy Gaifyllia (27 March 2020). "A Basic Greek Besamel (Bechamel)". thespruceeats.com. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  4. ^ Durand, Faith (2010-11-10). "How To Make a Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce)". Kitchn. AT Media. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  5. ^ "Sauce béchamel par Alain Ducasse". L'Académie du Goût (in French). Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  6. ^ "Besciamella". Ricette di cucina - Le Ricette di GialloZafferano.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  7. ^ "Μπεσαμέλ (σάλτσα Μορνέ)". Άκης Πετρετζίκης. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  8. ^ Kaufman, Kathy K. (February 2000). "What's in a Name? Some Thoughts on the Origins, Evolution, and Sad Demise of Bechamel Sauce". Milk: Beyond the Dairy : Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1999. Oxford Symposium. p. 193. ISBN 9781903018064.
  9. ^ Kurlansky, Mark (8 May 2018). Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 9781632863843.
  10. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary: chibol, n."
  11. ^ La Chappelle, Vincent (1733). The modern cook: containing instructions for preparing and ordering publick entertainments for the tables of princes, ambassadors, noblemen, and magistrates. As also the least expensive methods of providing for private families, in a very elegant manner. New receipts for dressing of meat, fowl, and fish; and making ragoûts fricassées, and pastry of all sorts, in a method, never before publish'd. Adorn'd with copperplates, exhibiting the order of placing the different dishes, &c. on the table, in the most polite way. London: T. Osborne. p. 138.
  12. ^ Jacqui Debono (27 February 2018). "Classic Lasagne al Forno with Bolognese". the-pasta-project.com. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  13. ^ Eli K. Giannopoulos. "Traditional Greek Moussaka recipe (Moussaka with Béchamel)". mygreekdish.com. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  14. ^ Delmy Dauenhauer, 10 Ways to Use Béchamel Sauce, London : SamEnrico, 2015, ISBN 9781505738384.

External linksEdit