This post is about the basic white sauce variations that I use in recipes on my meal plans.
I use a standard recipe to make the white sauce. Then I add various flavours depending on what I want to use the sauce for. First let’s take a look at a basic white sauce recipe. Using Aldi ingredients this 500ml sauce costs 75 cents to make. Adding ingredients to make the variations underneath this recipe will increase the cost.
Basic White Sauce
- 40 grams butter
- 40 grams plain flour
- 500 mils milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Add the flour to the melted butter and cook the flour for about a minute till it is fully soaked into the flour. Take care to ensure that the flour is fully incorporated and smooth before you add the milk.
- Add the milk gradually whilst mixing with a whisk. This will help to avoid lumps.
- Bring up to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a low heat to simmer till cooked. It will be nice and thick once cooked and should take about 10 minutes.
- See variations below to make your white sauce into different sauces.
- Cheese sauce: to the white sauce add a handful of your favourite cheese and a pinch of paprika or nutmeg. I use this for macaroni cheese and for lasagne. A handful is about 100g but go as cheesy as you like, its up to you!
- Nacho cheese sauce: Add about 12 easy singles to white sauce and a pinch of paprika to make nacho cheese sauce for movie night at home. Once you make the white sauce just keep adding cheese singles till the sauce is thick just like nacho cheese cinema sauce. This is my friend Laura’s recipe.
- Mushroom sauce: Cook the mushroom on a pan in a little oil or butter with some garlic till nicely browned. Add to the almost cooked white sauce and cook in the mushroom for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
- White wine sauce: I use white wine vinegar as a replacement as it is far cheaper. Add a half a tablespoon ( one tbsp if you are liking the flavour), of white wine vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of cream to your white sauce when its almost cooked and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t over do the white wine vinegar as it is sharper than white wine. Taste as you go to get the flavour you enjoy.
- Parsley sauce: Add parsley to your white sauce when it is almost cooked and cook for 5 minutes.
How To Know What to Add To Your Basic White Sauce
With basic white sauce variations you can experiment with your favourite flavours. If you enjoy garlic for example you can add it to your white wine sauce, it really is up to you. This sauce is a fantastic frugal food hack to take other basic ingredients from ‘basic’ to really special and tasty.
I watch both Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver videos on Youtube for inspiration on how to incorporate other ingredients into my cooking. Take a look at the video above for a great method to making this sauce into a cheese sauce. He uses a smaller quantity but it is the same recipe in essence.