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Béchamel vs Mornay: Which is a Better Option?

Béchamel and Mornay sauce are kitchen staples for any cheesy or creamy dish enthusiast. We all know these sauces upgrade any meal from meh to wow.

Béchamel is your go-to for that creamy texture. It’s like the cozy sweater of sauces. Mornay? It’s béchamel’s fancy cousin, with cheese.

We’ve all been there, trying to pick between the two for a recipe. It’s a tough call. They both have their places in our kitchens and our hearts.

This is our deep dive into the world of these sauces. Get ready for some fun facts and personal stories from our cooking adventures.

What is Béchamel Sauce?

When it comes to classic French sauces, Béchamel is one of the five “mother sauces.

” This velvety and rich sauce is a staple in many dishes, especially in the Italian cuisine.

It is made with a roux of butter and flour, whisked together with warm milk, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Béchamel adds a creamy texture to pasta dishes, vegetables, and casseroles.

What is Mornay Sauce?

Mornay sauce is a type of French sauce that is crafted from a combination of béchamel sauce and grated cheese.

The blend of these two sauces creates a rich, creamy texture with a cheesy flavor profile, making it perfect for use as a topping or filling for dishes such as eggs benedict, macaroni and cheese, or croque-monsieurs.

It is a versatile sauce that can be modified by using different types of cheese to achieve unique flavors.

Differences Between Béchamel and Mornay Sauces

Béchamel and Mornay sauces are popular in the culinary world.

Each sauce has distinctive features that set them apart.

The difference between the two sauces becomes clear when examining their ingredients, preparation methods, and uses.

Base Ingredients

The fundamental building blocks of both Béchamel and Mornay sauces are derived from milk, flour, and butter.

These base ingredients provide a creamy texture and neutral flavor that can be tailored to specific culinary needs.

However, there are several differences in the preparation and additions to these sauces that make them unique and versatile for various dishes.

Both sauces start with a roux made from flour and butter cooked together until smooth.

Milk is then added to create the creamy foundation of the sauce.

The main difference between Béchamel and Mornay lies in the additional ingredients that go into each sauce.

Béchamel is typically seasoned with garlic or onion powder and nutmeg, while Mornay includes grated cheese, usually Gruyere or Parmesan.

Another unique feature of Mornay sauce is its versatility in pairing with different dishes such as Macaroni & Cheese, Croque Monsieur sandwiches, etc.

Also, variants like Soubise or Cheddar can be used instead of Gruyere which brings a completely new flavour profile.

Cheese Addition

For those who want to add a cheesy twist to their sauce, there are various options available.

Adding cheese can modify the taste and texture of the sauce entirely.

  • One of the primary additions to sauces is cheese as it provides a rich flavor.
  • Addition of cheese helps in thickening the sauce smoothly without any lumps.
  • Cheese addition can complement both savory and sweet dishes alike.

Sauce lovers often find themselves searching for unique tweaks to their meals.

A little variation in added spices or herbs can go a long way in enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

A touch of cheese complemented with other ingredients takes regular old sauce up several notches.

Flavor Profile

The taste profile of béchamel and mornay sauce can be compared and contrasted to understand the differences.

Béchamel sauce has a creamy, velvety texture with a mild, buttery flavor.

Mornay sauce, on the other hand, is a variation of béchamel sauce with an added element of cheese.

This results in a more complex flavor profile with rich and savory notes.

The cheese adds a depth of flavor, making it suitable for dishes that require strong flavors.

It’s worth noting that the cheese used in Mornay sauce can alter the taste profile significantly.

Aged, sharp cheeses will result in a stronger and more robust flavor, while younger or milder cheeses will have a subtler taste profile.

The difference in taste profiles between béchamel and mornay makes them suitable for different dishes.

Béchamel is commonly used as the base sauce for lasagne or macaroni and cheese because it provides a creamy richness without overpowering other flavors.

Mornay, on the other hand, works better with dishes like croque-monsieur where bold flavors are balanced by the addition of bread or ham.

In summary, when deciding which sauce to use in your recipe, consider both the dish you’re preparing and your desired flavor profile.

While béchamel is smoother and creamier, mornay offers more complexity with its cheesy touch.

Common Uses

This text will describe the diverse applications of Béchamel and Mornay sauces.

These two veloute-based sauces have some similarities but differ in their ingredients and uses.

Béchamel is best suited for classic French dishes such as Croque Monsieur, lasagne, and gratins.

Mornay sauce, on the other hand, is a variation of Béchamel with added cheese, making it perfect for mac and cheese or gratinated vegetables.

The versatility of each sauce makes them great foundation elements in any chef’s recipe book.

Similarities Between Béchamel and Mornay Sauces

Both Béchamel and Mornay sauces are derived from the French White Sauce.

While it serves as a versatile base suitable for various dishes, Mornay sauce is an enhanced béchamel sauce that includes additional cheese elements and herbs.

Similarly, both sauces utilize similar ingredients such as butter, flour, milk or cream, salt and pepper to create their creamy textures.

Whether you desire a milder version of the sauce or wish to elevate its flavor intensity with cheese, both sauces can be adapted according to your preference without compromising on taste.

In terms of differences between Bechamel vs.

Mornay Sauce, one evident variation is evident in their final dishes’ flavors: béchamel has a subtle flavor profile that makes it perfect for underlining the starring delicacies while maintaining a rich texture.

In contrast, Mornay enhances this creamy base with grated gruyere or parmesan cheese that gives it an exquisite flavor kick without overpowering other flavors.

Both of these sauces serve an identical purpose in cooking: to bring together different ingredients into a flavorful sumptuous dish.

However, The addition of cheese is what distinguishes these two delicious dips significantly.

How to Use Béchamel and Mornay Sauces in Cooking?

When it comes to cooking, there are different types of sauce options available.

Two popular options are Béchamel and Mornay sauces.

These sauces may seem similar, but they have distinct differences.

Here’s a guide on how to use them in cooking effectively.

  • Identify the dish that you want to make.
  • Determine which sauce will complement the taste of the dish better.
  • Understand that Béchamel is a basic white sauce made from flour, butter, and milk while Mornay is a variant of Béchamel with added cheese.
  • Prepare the ingredients needed for your chosen sauce.
  • Follow the recipe carefully to create either Béchamel or Mornay sauce.
  • Add the sauce to your dish as recommended by your recipe.

It’s important to note that while Béchamel is more versatile, Mornay adds more flavor due to its added cheese component.

Consider seasoning both sauces according to your taste preferences.

Overall, understanding the difference between these two sauces can elevate your dishes’ taste and presentation.

Use this guide to help you achieve cooking mastery with these two delectable sauce options.


When it comes to choosing between Béchamel and Mornay sauces, the decision depends on the desired outcome of the dish.

While both sauces may seem similar at first glance, each has its unique flavor profile and level of complexity.

It’s important to note that while Mornay may seem like an obvious choice due to its cheesy goodness, it may not always be suitable for certain dishes where a lighter touch is necessary.

In such cases, sticking with Béchamel may be more appropriate.

Béchamel vs Mornay: Which is a Better Option?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the contrasts between Béchamel and Mornay sauces? Delve into our comparison to select the sauce that elevates your dish to perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Béchamel
  • Mornay


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Béchamel vs Mornay
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