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Simple to make and delicious: how to make a good béchamel sauce

It's a sauce that has a funny history and is delicious in many dishes such as endives with ham, savory pancakes with mushrooms... Easy to make, and so much healthier when it is made by hand with just a few ingredients: the béchamel sauce, a French invention, was worth the interest of Mr. de France and he shares his recipe with you...


A history of béchamel sauce 

A sauce dedicated to a gourmet 

Several hypotheses are on the table (like the béchamel dish). Some say that François Pierre de la Varenne (1618-1678), chef of the Marquis d'Uxelles, invented the béchamel sauce and dedicated it to a great friend of his boss: Louis de Béchameil (1630-1703), a man known to have an ogre's appetite and who served at the court of Louis XIV. It seems that La Varenne was inspired by an existing sauce and improved it. Others claim that it was Louis de Béchameil himself who invented this sauce in his castle, as he had, as has been said, a large appetite and was a gourmet. It seems that at the beginning, meat juice and shallots were put in the béchamel cream, which was used to thicken soups. In any case, from the end of the 17th century, cookbooks refer to "béchameil" sauce, then to "béchamelle" sauce in the 18th century, before the spelling became "béchamel" in the 19th century.

Which changes name with the ingredients. 

By adding ingredients to your béchamel sauce, you create another sauce and it changes its name. For example, by adding egg yolk and cheese, you make a Mornay sauce. By adding truffles, fish stock and lobster coulis, you get a cardinal sauce, with crayfish bisque it will be a Nantua sauce (named after the lake of Nantua very famous for its crayfish). 

Excerpt from "Le canameliste français", the 16th century cookbook by Joseph Gilliers (copy chosen by monsieurdefrance.comExcerpt from "Le canameliste français", the 16th century cookbook by Joseph Gilliers (copy chosen by


And found in many dishes 

Béchamel is used in many dishes. We put it in the croque monsieur (under and over the ham), we need it for the bouchées à la reine (with sweetbreads, mushrooms...). You can also make puffed up savoury pancakes served with béchamel or put it in moussaka


How to make a homemade béchamel sauce?

A béchamel sauce. Photo chosen by / By Shutterstock
A béchamel sauce. Photo chosen by / By Shutterstock




  • 35 grams of butter
  • 35 grams of flour 
  • 1/2 liter of whole milk 
  • salt, pepper 
  • a little nutmeg. 

The process 


  1. Boil the milk in a saucepan 
  2. Melt the butter in another pan
  3. When it has melted well (it "sings") add the flour and mix it with the butter. What you have obtained is called a "roux".
  4. Add the boiled milk to the "roux" and mix to make it thick. 
  5. Remove from the heat. 
  6. Add salt, pepper and a little nutmeg (a pinch of knife). 



Always use equal amounts of ingredients. To avoid lumps, let the milk flow slowly and mix at the same time. 

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.