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Easy homemade bread sauce

Easy homemade bread sauce - a classic British recipe, and a vital addition to your Christmas dinner!

Bread sauce is a weird one. Do you eat it in other countries? I think it’s a British thing – we’re pretty good at making something out of nothing. It’s basically breadcrumbs cooked in milk, with some other flavourings, and it’s usually served with a roast dinner (or Christmas dinner!). It sounds utterly bizarre, I know, but it’s one of my favourite parts of a roast. I’ll admit, I do enjoy the kind of bread sauce that comes as a powder in a packet (please don’t take away my food blogger licence), but since Christmas is quickly approaching, I thought I’d celebrate by making this easy homemade bread sauce from scratch.

Easy homemade bread sauce - a classic British recipe, and a vital addition to your Christmas dinner!

The end result of your homemade bread sauce will literally just be the breadcrumbs and milk (plus a bit of seasoning!), but if those were the only ingredients you used, your sauce would be completely bland. The key is to get as much flavour into the milk as possible before you use it to make the bread sauce. Just simmer the milk with onion, garlic and a bay leaf for a while, and you’d be surprised at how much flavour you can impart! These three ingredients are all you need, but feel free to add any other extras you fancy – whole cloves, peppercorns, etc.

Bread sauce: looks odd; tastes ace.

Easy homemade bread sauce - a classic British recipe, and a vital addition to your Christmas dinner!

Once your extra ingredients have given as much flavour as possible to the milk, just remove them and mix the breadcrumbs into the milk – and your sauce is ready. It’s fine if you want to use slightly stale bread to make your crumbs – I would imagine that’s why bread sauce was invented in the first place. It’s stuck around because it’s delicious! And perfect for livening up your Brussels sprouts.

Easy homemade bread sauce - a classic British recipe, and a vital addition to your Christmas dinner!

Have you ever tried bread sauce? Let me know your thoughts – I imagine it’s one of those ‘love it or hate it’ kind of things. Will my easy homemade bread sauce be making an appearance at your table this Christmas?

(P.S. the dish you can see on the plate is my cheesy bean roast!)

Easy homemade bread sauce - a classic British recipe, and a vital addition to your Christmas dinner!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Easy homemade bread sauce

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 6 people
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into a few chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 ml (~ 2 cups) milk
  • 100 g (~ 1 1/2 cups) breadcrumbs (approx. 2 thick slices bread, blitzed)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf to a pan with the milk. Place over a fairly low heat, and cook gently for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  • Use a sieve or a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables and bay from the milk (if using a sieve, don't forget to put a bowl underneath when you pour it out!). Return the pan to a low heat, and add the breadcrumbs and butter. Cook for a minute or two until the breadcrumbs have cooked right into the milk, and season generously with salt and pepper. Serve warm. You can make the sauce in advance and reheat in the microwave if necessary.


Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/6 of the recipe.

Your Christmas dinner also needs some vegetarian gravy – it goes great with bread sauce!

The best homemade vegetarian gravy

Cheesy bean roast
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Recipe Rating

Abby Mcsherry

Thursday 19th of December 2019

Love the comment about having a bowl under the sieve! I have done this before without a bowl.

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

It's easily done!


Thursday 21st of December 2017

I adore bread sauce - always have, always will - but I'm about the only member of my family who does! The secret is in the long, long, long simmering - put your milk with the clove-studded onion in it, bring to the boil and let it sit. Then add the breadcrumbs, and let them soak for ages and ages, and finally give it a last boil just before serving (at which point you remove the clove-studded onion and hope nobody notices you licking it!)

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Sunday 24th of December 2017

Interesting! I found mine worked fine with the breadcrumbs only being in the milk for a few minutes, it didn't take long for it to get soggy :)


Tuesday 19th of December 2017

Definitely a British thing! It looks like porridge, and I expect it's honestly not that different (aside from the added flavours to the milk). Thanks for enlightening this American expat!

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Wednesday 20th of December 2017

I suppose it's a similar idea, I wouldn't be pouring porridge over my Christmas dinner though hehe


Monday 18th of December 2017

Quite interesting bread sauce recipe Thanks for sharing. :)

Carrie Harvey

Sunday 17th of December 2017

I absolutely LOVE bread sauce but I seem to be the only one in the family who is interested in it so we haven't had it for a year or two.....I'd got lazy and used a packet mix too, though they are often a bit clove-flavoured for my taste.

One weird thing occurred to us though - what with nut roast, stuffing and bread sauce our Christmas dinners were basically - bread!!!

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Wednesday 20th of December 2017

Haha yes that's true! Tastes a bit more interesting than a plate full of bread though :D