What Are the Mother Sauces and Their Derivatives?

There are five mother sauces in classical French cuisine: bechamel, veloute, tomato, espagnole and hollandaise sauce. Nearly all other types of sauces can be derived from them.

The five mother sauces are part of the basis of classic French cuisine. Once a cook or chef knows how to prepare these five sauces, he or she can craft hundreds of derivative sauces with different ingredients and cooking methods.

  • Bechamel – a basic white sauce usually with a whole milk base. Its derivatives include cream sauce, Mornay, cheddar cheese sauce and mustard sauce
  • Veloute – a light stock-based sauce usually made with veal, chicken or fish stock. Derivatives of veloute sauce include white wine sauce, sauce supreme, Allemande, Poulette, Bercy and sauce Normandy
  • Tomato – a tomato-based sauce made from tomato paste, puree or stewed tomatoes. There are many derivatives of tomato sauce, including ketchup, marinara sauce, Creole sauce, Portuguese and Spanish tomato sauce
  • Espagnole – a brown sauce made with a dark brown roux and roasted veal or chicken stock. Derivatives include a variety of gravies, demi-glace, sauce Robert, Bordelaise and Madeira sauce
  • Hollandaise– a sauce made from eggs, lemon juice and butter. Common derivatives seen are mayonnaise, Choron, Foyot, Maltaise, and Bearnaise sauce