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Roast Dinner/ Simple Sauces

Bread Sauce

October 7, 2018 (Last Updated: December 10, 2019) by Chris Collins

Bread sauce is an absolute British classic! Infused with bay leaves & cloves then finished with cream & butter, this is the type of sauce you could eat with a spoon!

Bread Sauce Recipe in a jug with butter and sat and pepper blurred in background

Traditional Bread Sauce

Just in case you were wondering – What is bread sauce? it’s essentially exactly what it says on the tin – a sauce made from bread and milk, typically served with chicken or turkey.

With just a few little tips and tricks you actually end up with a really delicious and flavoursome sauce. The most important step of making bread sauce is infusing the milk with flavour.

Infusing milk for bread sauce (quick summary)

  1. Quarter a large white onion and stick 4 cloves in.
  2. Place in a saucepan with 2 bay leaves and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil then quickly reduce to a simmer before it boils over.

Now, you have two options. First is pop the lid on and leave it on a very gentle simmer for 20mins. Second is to pop the lid on, take it off the heat and leave it somewhere warm(ish) for 1+ hours to infuse. Strain away onion, cloves and bay leaves when done.

How to infused bread sauce with cloves, onion and bay leaves

Bread Sauce on the Hob

From there, it’s a case of working in your bread to create the sauce.

What bread to use for bread sauce?

Wholemeal/seeded bread doesn’t taste great as a sauce so most types of white bread will do the trick. For the best result you actually want it a little bit stale too. Using bread that’s a couple of days old will gives a better texture and is less likely to dissolve into complete mush. 

The only other ingredients you need is nutmeg for some gorgeous flavour, and cream & butter just because why the heck not.

How to make bread sauce on the hob

  1. Tear your bread into tiny chunks, or pulse into crumbs and gradually stir into your milk until your desired texture.
  2. Keeping the heat on low, grate in nutmeg and add seasoning to taste.
  3. Stir through a knob of butter and a few tbsp of cream.
Top Tip #1 – It’s important to add the bread gradually so it doesn’t thicken too quickly. It’s likely you won’t need all the amount stated in the recipe, so just go easy.
Top Tip #2 – A great way to replicate stale bread is to pop it in the oven at a low temp until it just starts to firm up.

How to make bread sauce - 3 step by step photos

What texture should bread sauce be?

It’s totally down to preference, but generally speaking it should be like thick porridge. Thin enough to pour, but not so thin it can’t hold it’s own on the plate. Thick enough to scoop with a knife, but not so thick you can cut into it. That kinda deal 🤣

Can you freeze bread sauce?

You absolutely can. Just let it cool and pop in an airtight container. To serve, allow it to come to room temperature either in the fridge overnight or on the kitchen top for a few hours. Pop back in the saucepan and gently warm through, using milk to thin out as necessary.

What’s the best way to make bread sauce ahead of time?

I recommend just infusing the milk and tearing the bread, that way everything’s ready to just heat up and mix. You can make it and pop it in the fridge, but just like I mentioned above have some milk on hand to thin out as necessary; bread sauce does thicken as it sits.

What to serve with bread sauce?

Typically it is served at a roast dinner with turkey, but it pairs nicely with most meats. Below I served it with some crispy chicken thighs, honey balsamic carrots and garlic green beans.

If you’re intrigued by this bread sauce recipe, then do check out my other recipes!

Sauces for Meat

Roast Dinner Sides

Alrighty, let’s tuck into this bread sauce recipe shall we?!

bread sauce with chicken thighs and veg

How to make Bread Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)

Homemade Bread Sauce in a jug

Bread Sauce

Bread sauce is an absolute British classic. Infused with bay leaves & cloves then finished with a cream & butter, this is the type of sauce you could eat by the spoon!
5 from 5 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Sauce / Side Dish
Cuisine: British / Roast Dinner / Sunday Roast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories per serving: 159kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ1 / $1


  • Large Pot with Lid
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for milk)
  • Sharp Knife and Chopping Board
  • Sieve
  • Serving Jug

Ingredients (check list):

  • 200g / 7oz slightly stale White Bread, torn into very small chunks or pulsed into large crumbs
  • 500ml / 2 cups Milk, whole or semi-skimmed
  • 1 White Onion, peeled & quartered
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Whole Nutmeg, or to preference
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2-3 tbsp Cream
  • generous amounts of Salt and Black Pepper


  • Pierce your onion with cloves (see video) and pop in a saucepan with your bay leaves and milk. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer before it boils over.
  • To infuse, you can either pop on the lid and reduce to a very gentle simmer for 20mins or turn off the heat completely and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
  • Once infused, use a Sieve to strain out the onion/cloves and put back on a very low heat. Gradually add your bread, until you have your desired consistency. It's likely you won't need all the breadcrumbs so put them all in at once.
  • Grate in your nutmeg and add your seasoning to taste. Stir in your butter and cream. Serve hot!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) What texture should bread sauce be? -ย Honestly it is down to preference, but generally speaking you want it like a thick porridge. Something that you can pour, that's still a sauce, but not too runny. Bear in mind it will thicken as it cools, so I recommend heating this through just before needed.ย 
b) Can you freeze bread sauce? - Yup, just defrost at room temp or overnight in the fridge and warm back up in the hob. Thin out with milk as needed.
c) Make ahead bread sauce - You can either have the milk ready and infused, or make the whole thing and pop in the fridge/freezer until needed. Same as above, as the sauce continues to thicken once it's left the hob just make sure you have milk on hand to thin out as needed.
d) Stale bread for bread sauce - Stale bread gives the sauce more texture, but you can just use fresh bread. A tip to make your bread 'stale' is pop it in the oven at a very low heat until it firms up.ย 
e) Calories - Based on sharing between 6 people.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Bread Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.91g9%
Saturated Fat 3.27g16%
Trans Fat 0.156g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.711g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.507g
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 204mg9%
Potassium 165mg5%
Carbohydrates 20.7g7%
Fiber 0.9g4%
Sugar 6.24g7%
Protein 5.83g12%
Vitamin A 550IU11%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    October 8, 2018 at 7:37 am

    5 stars
    Bread sauce was my nemesis as a child but I love it now, the infusion of flavours in the milk is such an important step that I often see skipped for some bizarre reason.

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:50 am

      I’m totally the same! As a child I always dreaded it, but now can’t get enough of the stuff!!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2018 at 6:18 am

    5 stars
    I’ve never heard of bread sauce, but I’m happy to have discovered it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:50 am

      It’s so yum, you gotta try!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    October 8, 2018 at 4:44 am

    5 stars
    This is brilliant! Also, I love your photos- so crisp and clean!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      That’s very kind! Thanks Katie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    October 8, 2018 at 1:15 am

    5 stars
    I have never heard of this before. I am intrigued! I can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Enjoy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
    October 7, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    5 stars
    I have never heard of bread sauce before! I feel like this is one of those discoveries that now I know about it, I need to make up for lost time- sounds delish!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      You’re absolutely right! It’s so so good ๐Ÿ™‚