by: Max M Rasmussen

Bechamel sauce - white sauces - Parsley, Mornay, Onion, Lemon, Curry, et al

Parsley sauce is one of the classical white sauces. - Max M Rasmussen
Bechamel sauce is a classic. One of Auguste Escoffiers "big" sauces. It is the most simple of the great sauces to make. In Denmark it is simply known as the white sauce, but it's basically the same. It is a basic recipe that can be used for everything from pasta to fish and as a base for other sauces. It can also be used as a base in onion sauce, cheese sauce (mornay), cream sauce, mushroom sauce, curry sauce (indienne), tomato sauce (aurore) and the Baltic Sauce.

Ingredients for Basic Bechamel

  • ½ l (2 cups) milk
  • 3 tbsp flour (for gluten free version, replace with rice flour or corn starch)
  • 3 tbsp butter or oil (50 g (1½ oz)) 
  • 1/4-1/3 grated nutmeg
  • salt and white pepper to taste. 


Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir the flour into the butter.

Let the butter boil off and simmer for a minute. The flour should not take color.

Slowly add the milk while stirring.

Bring to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes.

Stir well so that all lumps get dissolved and the sauce thickens.



Mixing the starch with the butter prevents the flour from lumping in the milk. It also removes the worst taste of flour.

Bechamel can be used as a base for a number of other sauces. That is exactly why it is one of the "Big 5".

Parsley Sauce


  • ½ liter (2 cups) bechamel
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped


Chop the parsley finely, add it and cook for a few minutes.

Chopped Parsley. - Max M Rasmussen

Onion sauce (soubise)


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 2 tbsp butter (30 grams (1 oz))
  • 4 onions


Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Chop the onions.

Let them simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid on until transparent and soft.

Pour Béchamel sauce over and either blend it with a hand blender, or press it through a sieve.

Bring to a boil again.


Onion sauce ingredients. - Max M Rasmussen

Cheese sauce (mornay)


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 2 egg yolks and ½ egg (can be omitted)
  • 1 dl (½ cup) grated hard cheese. such as gruyere, pecorino or parmesan.
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (can be omitted)


Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk cheese and mustard in.

Beat in the egg.

It must not be reheated. Otherwise the egg divides and cheese shreds.

if it becomes too thick, you can put in a little warm milk.


Mornay Sauce Ingredients. - Max M Rasmussen

Cream Sauce


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 1 dl (½ cup) cream or sour cream


Pour in the cream and allow to simmer while stirring until it is creamy.



Mushroom Sauce


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 120 g (4 oz) of mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ lemon)


Cover the bottom of a pot with as little water as possible. Bring to a boil.

Cut the mushrooms into thin slices and put them into the pan.

Put in the lemon juice.

Let them steam/cook covered, for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Stir occasionally.

Add the bechamel sauce and bring it to the boil. If it is too thin let it cook a little while stirring.



Curry sauce (indienne)


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil (30 grams (1 oz))
  • 1 tbsp curry
  • 1 skinned cored chopped tomato (or 3 tbsp tomato puree)


Chop the onions finely.

Melt the butter.

Fry the onions in the butter until they are translucent.

Add curry and tomato. Let it fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the bechamel sauce.

Let it cook in by 1/3.

Blend or sieve it.



Tomato Sauce (aurore)


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 5 tbsp tomato puree (3/4 dl (1/3 cup))


Mix the tomato puree into the bechamel sauce.

Bring to a boil.



Baltic Sauce (Escoffier)


  • ½ liter (2 cups) of bechamel
  • 4 oysters
  • 4 egg yolks
  • cayenne pepper to taste.


Take the oysters out of the shell. Save the liquid.

Boil for one minute.

Chop them into cubes.

Mix 5 tbsp (3/4 dl (1/3 cup)) oyster juice and egg yolks together.

Pour the egg and oyster juice into the sauce. Warm it up until it starts to thicken. It should not boil.

Take it off the heat and pour the oysters in.


by: Anonymous

Hello and thanks for the great recipe! Can this sauce be preserved in the fridge for a few days?