The 5 essential sauces of French cuisine

French cuisine, known for its remarkable diversity, finesse, and exquisite flavors, has captivated food enthusiasts worldwide. And at the heart of this culinary tradition is the art of sauces, with its five famous mother sauces. These sauces, with their perfect blend of ingredients, elevate a many of recipes, from succulents meats to delicate fish and tasty vegetables. They bring an explosion of flavors and sublimate each dish to amaze everyone’s taste buds.

Béchamel sauce,
the must-have

A staple of French gastronomy, béchamel sauce is appreciated by grandmothers and star chefs alike. It enhances many dishes, from lasagne bolognaise and croque-monsieur to pasta and vegetable gratins, as well as meat dishes. Its smooth, creamy texture adds sweetness to the recipe, making these dishes a real treat ! The velvety smoothness of this sauce brings a touch of indulgence, transforming these recipes into a culinary masterpiece.

Whether you’re an amateur or a novice in traditional cooking, making béchamel sauce is easy with just three basic ingredients : butter, flour and milk. To make a truly traditional béchamel sauce, you can add spices such as nutmeg, salt and pepper to enhance the flavours. Bechamel sauce will add a touch of deliciousness to your dishes, so you’re sure to enjoy them to the full ! Discover the pleasure of cooking with this mother sauce and let yourself be carried away by its delicious taste.

📖 Bechamel sauce recipe : 

Ingredients :

  • 50 grams butter
  • 50 grams flour
  • 60 cl milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg

Recipe preparation steps :

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until well combined.
  3. Gradually pour in the milk while stirring continuously with the whisk, allowing the sauce to thicken.
  4. Season the béchamel with a sprinkle of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Now armed with this simple yet extraordinary sauce recipe, you have everything you need to create the perfect béchamel sauce. Unleash your culinary prowess and relish the unparalleled flavors that this exquisite sauce brings to your dishes.

🍲 Dish ideas with béchamel sauce :

  • Lasagne bolognese or goat/spinach
  • Endives with ham or leeks with ham
  • Ham and cheese pancakes
  • Cauliflower gratin

Tomato sauce, an explosion of Meditarranean flavours

Tomato sauce, the most emblematic of French cuisine, conquered Italy and then France. To craft this delectable sauce, opt for tomatoes with a low water content, such as beef hearts or Andes cornus, to concoct this delicious sauce. They’re ideal ! There are many tomato sauce recipes, but nothing beats the smell of tomatoes simmering in our grandmothers’ casseroles. This dense, flavorful sauce is a veritable concentrate of Mediterranean flavors. It sublimates pasta, meat, fish and grilled vegetables, adding a touch of happiness to every dish. It effortlessly adds a touch of joy to every dish it graces. Whether you want to accompany comforting pasta dishes or sublimate grilled meat, tomato sauce is an essential treasure in the kitchen.

📖 Recipe for homemade tomato sauce : 

Ingredients :

  • 1.5 kilos red tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves or shallots
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar (optional)

Recipe preparation steps :

  1. Start by washing and chopping the tomatoes.
  2. Peel your garlic cloves and onions. Then chop them finely.
  3. Put some olive oil in a casserole dish and brown the onions.
  4. Then add the tomatoes, garlic and bouquet garni.
  5. Leave to cook over a low heat for around 30 minutes. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon.
  6. Once the tomato sauce is thick enough, use a colander to remove all the seeds and skin.
  7. Taste and season to taste, adding salt, pepper and sugar if desired.

With this captivating homemade tomato sauce recipe in your culinary repertoire, you possess they hey to unlocking a world of mouthwatering flavors. Indulge in the art of preparing this divine sauce, customizing it to your taste preferences, and witness how it magnifies the allure of your dishes.

🍲 Dish ideas with tomato sauce : 

  • Gnocchi gratin with tomato sauce
  • Pizza margherita, veggie
  • Shakshuka
  • Spaghetti with beef meatballs and tomato sauce

Hollandaise sauce, a tangy, gourmet classic

Hollandaise sauce, a classic of French cuisine, is known for its creamy texture and delicious, gourmet taste. To prepare this sauce, all you need are three ingredients : egg yolks, lemon juice and butter. While it can be a bit challenging to master due to its quick tendency to transform, the secret to achieving perfection lies in the art of precise emulsion.

Thanks to the perfect combination of butter’s sweetness and lemon’s acidity, hollandaise sauce adds a touch of sophistication to your dishes, whether they’re eggs Benedict, seafood, poached fish such as salmon, or a variety of vegetables.

Whether for brunch or dinner, hollandaise sauce will enhance the flavors of your dishes. It’s a real ally in the kitchen, adding a touch of finesse to your preparations.

📖 Hollandaise sauce recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 200 grams butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe preparation steps :

  1. Start by squeezing the lemon, then dice the butter.
  2. Next, beat the egg yolks until frothy, then add the lemon, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Place the bowl in a saucepan over a bain-marie and whisk constantly until the sauce is light and creamy.
  4. Once this step is complete, add the melted butter while continuing to stir. The mixture should thicken.

By following these steps, you’ll master the creation of hollandaise ausace, allowing its irresistible allure to enhance your culinary endeavors. Embrace the art of this tangy gourmet classic, and witness how it transforms ordinary dishes into extraordinary gastronomic experiences.

🍲 Dish ideas with hollandaise sauce :

  • Salmon, rice with hollandaise sauce
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Asparagus with hollandaise sauce on top

Veloutée sauce, a delicious accompaniment

Veloutée sauce, one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine, adds a creamy texture and delicate flavors to elevate your dishes. Perfect with fish, steamed vegetables, poultry and pasta, it’s also a versatile base for many other delicious sauces.

Crafting velouté sauce requires a mere three ingredients, making it a simple delight to prepare and adapts harmoniously to a variety of recipes. Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your dishes with veloutée sauce. It will add a touch of elegance to your dishes, and you’ll enjoy every taste.

📖 Veloutée sauce recipe : 

Ingredients :

  • 50 grams butter
  • 50 grams flour
  • 1 liter chicken stock, veal stock or fish stock
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Season with shallot, white wine, mushrooms…

Recipe preparation steps :

  1. In a saucepan, cook the butter over low heat.
  2. Then add the 50 grams of flour and whisk to combine.
  3. Cook until the mixture becomes frothy (white roux).
  4. Take the mixture off the heat. Add a little stock and mix well.
  5. Return the saucepan to the heat and add the remaining stock a little at a time. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. The sauce should be smooth and slightly thick.
  6. Leave the sauce to cook for about ten minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add other seasonings if desired.

By following this recipe, you’ll discover the magic of velouté sauce and bring a touch of elegance to your dishes. Let your creativity shine as you experiment with this versatile sauce, and enjoy the delicious flavors it adds to your creations.

🍲 Dish ideas with veloutée sauce :

  • Chicken and potatoes with veloutée sauce on top
  • Pasta with mushroom veloutée sauce

Spanich sauce, the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats

Spanish sauce, also known as brown sauce, is a big hit in French cuisine. This rich, flavorful sauce is a popular ingredient in many dishes. And there are many recipes for making it, each with its own personal touch.

The versatility of Spanish sauce allows it to effortlessly complement a wide array of dishes, particularly grilled meats, enhancing their succulent flavors. The best part ? You can prepare a generous quantity of this sauce and conveniently freeze it for future use.

In short, Spanish sauce is a seasoning that never disappoints. It adds a touch of flavor to your dishes, making them even tastier.

📖 Spanish sauce recipe : 

Ingredients for 1 liter of Spanish sauce :

  • 125 grams roux
  • 2 liters of brown stock
  • 20 cl tomato purée
  • 30 grams bacon
  • 50 grams carrots, approx.
  • 50 grams chopped onions approx.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme, salt, pepper

Recipe preparation steps :

  1. Start by preparing 2 liters of brown stock.
  2. Next, cut the carrots, onion and bacon into small cubes.
  3. Brown the three ingredients in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
  4. When this step is complete, take a saucepan, pour in the brown stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Now it’s time to prepare the 125 grams of roux. Take another saucepan and pour the brown stock over the roux. Whisk well to bind the sauce.
  6. Add the carrots, onion, bacon, bouquet garni and tomato purée. Mix well.
  7. Simmer gently over low heat for around 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and strain the sauce through a chinois strainer.
  9. Once this step is complete, leave to cook very gently for around five minutes.
  10. Leave to cool and enjoy !

Prepare and savor the delightful Spanish sauce, allowing it to enhance your culinary creations with its exceptional flavors.

🍲 Dish ideas with Spanish sauce : 

  • Turkey, chicken with Spanish sauce and a side dish (vegetables, potatoes)
  • Accompany your Spanish sauce with delicious red meat

The five mother sauces of French cuisine offer a wide variety of flavors to enhance your dishes. The varied culinary uses of these sauces open up a multitude of possibilities for spicing up your recipes. Whether as an accompaniment to meat, fish or vegetables, or even for more daring preparations, these five sauces will adapt perfectly to your needs. So grab your saucepans and whisks and explore the art of the five mother sauces, adapting them to your own culinary style !


Answer : In addition to the five mother sauces of French cuisine, there are many other delicious sauces to spice up your dishes. Here are just a few examples :

  1. Barbecue sauce : a succulent, slightly sweet sauce, perfect for grilled meats, hamburgers, ribs and also grilled vegetables.
  2. Pepper sauce : a creamy, spicy sauce, ideal for enhancing steaks and fillets. Pepper sauce is generally made with cracked pepper, crème fraîche, meat stock, butter and cornflour.
  3. White sauce : a sauce based on Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, often flavored with garlic, lemon or herbs. White sauce is perfect with kebabs, falafels, salads, vegetables or potatoes.
  4. Tartar sauce : a sauce based on mayonnaise, onions, capers, gherkins, chives and parsley. It adds a touch of freshness to fried fish, seafood and even burgers.
  5. Cheese sauce : a rich, creamy sauce made with cheese. There are many different types of cheese sauce, such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Cheddar. They are perfect with pasta, potatoes or vegetables.
Question : Can sauces be frozen for later use ?

Answer : Yes, of course, sauces can be frozen. However, it is important to take into account the composition of the sauce.

Cream- and dairy-based sauces can sometimes change texture when frozen and then thawed. It is therefore preferable to eat them fresh.

Tomato-based sauces, such as tomato sauce or Bolognese sauce, generally freeze well.

We recommend storing sauces in glass jars, in small compartments or in freezer bags, taking care to eliminate all excess air. Remember to let it cool before freezing, and when you want to use the sauce, simply defrost it in the fridge or microwave, then gently reheat it in a saucepan.

Question : What are the advantages of making your own homemade sauces ?

Answer : There are many advantages to making your own sauces. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider making your own sauces :

  1. Control over ingredients : by making your own sauce, you have control over the ingredients you use. You can choose fresh, organic, high-quality ingredients, avoiding the additives, preservatives and artificial flavourings found in most commercial sauces.
  2. Flavor customization : by making your own sauces, you can adjust the flavors to suit your preferences and desires. You can experiment with different spices, herbs, sugar… to create sauces that perfectly match your tastes.
  3. Adaptability to specific diets : when you prepare your own sauces, you can adapt the recipe to specific diets, such as vegetarian, gluten-free or lactose-free. You have control over the ingredients used, and can adjust them to suit your nutritional needs.
Question : What tips do you have for successful homemade sauces ?

Answer : Here are a few tips for making homemade sauces a success :

  1. Prepare all ingredients in advance : before you start cooking, make sure you have all the ingredients you need at hand. This will prevent you from rushing to the supermarket while preparing the sauce.
  2. Follow instructions : follow recipe instructions carefully: quantities, cooking times and steps are all important for a good sauce.
  3. Taste and adjust : regularly taste your sauce during cooking, and adjust the spices, salt, sugar or other ingredients to suit your preferences. This will ensure that you get the sauce that best suits your tastes and gives you maximum flavor.
  4. Stir regularly : during the cooking time, remember to keep an eye on your sauce. Stir it regularly to prevent it from burning in the bottom of your casserole or forming lumps. In addition, the flavors will be evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
  5. Allow the sauce to rest before serving : When cooking is complete, allow your sauce to rest for a few minutes or more before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken slightly.
Question : How can I thicken a sauce that’s too runny ?

Answer : There are a number of tricks you can use to thicken your sauce to the consistency you want if it’s too runny at the end of cooking :

  1. With cornflour : mix one or two tablespoons of cornflour in a bowl with a little cold water. Mix well, so that there are no lumps. Then add the mixture to the sauce, stirring constantly, and leave to cook for a few minutes. If you don’t have cornflour, flour also works well, but the texture will be a little less light.
  2. With beurre manié : place the same amount of soft butter (room temperature) and flour in a bowl. Mix well, kneading with your hands to obtain a homogeneous paste. Over low heat, add the mixture to your sauce, stirring until thickened.
  3. With breadcrumbs : to thicken the sauce, simply pour a little breadcrumbs into your casserole dish, stirring gently until the consistency suits you !
  4. With an egg yolk : start by separating the white from the yolk. In a bowl, vigorously mix about two tablespoons of sauce with the egg yolk. Then stir the mixture into your simmering sauce and cook for a few minutes to thicken.
Question : Are there any vegan alternatives to cream, yoghurt or cheese-based sauces ?

Answer : If you’re following a vegan or dairy-free diet, don’t panic ! Today, there are various vegan alternatives to cream, yoghurt and even cheese-based sauces.

You can use vegetable milk such as almond, soy or oat milk. But you can also use vegetable creams such as cashew, coconut or soy-based creams to prepare creamy, tasty sauces.

If you want to make a cheese sauce, there are plenty of alternatives available today, such as vegetable cheese made from almond milk, cashew nuts or soy. These different cheeses will bring a cheesy flavor to your sauce, a taste similar to that of cheese and the real thing !