White Sauce Pasta - Béchamel Sauce Pasta

White Sauce Pasta Recipe (Béchamel Sauce Pasta)

Updated: April 1, 2024, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

This White Sauce Pasta is an easy weeknight meal that’s ready under 30 minutes. You will love this rich, creamy & saucy White Pasta, perfectly seasoned with Italian herbs & topped with red chili flakes. It is lighter and not heavy and is a satisfying comfort food. White Sauce Pasta is simply cooked pasta mixed with a silky smooth & decadent white sauce made of milk, butter and flour.

White Sauce Pasta -  Béchamel Sauce Pasta in a bowl



White Sauce also known as Bechamel Sauce has its origin from the Italian & French Cuisines. In classic culinary terms, this is what is known as a mother sauce. It is the base for many other sauces and it offers a great deal of flexibility to your repertoire of recipes.

Once you have learned how to make it well, the options are really endless. Whether you are using it for pasta or as a base for macaroni and cheese, the end is always a delightfully rich, smooth consistency that you coaxed out of a simple sauce of flour, butter and milk.

About White Sauce Pasta

One of the many amazing ways to incorporate white sauce into a really delicious meal is to make White Sauce Pasta. This dish offers a well-rounded meal that is satisfying and a great way to incorporate vegetables into a pasta that will please your family. It is customizable by changing the vegetables or even the pasta used.

The backbone of this recipe is the sauce, so getting it right is really the key. It is thickened with a mixture of butter and flour in equal amounts which is called roux, in French. The method is rather simple, but must be followed properly for a smooth, velvety sauce.

The flexibility that bechamel sauce offers makes it a perfect candidate for adjusting it to your liking. It really is a blank slate for a wide range of seasonings. Fresh or dried herbs like thyme, oregano and basil bring a not just fresh flavor, but also a fantastic aroma. Use a variety of veggies like carrots, broccoli, peas, corn, bell peppers to enhance the nutrition & for a beautiful color.

In this post I share my family favorite White Sauce Pasta which I have been making it for many years. It is toddlers and kids’ friendly too.

More Pasta recipes
Masala pasta
Chicken pasta
Scrambled egg pasta
Pasta soup
Red sauce pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 grams) pasta (penne or macaroni)
  • 1½ cup milk (full fat or plant milk)
  • 2 tablespoons butter + ½ tablespoon oil or butter (to sauté veggies)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or 2 to 3 tablespoons cheese (optional, parmesan, cream cheese, mozzarella or cheddar)
  • 1½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (crushed or ground, adjust to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves grated (optional, can use 1 teaspoon to tablespoon as per preference)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano (or dried mix Italian herbs)
  • salt as needed
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional, adjust to taste)
ingredients to make white sauce pasta

You also need 1 to 1¼ cup mixed vegetables. You are free to use what you want or simply leave them out. I use ¼ cup each of carrots, broccoli or peas, sweet corn and bell peppers (a mix of green and red bell peppers).

vegetables and pasta to make béchamel sauce pasta

How to make White Sauce Pasta (Stepwise photos)

Boil Pasta

1. Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta and ¼ teaspoon salt.

adding salt to a pot of boiling water

2. Cook on a medium high flame till al dente. Check the instructions on the pasta package for the correct cook time. Check them a minute earlier than mentioned on the package. They must be tender, firm and chewy but not mushy. Mine takes about 9 mins.

al dente cooked pasta

3. Reserve about ¼ cup pasta cooked stock.

reserve stock

4. Drain the pasta to a colander. Cover and keep aside.

drained penne pasta

5. Pour ½ tbsp oil or butter to a pan. Add the vegetables and sauté them on a medium high heat until slightly tender yet crunchy. This takes me about 5 to 6 mins. Remove to a plate and set aside.

sauteed veggies in a pot

Make White Sauce Pasta

6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add minced garlic (optional) and fry for 30 to 40 seconds on a medium heat.

Sautee garlic

7. Stir in all-purpose flour.

make roux

8. Saute well until the flour loses the raw smell, for about a minute. Don’t brown the flour. Since this is a small quantity, the roux can become dry and clumpy. It’s just fine. Turn off the stove/heat and slowly pour ½ cup milk while you stir to incorporate the milk into the roux.

pour milk

9. Keep whisking till it looks creamy & uniform to prevent forming lumps. Pour the rest of the milk and stir well.

incorporate milk and roux to make white sauce pasta

10. Turn on the heat and cook on a medium-low until the white sauce becomes thick. Keep stirring/whisking & scrape the sides for a uniform sauce through out.

smooth white sauce for pasta

11. Pour the heavy cream or cheese and mix well.

heavy cream

12. The white sauce is done perfectly when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Alternately you can draw a finger/line through the coated spoon. The sauce should wipe clean and leave a space, meaning it is thick enough.

consistency of white sauce

13. Add the vegetables and the cooked pasta & mix well.

cooked pasta in white sauce with vegetables

14. Add pepper, oregano (or mixed Italian herbs) and chili flakes. You can also add a pinch of ground nutmeg if you want. If the sauce looks too thick (as it cools down), add 2 tbsps of the reserved stock so the sauce loosens a bit.

spices and herbs to make white sauce pasta

Garnish white sauce pasta with red chilli flakes and crushed black pepper. Serve it hot or warm as the sauce thickens more when it cools down.

White Sauce Pasta Recipe - Béchamel Pasta

Pro Tips

  • If you are using cold milk, it is essential to take off the heat before adding it to the hot pan. Pouring cold milk to the hot pan/roux can cause splatters. Alternately you may stir in warm milk to avoid that.
  • Originally white sauce does not have garlic but this recipe uses it to infuse a garlicky flavor. If you are making it for kids, you may omit it or start with just 1 teaspoon. A lot of kids don’t like garlic and especially when used in larger quantities. But for grown-ups you can use up to 1 tablespoon, that’s what I have used this time.
  • I have used penne but fusilli and macaroni are other best options. Other options are those with plenty of surface area and texture. I avoid using long pasta like spaghetti.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

White Sauce Pasta - Bechamel Sauce Pasta

White Sauce Pasta Recipe (Bechamel Sauce Pasta)

4.98 from 238 votes
This white sauce pasta is an easy weeknight meal that’s ready under 30 minutes. You will love this rich, creamy & saucy pasta, perfectly seasoned with Italian herbs!!
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings2
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup (100 grams) pasta (penne or macaroni)
  • 4 cups water to boil pasta
  • cup milk (full fat or plant milk, refer notes)
  • tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter + ½ tablespoon to sauté veggies
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (crushed or ground, adjust to taste)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (minced, optional, use 1 tsp to tbsp as per your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon oregano (or dried mix Italian herbs)
  • salt as needed
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional, adjust to taste)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional, or 3 tablespoons parmesan, cream cheese, mozzarella or cheddar)

Optional (1 to 1¼ cup mix veggies of choice)

  • ¼ cup carrots (fine chopped)
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  • ¼ cup broccoli or green peas
  • ¼ cup bell peppers (fine chopped)


Instructions

  • Boil Pasta: Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add salt and pasta. Cook till al dente on a medium high flame. Read instructions on package for timings.
  • Drain Pasta: Reserve ¼ cup pasta stock and drain the pasta to a colander. Cover and keep aside.
  • Saute Veggies: Pour ½ tbsp butter to a pan and saute vegetables until slightly tender yet crunchy, for 5 to 6 mins. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Make the sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter on a medium heat and fry garlic for 30 to 40 seconds. Stir in all-purpose flour and saute well until the flour loses the raw smell, for about a minute.
  • Turn off the heat/stove and slowly whisk in ½ cup milk into the roux. Keep whisking till it looks creamy & uniform to prevent forming lumps.
  • Pour the rest of the milk and whisk/stir well. Turn on the stove, cook on a medium-low stirring often, scraping the sides, until the white sauce becomes thick.
  • Stir in the heavy cream or cheese. The white sauce is done perfectly when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Alternately you can draw a finger/line through the coated spoon. The sauce should wipe clean and leave a space, meaning it is thick enough.
  • Stir in the vegetables, cooked pasta, pepper, oregano (or mixed Italian herbs) and chili flakes. If the sauce looks too thick (as it cools down), add 2 tbsps of the reserved stock so the sauce loosens a bit.
  • Garnish white sauce pasta with red chilli flakes and crushed black pepper. Serve it hot or warm as the sauce thickens more when it cools down.


Notes

  • Cold milk and hot roux/pan can results in splatters. So It is essential to take the pan off the heat before adding milk to avoid splatters. Alternately you can use warm milk to avoid that.
  • To make plant-based white sauce, soak about 12 to 15 cashews for 30 mins in warm water. Blend them with just 1/4 cup water to a super smooth paste. Mix with 1.25 cup water and make it 1.5 cups as needed in the recipe.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
White Sauce Pasta Recipe (Bechamel Sauce Pasta)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 486 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 333mg14%
Potassium 527mg15%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 4359IU87%
Vitamin C 33mg40%
Calcium 354mg35%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

White Sauce Pasta Recipe (Béchamel Sauce Pasta)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Recipe Rating




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5 stars
Awesome!

5 stars
Loved this recipe! Super simple – I used ricotta instead of heavy cream – no corn – it was delicious! I’ll be holding on to this one. Thx~

5 stars
Excellent recipe! It’s always my go to for pasta in white sauce. Tried it out several times and it never misses the mark!

5 stars
I tried to make it .it was to good at taste

5 stars
Turned out delicious. Thank you

5 stars
Really nice recipe
Liked it.

5 stars
I love this recipe. It is not heavy like the other recipes online and tastes great. I use cream cheese and fresh parsley. Turns out prefect every time.

5 stars
Awesome

I have tried so many of your recipes, following your recipes is so simple. Found you after scouring the internet. Left YouTube tu only read your recipes and try them lots of love. ?

5 stars
I always love creative ways to eat vegetables. This recipe is great even without veggies. I add zucchini, asparagus, carrots and peas for a one pot meal. Delicious!

5 stars
Awesome recipe.

5 stars
I have loved white pasta all my life but never could make something that suited my palate. All the recipes I have tried had too much of cream or flour which was heavy for me to enjoy enough. This recipe is my new favorite and love adding veggies & spinach to make it a complete meal. I have bookmarked your red pasta too & looking forward to try it this week. Thank you for the recipes.

I loved the recipe and more than that your narration and language. Kudos!

5 stars
Very delicious white pasta. Thank you

5 stars
Hi Swasthi

I love white sauce pasta. I followed your recipe and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much. Even vegetable biriyani I tried with your recipe, I have never had such great biriyani before. All thanks to you. You rock!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi , I prepared today and it was very delicious .Thank you

Hi Swasthi, I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I’m so sure it’s gonna turn out to be delicious. I have almost tried all your recipes it never disappointed me especially the eggless carrot cake( my favourite till date).
Thankyou for your amazing recipes, we love it. Keep sharing 🙂

5 stars
I think you might increase the quantity of butter so there will be no lumps

5 stars
Did little change instead of all purpose i used wheat flour but turned out yummy

Can we add black olives for white pasta

5 stars
Very nice