Classic Velouté

published Aug 27, 2021
Velouté Recipe

The most important thing you need to know about this light sauce is that it comes together with just three ingredients and less than 10 minutes on the clock.

Makes3/4 to 1 cup

Prep2 minutes

Cook6 minutes to 8 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Veloute (a rich white sauce made with chicken, veal, pork, or fish stock, thickened with cream and egg yolks) in a white bowl, with a spoon picking up a spoonful of it
Credit: Kelli Foster

Anytime you want to make a basic plate of chicken breast look and taste like an impressive meal served up at a French cafe, all it needs is a drizzle of velouté over the top. See, sounds impressive, right? It is, and it also happens to be surprisingly easy to pull off. 

Velouté is one of the five building-block sauces of French cuisine. The most important thing you need to know about this delicate, light sauce is that it comes together with just three ingredients and less than 10 minutes on the clock. It’s also the secret to instantly dressing up chicken, turkey, and fish.

What Is Velouté?

Velouté (pronounced ve-loo-tay) translates to “velvety” in French, and that is exactly what this sauce is. It’s one of the five French mother sauces, and has a delicate, silky-smooth texture and mild, savory flavor. 

Classic velouté starts by making a roux, with equal parts melted butter and flour, then whisking in a clear stock (chicken stock is most common, but turkey, seafood, or any other clear stock can also be used). That’s it! It’s quite easy to prepare with just three basic ingredients and less than 10 minutes time. 

What’s the Difference Between Béchamel and Velouté?

Béchamel and velouté are both French mother sauces, and are made using the same technique. However, the liquid used in each sauce is what sets them apart.

  • Béchamel is made with a roux that’s mixed with milk or other dairy to make a white sauce. It’s often used as the base for mac & cheese and pot pie.
  • Velouté is made with a roux that’s mixed with stock. It’s typically served with chicken, turkey, and fish.
Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Use Velouté

Because it’s a light sauce with a delicate flavor, velouté is incredibly versatile and can be easily partnered with a variety of foods. It’s most commonly served with plain poached or baked chicken breast, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Velouté Recipe

The most important thing you need to know about this light sauce is that it comes together with just three ingredients and less than 10 minutes on the clock.

Prep time 2 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes to 8 minutes

Makes 3/4 to 1 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until frothy but not darkened in color, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth and keep whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.