The cream sauce is one of the basic sauces used in cooking. It is also one of the most versatile and easily experimental sauces. Turn your everyday dishes into something exotic with this rich taste and texture sauce.


You can also say it is the Italian version of the French sauce-bechamel. You can use this sauce from simple vegetable dishes to elaborate turkey or chicken recipes anyway. However, it is most suited for pasta dishes.

The bonus to making it is this sauce requires only a few ingredients.

Ingredients For Cream Sauce

  • Butter – This will make the sauce richer and smooth in texture. Unsalted butter is preferable as it will let you adjust the taste better in the sauce.
  • Whole Spices – We are using bay leaf and cloves here. These ingredients will make the sauce more aromatic and will add flavour.
  • All-Purpose Flour – This will add to the thickness of the sauce. We will not recommend using any other flour as it will affect the taste and colour of the sauce.
  • Milk – It will make the base of the sauce. If you can, use milk with more fat content for richness.
  • Salt & Pepper –  This is the basic seasoning for all the sauce. You can adjust the measure of these ingredients as per your taste. One can also add Paprika for more spice or flavour.
  • Cinnamon Powder – You will get more aroma from this ingredient. You can substitute it with nutmeg powder if you do not prefer cinnamon.
  • Heavy Cream – This is the highlight of the sauce. It will increase the sauce’s thickness and provide a more smooth texture.

Variation For Cream Sauce

You can make different variations by experimenting with the recipe with other ingredients. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Shallot Cream Sauce – Saute 1 tbsp of minced shallots in butter, and the remaining recipe will remain the same. Or you can add a slice of onion and cook it in milk. Later remove the slice, and you will get the flavour without disturbing the actual texture.
  • Herb Cream Sauce – This is the easiest one. You have to add 1 tbsp of herbs of your choice to make this.
  • Cheese Cream Sauce – Parmesan and Gruyere cheese are preferable to make this version. Add them with salt & pepper in the recipe. Cheddar cheese will be good, specifically to have it with macaroni pasta.
  • Garlic Cream Sauce – This one is the most flavorful version. Use pressed or minced garlic cloves as your taste and saute them in butter to make this sauce. Do not overuse them. You can remove pressed cloves later if you want.

TR’s Extra Shots

  • Pepper – If you do not want the colour to change slightly, then substitute black pepper with white pepper. Or else, both are okay to use.
  • Temperature – Keep an eye on the temperature while cooking the flour in butter, or the mixture will burn. Also, stir them more often while cooking to avoid burning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a cream sauce and alfredo sauce?

In general, both these sauces are very similar in looks. However, alfredo sauce does not use any flour, whereas we generally use all-purpose flour in the cream sauce. Moreover, the authentic Alfredo sauce contains parmesan cheese that makes the taste and texture differ from cream sauce. Further, the Alfredo sauce also has nutmeg powder.

Where do we use cream sauce?

The cream sauce is essential but versatile and useable in multiple ways. This sauce is commonly used with pasta dishes. The cheesy sauce with cheddar cheese is excellent for macaroni pasta. Apart from that, you can have it with poached eggs or with steamed vegetables. Or you can have them with fish, baked cod dish, turkey, shrimps, and chicken fillets. Even mushrooms will taste good with this sauce. Moreover, this sauce goes well with Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne & Beef.

Which salt is best to use in pasta sauces?

We are using regular table salt here in this recipe. You, too, can use the same salt. However, most of the time, people use Kosher salt in this recipe. Use it if it is available.

Can I make the cream sauce without butter?

Yes, you can make this sauce without butter and then you will use low-fat or non-fat milk. Boil it and add cornstarch to it along with salt & pepper. For 2 1/4 cups of milk, use 3 tbsp of cornstarch. However, the butter will give the sauce a very smooth and buttery flavour.

Is cream sauce and bechamel sauce the same?

Both of the sauces are interchangeable. The base of these sauces is also the same. However, they differ in taste and texture. For example, Bechamel sauce is less thick than cream sauce. Plus, we are not using cream in a bechamel sauce.