How to make besciamella sauce

Written by zora hughes
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How to make besciamella sauce
France and Italy both lay claim to Besciamella sauce. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Besciamella is a creamy white sauce popular in Italian and French cuisine, where it's known as Bechamel. Although Besciamella sauce contains only a few ingredients, it's packed with flavour, making it popular for Italian dishes such as Bolognese-style lasagne, baked ziti and as a base for other cream sauces. Avoid store-bought, processed Besciamella sauce and make your own in a matter of minutes for the freshest flavour.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 medium saucepans
  • Wire whisk

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  1. 1

    Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  2. 2

    Stir in 4 tablespoons of flour and cook for about 7 minutes until the mixture is smooth and a light golden brown.

  3. 3

    Heat 3 cups of milk in another medium saucepan until just below boiling.

  4. 4

    Pour the hot milk immediately into the butter and flour mixture a cup at a time, constantly whisking with a wire whisk.

  5. 5

    Bring the mixture to a boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.

  6. 6

    Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt, and a half teaspoon each of black pepper and nutmeg. Use the sauce in a pasta dish or other recipe as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • To thicken the sauce, add more flour into the butter at the start of the cooking process, about a tablespoon at a time. You can also reduce the amount of milk added to the flour mixture.

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