In many recipes, older and newer, the term béchamel occasionally appears.
This is a basic white sauce made from a very light roux.
We have prepared for you today the 5 most popular recipes with béchamel, including tips on how to prepare it correctly.
Lasagna with meat ragout and béchamel
Few people can resist traditional lasagna with Bolognese ragout and creamy bechamel sauce. They are full of flavor and the whole family will enjoy them!
For the meat ragout:
- 2 large onions
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 kg of ground beef
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- ¾ cup red wine
- 2 x 800g tin of crushed/sliced tomatoes
- 1 spoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ cup of water
For the béchamel:
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- ¾ cup plain flour
- a pinch of dried mustard
- 6 cups of milk
- salt and pepper
- 300 g dried lasagna
- ½ cup grated cheddar
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- finely chopped parsley/basil for garnish
- First, prepare the bolognese ragout.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.
- Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula.
- Increase the heat and let the beef cook until it begins to brown.
- Crush the garlic and crush the beef stock cubes.
- Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add the flour and dry mustard and beat constantly for a minute.
- Add ½ cup milk and stir until combined.
- Add another ½ cup of milk and whisk until there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Add milk little by little until all is used.
- Heat and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
- Salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
- Spread a thin layer of ragout on the bottom of a 33 x 23 x 7 cm baking dish.
- Add a layer of lasagna slices.
- Spread a layer of ragout over the lasagna, then add just over a cup of béchamel.
- Repeat the layers two more times.
- Pour the remaining béchamel on the 4th layer of lasagna sheets.
- Sprinkle with three cheeses and bake for 30 minutes until golden.
- Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before garnishing with parsley and serving.
Do you love Italian cuisine? Do you like to try cooking new interesting delicacies? How about trying our other lasagna recipes ? With meat? With vegetables? It just depends on you.
Baked cod in bechamel with rosemary
Cod is a wonderful white-fleshed fish, absolutely perfect for baking. Béchamel with rosemary and lemon juice perfectly underline its delicate taste. You just have to taste it!
- 500 g skinless cod fillets
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 and 1/4 cup milk
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
- Place the fish in a shallow baking dish with a lid and drizzle with lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper, add 1/4 cup water and cover tightly.
- Bake the fish in a preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the bechamel sauce.
- Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Slowly pour in the milk and mix well.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Place the fish on a serving plate and let it drain.
- Add the juice left over from roasting the cod to the béchamel and mix well.
- Reheat gently but do not boil.
- Season and garnish with rosemary.
- Pour the sauce over the cod and serve.
Try our other luxurious recipes with cod . You will enjoy!
Bechamel sauce with cheese
This sauce is a cheesy version of the classic béchamel and can be used perfectly for many dishes where a sauce with a subtle cheese flavor goes well. You can serve it with pasta, lasagna, rice and vegetables.
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg or to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar
- 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan
- hot sauce to taste
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a batter.
- Let the roux boil for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the milk a little at a time, while whisking constantly, let the mixture thicken.
- It takes about 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low if necessary.
- Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cheddar, Parmesan and hot sauce.
- Continue stirring until the cheese melts.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and use immediately.
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Traditional Greek moussaka with eggplant and potatoes
This luxurious moussaka is one of the best Greek dishes! Layers of fried eggplant, potatoes and zucchini are topped with a rich tomato sauce with meat and thick bechamel. There is no denying that this is a more laborious dish, but the end result is worth it!
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 0.7 cm thick rounds
- 2 courgettes, cut lengthwise into 0.7 cm thick strips
- 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 0.7 cm thick strips
- 700 g of lean ground beef
- 1 white onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut the potatoes, courgette and eggplant into pieces about 0.7 cm thick.
- Place the eggplant on a paper towel in an even layer and cover with a paper towel.
- Repeat with the sliced zucchini and then the potatoes.
- Heat a layer of your preferred frying oil in a large pan.
- Start with the potatoes, which you fry until golden on both sides.
- Repeat with zucchini and then eggplant.
- Place on paper towels and set aside.
- In another large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the chopped garlic to the pan and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the ground beef to the pan with the onion and garlic.
- Saute, breaking the meat into pieces, until browned.
- Add the tomato puree and stir until fully combined with the meat.
- Add red wine, tomato puree, beef broth, thyme, and 1/4 cup parsley.
- Add 2 bay leaves, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Mix well and let it cook while you make the béchamel sauce.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan.
- Slowly mix in 4 tablespoons of flour.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Slowly whisk in 2 cups milk until mixture thickens.
- Stir in 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1 egg yolk.
- Place the moussaka in a 23 x 33 cm baking dish.
- Place a layer of fried potatoes on the bottom and close all the gaps.
- Sprinkle with parsley, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan.
- Repeat with zucchini and then eggplant.
- Spread an even layer of the beef mixture over the vegetables.
- Then spread the béchamel sauce evenly over the top of the beef layer.
- Sprinkle with more grated parmesan.
- Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until the moussaka is golden brown on top.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve warm!
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Baked cauliflower with cheese and béchamel
Cauliflower is a very healthy and tasty vegetable that does not take too long to cook. In the following recipe, we will show you how to prepare it baked with béchamel. It tastes and looks absolutely delicious! We guarantee that even the pickiest little kids will eat it.
- 1 cauliflower
- 60 g of butter
- 60 g plain flour
- 500 ml of milk
- 90 g of grated cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and divide the cauliflower into medium-sized florets.
- Wash and clean the florets and cook them in a pot with boiling water and a little salt until soft.
- Be careful not to overcook the florets.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, we can prepare the béchamel.
- Put the pan on the fire and add the butter, which should be at room temperature.
- Heat the butter until it melts but does not burn.
- Gradually add the flour and let it brown a little.
- In order not to burn even the flour, the whole process should be done on low heat.
- Then slowly pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly, until everything is combined and there are no lumps.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow the béchamel to cook and keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom until it reaches the desired consistency.
- If it is too thick, you can add a little milk.
- When done, add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Once hot, place the cooked cauliflower florets in the baking dish.
- Cover with béchamel sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Place the cauliflower in the oven and bake for ten minutes.
- Enjoy your meal!
5 mistakes to avoid when preparing béchamel
- Using the wrong ratio.
The basic ratio for classic béchamel is 55 g of fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil) per 85 g of plain flour for the roux. This stock ratio will thicken up to a liter of milk, but you can use less milk for a thicker sauce.
- You don’t cook Jíška properly for a long time.
For béchamel we need a white broth that is cooked long enough so that it does not taste like raw flour. Cook the roux until dry and nutty, at least five minutes. Around that time we can taste. We should not smell any “cereal” or white flour flavor.
- Using cold milk.
You can use cold milk for the béchamel, but it will make a bigger mess and it will take longer to cook. Cold milk and hot stock equals more sizzle than when you fry chicken. Therefore, heat the milk for one to two minutes in the microwave.
- Adding all the milk at once.
Add about a quarter of the warm milk and whisk vigorously to loosen the roux before slowly adding the remaining milk.
- You are not cooking long enough.
A properly thickened roux should “coat the back of a spoon”.
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