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What is a Mornay Sauce?

A Mornay sauce is essentially a bechamel sauce with a combination of cheese melted in.  Some know the bechamel sauce by its less elegant name of white sauce.  Bechamel sauce definitely sounds better, even if it’s basically only milk, flour and butter with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg.  That’s it!

Traditionalists add an egg yolk to give it more creamy consistency (and reduce the amount of flour used). Yet I don’t think it’s necessary.  I also often use olive oil instead of butter to improve its health benefits and make it vegan if I’m going that way.

With a Mornay sauce, at the end you add a combination of grated cheese, usually made up of Gruyère, Emmental, and Parmesan, or any single cheese.  White cheddar or other cheeses can be used if you are feeling less conventional.  A Mornay sauce is a wonderful base for any Mac and Cheese dish!

Vegans can replace the cheese and milk called for in this recipe with a nut-based alternative.  They should also use olive oil instead of butter.

Try this sauce soon and let me know what you think.  Feel free to season it a bit differently if it suits your dish.  Thanks for sharing this recipe with your friends.

Mornay Sauce
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A simple sauce to give a comfort feeling to many dishes looking for creamy yumminess!
Chef:Belgian Foodie
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1liter 5 20minutes
Servings Prep Time
1liter 5
Cook Time
  • Course
  • Cuisine
Servings: liter
  • Roux
  • 100 ml olive oil or equivalent in butter
  • 60 g all purpose flour (or non-gluten alternative)
  • Sauce
  • 1000 ml milk low fat (or other if you prefer) - See notes
  • 100 g cheese grated (Parmesan, Emmental and/or Gruyère)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg freshly grated or ground
  • white pepper or black pepper if you don't care it's not pure white
  • 2 dashes salt to taste
Servings: liter
  1. Mix the olive oil and the flour together in a small bowl until you have a grainy paste. This paste is called a "roux" as it will help thicken a sauce as it cooks. Some people like it thicker than others and start with 1/1 olive oil to flour ratio. I use less flour here yet my sauce ends up thick enough, especially if you will add it to a dish that will bake further in the oven.
  2. Put a sauce pot over a medium flame. Add the roux mixture into the heated pot and stir. Continue until it starts boiling (small bubbles) (2-3 minutes).
  1. Add cold milk (see notes) and whisk the ingredients together making sure it is smooth. Continue stirring from time to time until the milk begins to boil gently (small bubbles on the edges.
  2. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  3. Reduce heat to low flame and continue heating the mixture in the pot until you reach the thickness that you like. Remember it will thicken further when you add the cheese and even more if you use this sauce in a casserole that will cook more time in the oven.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Adjust seasoning and use.
Recipe Notes

With a Béchemel sauce or any sauce made from a Béchemel sauce, it is essential to start with cold ingredients (butter and milk) and only add the milk when the roux is hot (slightly boiling). The combination of hot-cold is required to get a smooth consistency. This sauce can be made vegan, gluten-free or more rich if you like.   If you use low fat or nonfat milk you might need to cook a little longer to get the thickness you like OR need to add a little more flour.  

Written by:Belgian Foodie

Nutrition Facts
Mornay Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1031g)
Calories 1968 Calories from Fat 1323
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 147g 226%
Saturated Fat 43g 215%
Polyunsaturated Fat 12g
Monounsaturated Fat 86g
Cholesterol 163mg 54%
Sodium 1768mg 74%
Potassium 1739mg 50%
Total Carbohydrates 98g 33%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 57g
Protein 62g 124%
Vitamin A 56%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 185%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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