Can You Freeze White Sauce?
White sauce – also known as béchamel – is a rich sauce with a variety of uses. You simply cannot get enough of white sauce. You can use it for lasagna, pasta, gratins, or as pie fillings. You could also tweak an ordinary white sauce recipe to make mac and cheese for the kids!
Making béchamel sauce is easy but if you have an upcoming event, you can make white sauce ahead of time to cut the cooking prep in half. But can you freeze white sauce? Regardless if you made too much white sauce or you’re dealing with a lot of leftover sauce, white sauce can be frozen for later use. Although white sauce contains dairy, it keeps so well in the freezer.
Image used under Creative Commons from Javier Lastras
White sauce has a relatively short shelf life. It will stay fresh for up to 4 to 5 days in the fridge. But in the freezer, it will keep fresh for 6 to 12 months. Never leave white sauce sitting at room temperature for too long. Exposure to air and humid temps will increase the risk of spoilage or bacterial growth. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze white sauce properly:
There are two ways to freeze white sauce: you can freeze the sauce directly into the freezer or flash freeze the sauce first prior to freezing.
If you’d like to freeze the white sauce without flash-freezing, begin by leaving the sauce to cool completely. Before leaving the white sauce to cool in, say, a bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap. This will prevent the sauce from forming a thick skin as it cools.
Once the white sauce has cooled down, get several small resealable plastic bags or a rigid, freezer-safe container. Pour the white sauce into the container or small bag, making sure to leave at least an inch of space for the sauce to expand as it freezes. Seal the bag or cover the container with an airtight lid then write the storage date with a marker. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.
Image used under Creative Commons from Edsel Little
Now, if you prefer flash freezing the white sauce first, prepare a bowl of ice water. Prepare the white sauce for freezing according to the instructions outlined above. Then, submerge the plastic bag of white sauce in ice water for 15 to 30 minutes. This will chill the sauce almost instantly. Once the white sauce has been chilled, stick in the freezer for long-term freezing.
To defrost frozen white sauce, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the white sauce to thaw for several hours to overnight. Once it’s thawed completely, the sauce is ready for reheating. When thawed, white sauce will appear grainy or the ingredients will separate or clump together. Reheating the sauce properly will restore the sauce’s original consistency.
When it comes to reheating white sauce, it’s important to do it gently and slowly. In a skillet, pour the defrosted white sauce and heat over low. Stir the sauce frequently so the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. As the sauce warms up, you can tweak the ingredients if needed. Once the sauce is thick and glossy, it’s ready to be used.
While white sauce is best enjoyed freshly made, there’s absolutely no need to go through the hassle of making the sauce from scratch when you can keep a stash in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze white sauce, there’s no need to worry about the leftovers.