Basic White Sauce or Béchamel

Every cook needs to be able to make her own basic white sauce.   Use the thick white sauce instead of canned cream soup; it makes a sauce of the same consistency; one recipe will make the same amount as a 10 ½ ounce can.  Add your own seasonings. Thin white sauce is the consistency for soups, and medium white sauce is the all-purpose gravy-like consistency for sauces on vegetables or with sausage, creamed chicken and the like. 
White sauce costs just pennies, takes just a few minutes, and you control the ingredients.
 White Sauce
1 Tablespoons butter
2-3 Tablespoons butter
3-4 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoons flour
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2-3 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons flour
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour and salt and let bubble up together.  Take off heat, add milk all at once; cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
36¢ per cup for medium white sauce
Per Cup: 410 Calories; 31g Fat (68.0% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 95mg Cholesterol; 887mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 1 Non-Fat Milk; 6 Fat.
Cheese Sauce:  Add ½ cup grated American cheese to 1 cup medium white sauce.
Egg Sauce:  Add 2 cut-up hard cooked eggs.  Season.
Quick Mustard Sauce:  Add 1 tablespoon prepared mustard.
Sausage Gravy:  Add 1/4 # cooked pork sausage, chopped onion.


  1. Excellent post! I gave up cream soups ages ago because the basic white sauce is so simple and I know what's in it! I also keep dehydrated celery and mushrooms on hand to pulverize into a powder and stir into the sauce. Such a great fresh flavor!

  2. Nice... I will have to try this, I use alot of cream of... soups.

  3. Great minds think alike! I did this a few weeks ago when I ran out of a can of mushroom soup (my husband likes, I don't) and I just did this with a small can of mushrooms. It didn't taste the same, granted, but it was much healthier and economical. (Daughter of Bussey, Iowa, farmers)

  4. Would you consider adding this post to my blog's homestead hop?

  5. Hmmmmm. Is that cooked peas added to the creamed eggs in picture 4? Do you cook those peas separately then drain and add to the cream sauce with the chopped eggs? I have a super good creamed peas recipe that uses real cream.

    1. I usually just cook mine in the cream sauce right after I add the peas, as we don't like ours cooked very much.
      I do like real cream for creamed peas...but of course, then it's not bechamel! Many people do not seem to realize that cream thickens nicely on its own when heated.


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