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Best Bechamel Recipe for Lasagne

This is the real deal for the best bechamel recipe for lasagna, check it out and add it to your mouthwatering lasagna dish.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Béchamel sauce is also known as “besciamella” in Italian, and it is a creamy white sauce made from a base that consists of butter and flour and of course milk.

It is most commonly used in recipes such as mac & cheese and lasagna Bolognese, but it also plays a key role in many authentic Italian pasta dishes, pizza sauces, casseroles and many other dishes from all around the world as many countries have their own variations of this sauce.

It is also classified as one of the 5 mother sauces and it is always a delicious recipe to have at your disposal as there are many different uses for it as well as many variations that you can make use of.

Why should I use Bechamel sauce in my lasagna recipe?

Bechamel sauce is used in lasagna and other dishes as a thickener for the sauce that is already in the dish, such as the bolognese meat sauce that lasagna contains. The bechamel tightens up the filling and helps hold together all the different layers as it cooks. It also adds a delicious creamy texture that is always welcome whenever you are having comfort food such as lasagna.

Béchamel sauce for Lasagna recipe

This classic recipe for a creamy béchamel sauce can be used for many different recipes but it is perfect for homemade lasagna and adds a wonderful texture while making sure that all the layers stay together as you cut into it.

This is perfect to use in any other dishes such as vegetarian lasagna along with fresh lasagna noodles, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella.

  • Sauce pot/ large skillet/ heavy bottom pan

  • Whisk and wooden spoon

  • Cooking time: 30 min

Cooking bechamel in a pot.

Classic Béchamel sauce recipe

Ingredients

  • 500ml milk (warmed to just above room temperature)

  • 50g butter

  • 50g flour

  • Pinch of salt and pepper

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Method

  1. Melt butter over low heat (do not brown the butter, and ensure that it is just melted and not boiling)

  2. As soon as it is 90% melted, take the pot off the heat and add flour. Combine the two together with a wooden spoon and put it back on the stove.

  3. Cook the flour-butter mixture for a few minutes on low heat while stirring it (it will look like a big lump but it will loosen up later, and ensure that is not too brown)

  4. Start adding in the warm milk a little bit at a time and whisk on a medium heat (if the milk is added too quickly lumps will form)

  5. Once all the milk has been added and the sauce thickens, add the seasonings and cook for another few minutes on a low heat until the mixture sticks to the back of a teaspoon.

  6. Take off the heat and place a piece of baking paper on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming as it cools down.

Recipe Notes

Don’t brown the roux as it will cause the béchamel to turn golden brown instead of staying a light color.

Warm up the milk and add the milk in batches as this will prevent lumps and remember to whisk it well!

Béchamel sauce will form a skin on the surface if it does not used right away so remember to press plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Alternatively, you can also store it in an airtight container in the fridge of freezer.

Use a wide, high-sided skillet as it makes everything cook faster. Alternatively, use a 5 qt enamel-coated braising dish instead.

Other uses for this béchamel sauce recipe

This is a very versatile recipe and there are many different ways for you to make use of it. You could swipe it all over the bread you’re using to make croque monsieurs (if you put it under the broiler for a few minutes for an even more delicious slice).

Italian cannelloni with bechamel.

You can of course use it as the creamy component for a classic lasagna or as the sauce for a pasta dish (it also works well with hot Italian sausage or even sweet Italian sausage). You can also use it as a base for cheddar-loaded mac and cheese .

You could also add extra components such as different cheeses (mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, etc.) to turn it into a cheese sauce, add tomato paste/minced garlic in your base along with the melted butter before adding the milk, and even fresh herbs at the end.

Variations

Mornay: the milk for the béchamel gets simmered with onion and cloves, and Gruyère cheese, and Parmesan gets added at the end.

White cream sauce: béchamel that gets made with heavy cream.

Soubise: béchamel with butter and added caramelized onions.

Nantua: béchamel with shrimp, butter, and heavy cream.

Cheddar sauce: béchamel with whole milk and cheddar cheese added at the end.

How do I store my bechamel sauce?

In the fridge: This delicious lasagna sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to one week. You should make sure to cover the top of the sauce with a piece of plastic wrap or baking paper to keep a skin from forming on the top.

When you want to reheat this sauce, You add the sauce back into a pot, add a little milk and slowly heat it back up again. Be sure to keep stirring occasionally so that it does not not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.

In the freezer: Spread your béchamel on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool down to room temperature. You can then portion and transfer the béchamel to freezer-safe containers, such as vacuum pouches, quart-size zip-top plastic bags, or pint-size lidded plastic containers. Label and date your sauce and freeze your sauce for up to 3 months.

If you would like to heat up your sauce, allow your sauce to defrost in the fridge overnight and then heat up the sauce as usual with some extra milk.

Lasagna ready to eat.

This creamy béchamel sauce recipe will be a welcome addition to even the best lasagna recipe and of course a rich meat sauce made with ground beef and fresh/oven ready lasagna sheets.

If you are looking to test out this creamy béchamel sauce for lasagna then be sure to follow this white lasagna recipe to make good use of this béchamel sauce.

Bechamel Recipe for Lasagne Feature Image - 1390x600

Béchamel Sauce For Lasagna

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine French, Italian
Servings 9 people
Calories 89 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Sauce pot
  • 1 Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 500 ml milk warmed to just above room temperature
  • 50 gr butter
  • 50 gr flour
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg optional

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter over low heat (do not brown the butter, and ensure that it is just melted and not boiling).
  • As soon as it is 90% melted, take the pot off the heat and add flour. Combine the two together with a wooden spoon and put it back on the stove.
  • Cook the flour-butter mixture for a few minutes on low heat while stirring it (it will look like a big lump but it will loosen up later, and ensure that is not too brown).
  • Start adding in the warm milk a little bit at a time and whisk on a medium heat (if the milk is added too quickly lumps will form).
  • Once all the milk has been added and the sauce thickens, add the seasonings and cook for another few minutes on a low heat until the mixture sticks to the back of a teaspoon.
  • Take off the heat and place a piece of baking paper on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming as it cools down.

Notes

  • Don’t brown the roux as it will cause the béchamel to turn golden brown instead of staying a light color.
  • Warm up the milk and add the milk in batches as this will prevent lumps and remember to whisk it well!
  • Béchamel sauce will form a skin on the surface if it does not used right away so remember to press plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Alternatively, you can also store it in an airtight container in the fridge of freezer.
  • Use a wide, high-sided skillet as it makes everything cook faster. Alternatively, use a 5 qt enamel-coated braising dish instead.
Keyword Bechamel, Lasagna, White Sauce

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the food images displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. They do not represent the actual dishes or presentations you might achieve when following our recipes. While we strive to inspire your culinary journey, the appearance of your dishes may vary.

Frequent Asked Questions

The key to creating the absolute best lasagna is to use a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese as the ricotta brings a rich creaminess while the cottage cheese lightens things up and seasons the whole dish.

You can add even more cheese, such as shredded Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese, or even Pecorino Romano.

Although they look very similar, the difference between béchamel sauce and alfredo sauce is their ingredients. While béchamel sauce is made with milk and flour, alfredo sauce is mainly made with heavy cream and cheese.

Oil a baking dish and spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce at the bottom. Top that with a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by half the ricotta, half of your desired fillings such as a meat sauce, and more white sauce. Repeat with another layer of lasagna noodles, the remaining ricotta, remaining fillings, and more béchamel sauce.

In southern Italy, lasagna is generally made with dried sheets of pasta that get layered with rich meat ragú, ricotta and mozzarella. In the north, especially in Bologna, the most popular version of lasagna features fresh egg pasta colored green with spinach and layered with ragú, bechamel and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Bechamel sauce uses milk as its liquid which makes it creamy and delicious for any dish that you want to use it for.

The five mother sauces are hollandaise, tomato sauce, bechamel, Espagnole, and veloute. French chef Auguste Escoffier identified the five mother sauces, forever associating them with French cuisine.

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