Onion béchamel sauce

    20 min

    This version of a classic white sauce is flavoured with onion, so is suitable for use in savoury dishes like lasagne, pastitsio and moussaka.


    Ayrshire, Scotland, UK
    46 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 600ml semi-skimmed milk
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • 1 onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 55g butter
    • 55g plain flour
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:5min  ›  Ready in:20min 

    1. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan and add the bay leaf, peppercorns and nutmeg. Bring just to the boil over a moderate heat, then remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the flavoured milk into a jug.
    2. Melt the butter in the rinsed-out pan, and cook and stir the onion or shallots until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Do not allow the flour to brown.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually pour in the milk, stirring or whisking constantly. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, still stirring or whisking.
    4. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce gently for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is smooth and thick. If a smooth sauce is desired, puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a food processor or electric blender.
    5. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve or use immediately.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Delicious! I made it as a lower calorie alternative to cheese sauce, for a cauliflower and broccoli gratin. Usually I pile the Cheddar in, but I am trying to get some weight off, post Christmas. This was a perfect choice; so tasty and my husband says he thinks it's better than cheese sauce. I just sprinkled grated cheese on top. Thank you for this recipe. I'll use it again.  -  25 Jan 2015


    Made this sauce tonight for a lasagne, added a small amount of compte cheese to the sauce absolutely delicious, will definitely make this again.  -  11 Feb 2017