White Sauce Recipe

There are hundreds of white sauce recipes, all of which are dependent on use of the sauce. There are three common uses of white sauce, including soup bases, pasta sauce bases and bindings.






Notes on Ingredients:

The white sauce recipe will vary depending on the use of the white sauce. These four ingredients are what will form the base for many other recipes. Commonly partnered ingredients with the four basic ingredients are listed below.

Partnering Ingredients:

White Wine



Sour Cream

White Pepper

Notes on Partnering Ingredients:

The addition of any one of these ingredients will drastically alter the flavor of the basic white sauce. When you are selecting your white sauce recipe, keep in mind what you want to use the sauce for. Pasta sauces will often be partnered with white wine, as this adds a robust flavor. Garlic will also be commonly used. Sour cream is often used for non-Italian pasta sauces. White pepper can be used with many different recipes, as it adds a subtle, yet flexible, flavor.

Preparation Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Cooking Method:

It is important that you do not leave a white sauce recipe unattended during the cooking process. White sauce is easy to burn, at which point you will have to throw out what you have and start from scratch. As the cooking time is very short, it is suggested that you remove any distractions so you will not burn your sauce by accident. The average white sauce recipe will be done over low heat to prevent the milk from scorching.


The basic white sauce recipe has been around for hundreds of years, used most often in European cultures. Some Eastern cuisines, such as Chinese and Japanese, use very little in the way of white sauce recipes, while there are many creamy recipes in Indian cuisines.

The basic white sauce recipe is known to have been in use at 200 A.D., although for reasons many are surprised to learn. Roman chefs would often use thick, rich sauces to mask the flavor of the foods that were being eaten. Whether it was to mask questionable freshness of the meat or to show off expensive ingredients is still unknown. It is suspected to be a combination of both of these factors.

This same idea was picked up across the world, especially in nations with easy access to spices.