If you are looking for the perfect side dish to go with your roast turkey, then look no further than this easy Bread Sauce recipe. It's so easy to make with basic ingredients like bread, butter, onions and milk and a few extra ingredients for flavour. If you are making a traditional Christmas dinner, this homemade bread sauce is a must!
What is bread sauce?
Bread sauce is an absolute British classic. If you have tried a store bought version before, you might have been a bit underwhelmed and thought it just tasted like soggy bread.
Well, not this bread sauce recipe! With some cloves and peppercorns in the milk and a pinch of nutmeg, this has lovely warm flavours and we could seriously just eat it with a spoon.
If you are wondering "what is bread sauce", it's in the name really. It's a sauce made from bread (and a few other ingredients for flavour). Bread sauce is a traditional British sauce that dates back to Medieval times, and it's usually served with turkey or chicken.
Although recipes vary, it is usually milk that is thickened and infused with spices, cloves and peppercorns and then stale bread added. It was always used as a way to reduce waste (we are totally here for that) and make use of stale bread. You can also make it in advance.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Onion - If your onion is really big, then you could quarter it so the milk pretty much covers it. We would do that next time.
- Cloves, Peppercorns and Bay leaf - This is what is used to flavour the milk and strained out.
- Nutmeg - This adds a lovely warmth to the bread sauce, making it perfect for Christmas time.
- Milk - We find that full fat milk works the best, to make it really creamy. But any milk will work.
- Bread - The great thing about this recipe for bread sauce is that pretty much any bread goes. Our personal preference is a good quality white bread. But you could use the cheapest supermarket white bread, brown bread or even sourdough. The bread is turned into breadcrumbs, but we wouldn't recommend using store bought breadcrumbs because they are too fine and they won't add much texture.
- Butter - This is stirred into the finished sauce to add a real rich and creamy flavour.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season the bread sauce, otherwise it will be bland without it.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make bread sauce - Step by step
One: Push the cloves into the onion.
Two: Put the studded onion into a pan with the milk, bay leaf, peppercorns and nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and let sit for 15 minutes.
Three: Place a sieve over a bowl and pour in the liquid (a). This will leave you with an infused milk (b).
Four: Return the milk to a pan and stir in the breadcrumbs (a). Heat over a low heat for 7-8 minutes (b).
Five: Add the butter, salt and pepper (a) and stir in until the butter has melted (b). You want it to be almost porridge texture. Thin enough to pour, but thick enough to not run over the plate.
What to serve with bread sauce
You then need all the trimmings with it for the perfect roast dinner.
We like to add as many vegetables to our plate as possible, and luckily we have got your covered there too. Try our Slow Cooker Red Cabbage, Minted Peas, Buttered Leeks, Easy Cauliflower Cheese, Broccoli Cheese, Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Swede, Mustard and Honey Roasted Parsnips.
If you have loads of leftover, then it goes really well on a Leftover Turkey Sandwich.
Store: This recipe for bread sauce is a great way to get ahead at Christmas time, as this can be made in advance and stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. You can store it in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: You can freeze it, and it's another way to get ahead at Christmas time. Once it is fully cooled, put it in a freezer container and it will keep in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You can reheat this in a pan, with a little splash of milk to loosen it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is totally a preference thing. We prefer to eat it warm, however you can eat is cold and it's really good on a leftover turkey sandwich
Try adding the bread a little at a time. You might not need to use all of the bread, so add it until it is your desired consistency.
To make this gluten free, then use your favourite gluten free bread and make sure there is no cross contamination.
More sauce recipes
Easy Bread Sauce
- 1 Onions - peeled
- 6 Cloves
- 350 ml (1.5 cups) Whole milk
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 4 Black peppercorns
- 90 g (3 oz) White bread - processed into breadcrumbs
- 30 g (2 tablespoon) Butter
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Push 6 Cloves into 1 Onions.
- Put the studded onion into a pan with 350 ml Whole milk, 1 Bay leaf, 4 Black peppercorns and 1 pinch Nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and pour in the liquid. This will leave you with an infused milk.
- Return the milk to a pan and stir in breadcrumbs made from 90 g White bread. Heat over a low heat for 7-8 minutes.
- Add 30 g Butter and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper and stir in until the butter has melted.
- If you want to make this bread sauce a little more indulgent, then you could stir in some cream at the same time as the butter.
- Don't skip the step of infusing the milk with the onion, cloves and peppercorns as it really does add the most incredible flavour.
- For extra flavour your could add some dried rosemary or thyme, or even a little garlic.
- You don't have to stud the onion, you could just put everything into the milk. But we find this just makes it easier to get everything out and minimised clean up.
- If you want a thinner sauce, then add a little more milk to it.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.