What are the 5 mother sauces? | Bechef

mother sauces

Do you want to know about the types of mother sauces? Great, you are in the perfect place.

I have mentioned all the details regarding the mother sauces here. However, before we jump into it directly, I want to elaborate on why we know them as mother sauces and their history.

The 5 Mother sauces are the basic connection of all the secondary sauces.

These are the starting point for making any number of sauce variations. In a nutshell, these 5 are the foundation of any sauce.

The 5 mother sauces were created in the 1800s by chef August Escoffier.

What is sauce?

A sauce is an essential liquid with some thickening agents along with other flavoring agents. We use different base liquids and thickening agents to make each of the 5 mother sauces.

Here are all the 5 mother sauces.


  • Bechamel
  • Voloute
  • Espagnole
  • Tomato
  • Hollandaise



Now we will understand all of the 5 sauces in detail. Also, we will get to know about all the essential ingredients of the sauces and the standard method to make them perfectly.


 1. Bechamel

Fundamentally, bechamel is one of the simplest and easiest mother sauces.

          Liquid: Milk

          Thickening agent: Roux (1:1) flour and butter

          Seasoning: Salt and pepper

          Flavoring agent: Onion, cloves, bay leaf, nutmeg


It does not require making stock because milk is the component we can use as a stock. We will make this by thickening hot milk along with white roux.

After that, the sauce is flavored with onion cloves and nutmeg. Then it will be parboiled until it is creamy and smooth as velvet.


2. Voloute


You can identify this mother sauce according to the type of stock you are pairing it with. For instance, if you are pairing it with Meat, you can tag it as meat voloute.

If you are pairing it with fish, you can tag it as fish voloute. It also can be seafood voloute. 

However, In general, voloute is highly focused when it comes to pairing it with chicken stock. It is a very light blond-colored sauce.

          Liquid: Chicken stock or fish stock

          Thickening agent: Blond roux and liaison

          Seasoning: Salt and pepper

          Flavoring agent: Tarragon, herbs, mirepoix, bouquet garni


Bouquet garni is something isolated transparent cheesecloth that includes all the herbs.

 You can put this in sauce to enhance flavor.

 All the herbs are tied inside, so there will be no residue of the herbs while you strain the sauce.

 You can include herbs of your choice in this tightly tied knot. It will be the deciding factor in terms of flavor.

You will need butter and flour in a 1:1 ratio to make a roux. Then add the stock(chicken stock or fish stock).

Cook and mix them well and then add some mushrooms for flavor.

After this, strain it properly.

If you are making fish voloute, make sure you cook it for 20 minutes only.


3. Espagnole

You can make Espagnole mother sauce from brown stock and brown roux. We also know it as a brown sauce. The color of this sauce is brown because we use brown stock and brown roux as components.

These are all the ingredients to make Espagnole sauce.

  • Fat
  • Flour
  • Tomato puree
  • Brown stock
  • Butter
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  •  Mirepoix
  • Bacon trimmings
  • Bones
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Bay leaf


           Liquid: Brown beef stock

          Thickening agent: Brown roux

          Seasoning: Salt and pepper

          Flavoring agent: bouquet garni, tomatoes, Red wine



The traditional french tomato sauce is thickened with a butter roux. We know this mother sauce as a red sauce because it is red.

          Liquid: Brown stock

         Thickening agent: Brown roux

         Seasoning: Salt and pepper

         Flavoring agent: Tomato, Mirepoix.

Mirepoix is nothing but a mix of onion, celery, and carrots in this ration. (Onion: celery: carrot-2:1:1)

(Italian style)

In olive oil, add some garlic and onion.

Cook and mix well and then add tomato pest and tomato chunks. Once done, You can strain it.

Some people don’t straight it But it is suggested to the strain if you are using tomato chunks as an ingredient.


5. Hollandaise:

This sauce contains a high percentage of fat and egg yolks. This tangy and buttery sauce is made with clarified butter into a warm egg yolk.

The ingredients are mentioned below.

  • Butter
  • Egg yolks
  • Crushed bell pepper corn
  • Vinegar
  •  Lemon juice


            Liquid: Clarified butter

            Thickening agent: Egg yolk

            Seasoning: Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, onion

            Flavoring agent: Lime juice, Tarragon


Add butter and egg yolks first. Keep crushed bell pepper corn ready.

Add them to vinegar in a different vessel to reduce them. Once done perfectly, Add this to the egg yolks and butter.

Mix well and finally, there comes a time to give it a lemon touch.

Add lemon juice in an adequate amount. Lemon juice makes the flavor tangy.



Mayonnaise is a cold sauce. It contains a high percentage of fat because it is made with egg yok and fat.

 Now, for clarification, mayonnaise is not a typical mother sauce. But, in modern-day cuisines, mayonnaise is also considered to be one of the basic mother sauces.

The reason behind it is that there are so many sauces you can make out of mayonnaise.

            Liquid: salad oil, olive oil

            Thickening agent: Yolk only or whole egg

            Seasoning:  Salt, pepper

            Flavoring agent: Lemon juice or vinegar, french mustard


In olive oil, add egg yolks. Emulsify them correctly and then we will add lemon and vinegar.

Mix well and add some seasoning as required.

Cook them well, and then add french mustard. Cook for a while and your mayonnaise sauce is ready.


To make standard and authentic derivatives from these mother sauces, you need to be an experienced chef.

But what if I say I can get you the same authentic derivatives of mother sauces readily available for you?

Sounds amazing right? Well, bechef is a market leader and manufacturer of a wide range of sauces.

People love to taste different flavors in terms of sauces.

Bechef is not only winning the trust of millions of people regarding the flavor and quality of sauces but also standouts when it comes to authenticity.


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