Bechamel Cheese Sauce
This Bechamel Cheese Sauce also known as Mornay sauce is a classic Bechamel sauce flavored with Gruyere cheese or Parmesan cheese.
It’s the easiest, cheesy sauce for steamed vegetables, egg benedicts, or casserole. It’s a French-inspired recipe that can be easily made in less than 20 minutes.
As a French person, I make Bechamel sauce all the time.
Bechamel is a classic creamy white sauce recipe, one of the five Mother Sauces of classical French cuisine.
Bechamel is made from flour butter and milk. and used as a base for lasagna or vegetable gratin like my broccoli gratin recipe or any casserole.
If you have made mac and cheese before, the technique and ingredients are very close, except that the mac and cheese recipe adds cheddar.
What’s Bechamel Sauce?
Bechamel sauce is a creamy white sauce made from butter and flour, cooked together to form a paste called Roux.
Then, the roux is dissolved in milk and boiled until the sauce thickens and turns creamy.
Bechamel sauce is very popular in European cuisine, to make lasagna, vegetable au gratin recipes, and pasta casseroles.
This bechamel cheese sauce is a version of the classic French bechamel recipe but with added cheese for extra flavor.
How To Make Bechamel Cheese Sauce
You only need 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a creamy, cheesy Bechamel sauce.
- Butter – You can also use dairy-free butter or ghee. I prefer unsalted butter, but feel free to use one with or without salt.
- All-Purpose Flour – I haven’t tried gluten-free all-purpose flour for this recipe, so I am unsure if it works to make gluten-free Bechamel sauce.
- Milk of Choice – The classic recipe uses regular cow milk, whole milk, or skim milk. But you can also use dairy-free milk options to make a vegan Bechamel, as long as your milk is unsweetened and low flavor, like unsweetened almond milk or soy milk. I would avoid rice milk and oat milk that have a sweet note.
- Cheese of Choice – You can use any hard grated cheese, depending on the flavor you are after. The best cheese for bechamel is Parmesan cheese, swiss cheese, or cheddar cheese.
Since cheese is salted, especially Parmesan, you may not need salt at all in the sauce. I highly recommend tasting the sauce and adding only if needed.
Then, feel free to season the sauce with some of the spices below:
- Curry powder
- Chili flakes
- Garlic powder
- Ground pepper
- Italian herbs
- Salt and pepper
Making The Sauce
To make the bechamel, bring a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt it over medium heat.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a yellow paste mixture called ‘roux’.
Return to low-medium heat and add about half a cup of milk.
Gently pour the milk into the roux flour and whisk at the same time until the roux butter and flour are completely dissolved.
Now that flour and milk are well combined and no lumps show, add the remaining milk.
Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce and keep cooking the Béchamel sauce, stirring occasionally, until a creamy sauce forms.
It takes just ten minutes to thicken.
Now, stir in the cheese and keep cooking for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
Using Bechamel Cheese Sauce
This bechamel cheese sauce is perfect for:
- Egg Benedicts
- Filling my Crepe Recipe, French Buckwheat Crepes, or Gluten-Free Crepes.
- Smoked Mac And Cheese
- Broccoli au gratin
- Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Steamed Cauliflower
Below are some allergy swaps to adapt this recipe to your dietary requirement.
- Dairy-Free – To make dairy-free Bechamel, use low-flavor dairy-free milk like soy milk or unsweetened almond milk and replace the butter with dairy-free butter. You can skip the cheese or use 2-3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to add flavor to the sauce and avoid dairy.
- Gluten-Free – I didn’t try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in this recipe, but I suppose it could work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze Bechamel?
Yes, you can freeze this sauce in an airtight container and thaw it in the refrigerator the day before using it.
How Long Does Bechamel Last In The Fridge?
Bechamel is a dairy dish so it won’t last more than 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can I Use Other Cheese?
You can use any cheese to flavor bechamel and make a bechamel cheese sauce that you love.
Cheddar cheese, blue cheese, Parmesan, and Gruyere cheese are the most popular.
More Easy Sauce Recipes
If you liked this recipe, you’ll love these other sauces:
Did you try this cheese bechamel sauce recipe? Share a comment or review below.
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Bechamel Cheese Sauce
Cooking Method:One Pan
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