How to Make 7 Easy Sauces

Learn how to create delicious dishes from a basic white sauce, how to make a great hollandaise sauce, and discover creative ways to give your white sauce a flavor boost.

For years, Taste of Home reader Lois G. of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, has used this smooth sauce to make many dishes. “The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled,” she says.

Basic White Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk

    How to make it 

  • 1

    In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth.

  • 2

    Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Use immediately or refrigerate. Makes: 1 cup.

Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe

“This is one of my favorite ways to fix potatoes,” Lois reports. Slices are coated in a cheesy sauce and topped with golden crumbs.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Basic White Sauce (above)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

    How to make it 

  • 1

    In a saucepan, prepare a double recipe of the basic white sauce.

  • 2

    Stir in cheese, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Gently stir in the potatoes until coated.

  • 3

    Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over potatoes.

  • 4

    Cover and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until crumb topping is golden brown. Serves 8.

Creamed Carrots Recipe

Lois uses her white sauce in this comforting treatment for attractive carrot coins that her grandmother handed down. “We usually served this when we had company,” she recalls.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium carrots (1 pound), cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup Basic White Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

    How to make it 

  • 1

    In a saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil.

  • 2

    Place carrots and onion in a steamer basket over the boiling water; cover and steam for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

  • 3

    Remove basket; drain liquid and return vegetables to the pan. Add white sauce, butter, parsley, salt and pepper; heat through. Serves 4.

6 Tasty Twists on White Sauce

Once you’ve mastered making a basic white sauce, there’s no limit to the flavorful variations you can create. Here are a few suggestions compiled by the Taste of Home test kitchen:

Cheese Sauce: Stir 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese into 1 cup of white sauce. Heat just until cheese is melted.

Curry Sauce: Stir 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and a pinch of ground ginger into 1 cup of white sauce.

Mornay Sauce: Stir 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese or a combination of both and a pinch of ground nutmeg into 1 cup of white sauce.

Mustard Sauce: Stir 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard into 1 cup of white sauce.

Brown Sauce: Follow recipe for a white sauce except substitute beef broth for the milk. For richer color, add a dash of browning sauce.

Velouté Sauce: French for velvety, this sauce substitutes a light-colored stock such as chicken, turkey or fish broth for the milk.