I don’t pretend to speak French, nor am I dating a redhead at the moment, but one can say I’ve been pretty intimate with roux. As intimate as you can get with something that is just butter and flour, that is. Regardless, there are quite a few reasons we make a good team in the kitchen.

1. It’s always there for you when you make a mistake.

Adding a small dollop of roux will thicken any sauce or soup right back up without leaving behind globs of undissolved flour that burst in your mouth like a dry, starchy Boba.

2. It can amp up the flavor of any sauce without upstaging the true star.

By cooking the roux for an extended period of time, you can add another dimension of toasted smokiness. Almost always dark brown, the roux incorporated into a gumbo is packed with chocolatey and nutty flavors.

3. It’s remarkably versatile.

Butter and flour are not your only options. For bacon lovers out there, many a roux has been made with leftover bacon grease; the resulted product is as deadly as it comes, in both flavor and calories. If you want to cut a few extra calories or go gluten-free, try using corn starch as a flour substitute.

4. There is just so much to love.

It’s the base of all your favorite comfort soups and sauces: New England Clam Chowder, your Mom’s Thanksgiving gravy, homemade mac and cheese sauce… Warning: It may cause some homesickness as a side effect.

To sum it up, a roux would make the perfect boyfriend.

Here are a few basic steps on how to get it into your life and your cooking.

What you will need:
1/4 cup butter
3/8 cup flour

1. Add butter to pan and heat over low-medium heat until completely melted.


Photo by Bonnie Wu

2. Once the butter is completely melted, stir in flour with a wooden spoon.

3. Continue stirring until all the butter and flour is smoothly blended. The roux should be thick enough that you can push it around the pan as one glob without leaving any behind, while also thin enough that you do not see any residual flour (unless it’s stuck to the pan).


Photo by Bonnie Wu

Et voilà! The gateway to the world of creamy soups and sauces is at your fingertips. Just add your roux in small portions to broth or milk over medium heat. Check out this article for a tangy twist on Mac and Cheese.

Have some more fun in the kitchen:

Broccoli Sausage Mac ‘n Cheese

5 Healthy Versions of Comfort Foods

Butter Is Good For You Again Even Though It’s Never Actually Been Bad