Parsley sauce recipe

(258 ratings)

This classic parsley sauce recipe is a perfect match for roast ham, white fish and salmon fishcakes. You can also use parsley sauce as an alternative to white sauce in a lasagne

Homemade parsley sauce.
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • healthy
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins (plus cooling time)
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories193 Kcal10%
Sugar5.9 g7%
Fat12.6 g18%
Saturated Fat7.8 g39%
Salt0.53 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein5.7 g11%
Carbohydrates13.4 g5%
Salt0.53 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Parsley sauce is easy to make and the perfect accompaniment to fish dishes.

Creamy, herby and hearty, parsley sauce is a British classic that’s earned its place on our plates. Delicious with white fish, chicken and potato, it’s essentially a bechamel sauce with chopped flat leaf parsley. We’ve made ours with full-fat milk for a rich indulgent flavour. But you could always swap this for semi-skimmed milk if you’re conscious of the calories.


  • 425ml full fat milk
  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped (but keep the stalks)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 onion, thickly sliced
  • 5 peppercorns
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 20g plain flour
  • 40g butter
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season




  1. Put the milk, parsley stalks, bay leaf, onion, peppercorns and nutmeg in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then remove from the heat and allow to go cold. This will help to infuse the milk before making the sauce.
  3. Slowly melt the butter in another saucepan. Add the flour and stir continuously for a minute so that you cook out the raw flour flavour. Remove from the heat.
  4. Strain the milk through a sieve to remove the infusing ingredients and slowly add the milk to the butter and flour mixture. Keep combining a little more milk every few seconds until you've added it all. You should now have a thin, lump-free sauce.
  5. Return the pan to the heat and stir the sauce until it starts to thicken. This will take about 5 minutes.
  6. Once it's thick, remove from the heat. Add the chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  7. Serve your parsley sauce with salty roast gammon and new potatoes, crispy fishcakes or grilled white fish.

Top tip for making parsley sauce:

Taking the butter & flour mix off the heat and adding just a dash of milk to start off with will stop the sauce going lumpy.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies