How to Make a Roux

A roux is the perfect mixture chefs use to thicken soup and other food products of similar textures. There are three specific types of roux used in the culinary world: white, blond, and brown. These types are used for different textures and flavors.

The roux color reflects the length of cook time, meaning the longer the simmer the darker and thicker the roux. It is important to know that the darker the roux, the less thickening ability it will have. Maintaining a roux ratio of 1 part fat to 1 part flour by weight will make for a successful sauce, gravy, or soup. Here is a simple recipe for how to make a roux at home:

Yield: 1/2 cup, approximately

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Cook Time: 4-12 minutes (depending on the color of the roux)

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients

Roux ingredients on a cutting board: butter and flour.

For a roux you simply need equal parts butter and flour.

  • 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) butter
  • 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) flour
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk or wooden spoon

Step #2. Melt the Butter

A ramekin of butter and a drying pan on hot plate.

Heat a pot to medium heat and melt the butter.

Butter melting in a frying pan.
Butter melting in a frying pan.

Step #3. Add Flour to Pot

Butter melting in a frying pan.

Add the flour to the butter and mix well. Stir constantly while the flour gets cooked - you can make this in 3 colors depending on the sauce or plate you’ll make afterwards.

A ramekin of flour being added to melted butter in a frying pan.
Flour and melted butter in a frying pan.
Flour and melted butter in a frying pan.

Step #4. For a White Roux

White roux in a frying pan.

For a light colored roux, cook until you get a light color (about 4 minutes).

COOKING TIP: White roux is ideal for bechamel sauce.

Step #5. For a Blond Roux

Blond roux in a frying pan.

For a medium (blond) roux, continue cooking until lightly browned (about 7 minutes).

COOKING TIP: Medium roux is ideal to thicken chicken or vegetable stock.

Step #6. For a Brown Roux

Dark roux in a frying pan.

For a dark (brown) roux, cook until darkly browned (about 12-15 minutes).

COOKING TIP: Dark roux has a toasted flavor, so it’s ideal for beef stock.

Step #7. Use the Roux

3 colors of roux in ramekins on white wooden background.
3 colors of roux in ramekins on white wooden background.

You can now use the roux to thicken soups, sauces and stews.

This basic recipe is excellent for gumbo, stew, beef gravy, or even a potato soup or chowder. Consider applying a roux recipe to your next cheese dish such as a hardy cheese sauce or a filling mac and cheese. Mastering this quick technique for developing a thickening agent will step your food game up a notch, putting your dishes on par with your favorite restaurants'. Once you've gotten down how to make roux, experiment with good ways to pair roux and explore new dishes and sauces such as a Creole Shrimp Étouffée, Béchamel, and Espagnole.

Some tips and tricks for making and keeping a delicious roux include making it with patience. Roux must be combined and stirred well. That mixing should be continued as flour is very gradually added to prevent clumping. Be vigilant as you watch the colors turn for the type of roux you would like to achieve. When adding a liquid to a roux, it should be added slowly and constantly whisked.

A roux with vegetable oil can be stored for several weeks without refrigeration; however, a roux with a butter base should always be refrigerated or frozen. When stored in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container, roux should last up to 6 months or so.

What new recipes will you explore with your new roux skills?

How to Make a Roux

A roux is the perfect mixture chefs use to thicken soup and other food products of similar textures. There are three specific types of roux used in the culinary world: white, blond, and brown.
Course Sauce, Soup, Thickener
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Servings 8 tablespoons
Calories 134kcal
Author Joss D

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) butter
  • 3.5 oz. (100 gr.) flour

Tools

  • Saucepan
  • Whisk or wooden spoon

Instructions

  • Heat a pot to medium heat and melt the butter.
    Butter melting in a frying pan.
  • Add the flour to the butter and mix well. Stir constantly while the flour gets cooked - you can make this in 3 colors depending on the sauce or plate you’ll make afterwards.
    Flour and melted butter in a frying pan.
  • For a light colored (white) roux, cook until you get a light color (about 4 minutes).
    White roux in a frying pan.
  • For a medium (blond) roux, continue cooking until lightly browned (about 7 minutes).
    Blond roux in a frying pan.
  • For a dark (brown) roux, cook until browned (about 12 to 15 minutes).
    Dark roux in a frying pan.
  • You can now use the roux to thicken soups and sauces.
    3 colors of roux in ramekins on white wooden background.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make a Roux
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 89mg4%
Potassium 13mg0%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 310IU6%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.

Notes

Note that the time it takes to achieve each roux color is approximate. Watch closely for the color change as you are mixing.
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Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out...How to Make Mole Sauce

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