In this recipe, you’ll learn the classic French technique of how to make a roux and mix it with your soups and sauces to thicken them to perfection. There are three different phases and colors of this kitchen staple and we’ll show you how to do each one.
Whether it’s using it in a Lasagna Bolognese Recipe, a Classic Boeuf Bourguignon, or a simply potatoes au gratin, this thickening agent recipe is a staple and foundational in the art of cooking and the best part it is, it’s extremely easy to make.
What Is a Roux?
A Roux is a basic thickening agent comprising of equal parts weight, not volume, of butter and flour.
What Is the Standard Ratio
While it should always be done by weight, a standard ratio for a roux recipe is 2 parts all-purpose flour to 1 part butter. For example:
2 tablespoons flour -to- 1 tablespoon butter
What Are the Three Different Types
There are three main types that are used based on their color. You want to keep lighter colored roux for lighter colored sauces or soups and the darker ones like blond or dark for darker colored recipes to keep them consistent.
Dark Roux – This is most often used in Gumbo Recipes or any dark sauce, stew, or soup.
How Do You Make a Roux?
I think you’ll find this incredibly easy to make. Take time to smell and notice each stage of the process as it will dramatically change over time. It’s really as simple as melting butter in a pan and whisking in the flour, and then from there, taking it to the color you need it to be. Here are the ingredients:
- Unsalted Butter
- All-Purpose Flour
Then do these easy steps to make a roux:
Measure out your ingredients by weight or use the 2 to 1 ratio.
Melt the butter in a large size saucepan and then add in the flour.
Whisk it for 2 minutes over low heat to keep it white.
Whisk over low heat for a total of 10 minutes to make it blond.
Whisk it over low heat for a total of 30 minutes to make it dark
Chef Recipes Notes + Tips
Roux will last up to 90 days in the refrigerator, similar to the pork confit in my split pea soup recipe.
Make-Ahead: Since it lasts so long you can make this ahead several days or weeks in advance.
How to Store: Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator at all times unless using it.
Continue to whisk the mixture over low heat when making the blond or dark roux or it will burn.
One batch of roux will thicken up 1 quart of liquid.
What is a Roux Used for?
Roux is one of the most foundational recipes in all of modern-cookery and can be used in just about anything you would like to thicken. Here are a few things you can use a roux in:
- Mulligatawny Soup
- Sausage Gravy for Buttermilk Biscuits
- New England Clam Chowder
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Bechamel Sauce
How to Make Roux
- 2 ounces unsalted butter or 4 tablespoons
- 2 ounces all-purpose flour or 6 tablespoons
- Add the butter to a medium size pan over low heat and cook until melted, do not burn it.
- Pour in the flour and immediately whisk it over low heat until combined and cook for 2 minutes to form a white roux. Cool until ready to use.
- For a blond roux continually whisk it over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to darken and is light caramel in color. Cool until ready to use.
- For a dark roux continually whisk over low heat for 30-35 minutes or until it is very dark brown in color. Cool until ready to use.
- Roux will last up to 90 days in the refrigerator, similar to the pork confit in my split pea soup recipe.
- Make-Ahead: Since it lasts so long you can make this ahead several days or weeks in advance.
- How to Store: Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator at all times unless using it.
- Continue to whisk the mixture over low heat when making the blond or dark roux or it will burn.
- One batch of roux will thicken up 1 quart of liquid.