How to thicken béchamel or white sauce


What do you do if your béchamel is too thin? What about if it's too thick? Find out how to get the perfect consistency for your white sauce with these easy tips.

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How to make béchamel thicker or thinner

When you are cooking a béchamel recipe, once you’ve added all the milk and the mixture has simmered for about 5 minutes, the sauce won't get any thicker. What if it’s too thick or thin? The good news is that béchamel sauces are very stable and it’s easy to remedy if things go wrong. 

How to thin out béchamel

Make your béchamel thinner by heating it in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Stir in ¼ cup of milk. Bring back to the boil and check thickness. Continue adding more milk in this way until it you're happy with the consistency.

How to thicken béchamel

Cook a little more roux in a separate saucepan by cooking equal parts butter and flour over medium-high heat until straw coloured. Whisk the into the thin sauce. Bring to the boil and stir for 5 minutes until your sauce has reached the desired consistency.
To make your béchamel thicker without flour, reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce while stirring. This allows evaporation to reduce and thicken the sauce, though it will take much longer.
Now you know how to get the perfect consistency for your white sauce, try it in a recipe or turn it into a cheese sauce by adding some of your favourite cheese. You can also freeze your bechamel sauce, so you always have some on hand. Check out some delicious recipes below.

Watch how to make béchamel

This beautiful, creamy bechamel is flavoured with Perfect Italiano Parmesan for a full flavoured sauce that's perfect for lasagne, mac and cheese and more.

Get the recipe: Classic Beef Lasagne

A classic lasagne is made of layers of bechamel, bolognese and pasta. Make sure your bechamel is the right consistency for the perfect lasagne.

Get the recipe: Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

The sauce of mac 'n' cheese is a white sauce, or bechamel. It can be a bit thinner for mac 'n' cheese because the pasta will soak up some of the liquid in the sauce as it bakes.

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