White Sauce Butter Balls


This recipe was passed to me by a friend who knew it was exactly the type of thing I love, a homemade quick fix for those too-busy mealtimes. She didn’t know where it came from, so I did a little Google research and found it everywhere, including Cooks.com. You may have seen it already somewhere, but I thought it was so handy, I had to highlight it here for those of you who may have missed it in the internet recipe barrage. This is the kind of make-ahead mix that is perfect for those days you are so harried and rushed, making even the simplest of recipes a bridge too far. Pull out a couple butter balls, drop them in a pan of milk, and you’ve got white sauce. Pair it with pasta, vegetables, meats, anything, and call it dinner. Easy. No thinking required.

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How to make White Sauce Butter Balls:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups butter or margarine, softened

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Every recipe I saw instructed to sift them together. I’m not into unnecessary sifting. I whisked it all up and called it done. (You can sift it if you want to.)

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter into the flour mixture.

That’s it! Now just drop it by heaping tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. (I needed two.)

Place the baking sheets in the freezer until the balls are firm. Transfer the balls to a large freezer baggie. (They’ll stay good for about six months.) It’s supposed to make approximately 28 white sauce butter balls. For me, it made 32. As long as you’re in the general vicinity there, it should work right in the white sauce recipe.

White Sauce Recipe
Combine a cup of milk with one, two, or three balls in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk as the balls melt and thicken into a sauce with the milk. For a thin sauce, use one ball. For a medium-thick sauce, use two. For a thick sauce, use three.

How easy is that? You could also add your favorite herbs, some dried garlic or onions, whatever you like. You could reduce the salt. And by the way, I feel the frugal need to point out that it’s not against the law to use black pepper in white sauce. If you don’t have any white pepper, don’t feel as if you have to run out and buy some. I’m just sayin’.

You can make it however you want. I used 5 balls and a cup and a half of milk to make a white gravy for chicken fried steak.

I added some coarse ground black pepper while I was cooking the sauce. Had to. It was for chicken fried steak.

Need the secret to fantastic chicken fried steak? I’m from Texas. We know how there. I’ll post my chicken fried steak recipe sometime. I’m using these butter balls to make the white gravy from now on. I’m SOLD.

Stick a bag of these in your freezer today! You’ll be glad you did. (I’m making a triple recipe next time.)

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 9, 2010  

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31 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 11-9

    !!! LOVE this idea!

  2. 11-9

    What a good idea!

    I keep a small jar of roux in the fridge but I like this method more.

  3. 11-9

    Convenience food! woohoo! I smell cheese sauce, white lasagna, creamed chicken on biscuits …. oh, my waistline is in trouble!


  4. 11-9

    I’ve done this to thicken turkey gravy and with Thanksgiving coming up, it’s time to get a bit of this into the freezer. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. 11-9

    What a great idea. I do something similar with chocolate chips and cream to make quick hot chocolate.

  6. 11-9

    I’m glad you shared this one–never saw it before. Looks like a great time saver. Thanks!

  7. 11-9

    LOVE IT!!! Thank You!!! :snoopy:

    And yippee on the chicken fried steak, I’ll be waiting!

  8. 11-9

    Wow! I can see this coming in handy when I’m out of time and ideas for mealtime. Thanks for the great idea!

  9. 11-9

    This looks like a great alternative to the homemade white sauce mix I’ve been using–the mix contains cornstarch and I’m trying to get away from products made with gmo corn (pretty much impossible to do but every little bit helps). Could this be adapted as a pudding mix?

  10. 11-9

    Cindy, I don’t know re adapting as a pudding mix as I haven’t tried that! If you do, let us know!

  11. 11-9

    A Texas girl after my heart!!! I’m from Texas too! :shimmy:

    Great idea on this recipe – not only would it be frugal, it’d be a time saver too!!

  12. 11-9

    This kind of recipe fits the bill at our house on any day. Rush home from work, try to ride/work 1-2 or 3 horses. Feed, horses, cats, dogs and clean stalls. Then hubby says “what’s for supper”. That’s when I give him the “look”. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. 11-9

    What a good idea! We eat a lot of biscuits and gravy this time of year and this would be nice to have sitting in the freezer for times when I need a meal RIGHT NOW! lol, thanks for this :)

  14. 11-9

    Your chicken fried steak look WAAAAAY better than mine!!! If I promise to make the white balls (which I’m sure I will pull out one day, mistaking for fudge)(I don’t know why I always think I have fudge hidden in my freezer), will you promise to post your chicken fried steak?? https://chickensintheroad.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/hug.gif

  15. 11-9

    This wonderful~thanks so much for sharing~gonna put this on my to do and to try lists~what a time saver!

  16. 11-9

    Hm. You threw out all that delicious CFS fat? Seriously, this is a great idea. I would have to add a little of the fat from frying back into my gravy, just for the flavor. CFS is a high on the birthday dinner request list in our home. Everyone in the family knows how to make it. (except the 6 yr. old.)

  17. 11-9

    What a fabulous idea! I am so into pre-made, freezer convenience! Thanks much!

  18. 11-9

    I was just looking up recipes to make white sauce in the microwave (not very down-home, I know!) and I’m thinking these would work perfectly with that. Especially if you do it in a mason jar and can just shake it instead of stirring. I’m making these this weekend!

  19. 11-9

    I used to love BirdsEye frozen creamed peas – it had little white squares that magically turned into cream sauce. Now I know what they were! Thanks for the recipe.

  20. 11-9

    Yay! What a great idea! And I’ll be waiting for that Chicken Fried Steak recipe….Texas is among the places that I hail from and I LOVE CFS!! Any white gravy is right up there on the top of my list too! Don’t stop with the black pepper….in my mind it’s a requirement for any white gravy, no matter what the food police say!

  21. 11-9

    Love this idea! I love this on boiled potatoes…I add dried beef to the gravy.

  22. 11-10

    Suzanne–Thanks for posting this for us! Even if it were on the internet and I could have searched for it myself (that is, if I’d thought about it), it’s very nice that you gathered the information and posted photos. I know the photos are yours because that sure looks like your vintage KitcheAid mixer! I’d love to see you post your famous Texan chicken fried steak recipe, too! :snoopy:

  23. 11-10

    This is great! Last night we had broccoli (fresh from the garden) and I knew a certain 13 year old would complain if there were no cheese sauce. So, I made half a batch of White Sauce Butter Balls. Then used 3 of them to make a white sauce and added cheese! Voila, Cheese Sauce!!! I melted the butter balls in a sauce pan first and then whisked in the milk…so easy…could’ve added more cheese but that was all I had shredded. Thanks, Suzanne.

  24. 11-11

    I made this recipe tonight. I think I made my balls a little bigger than they should have been, so I cut them in half with scissors.

    They are in the freezer now.

    I imagine almost instant biscuits & gravy…..

  25. 11-11

    I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! I also love this idea! I make all my own sauces and make a roux almost every night for something. What a great idea to just toss in some premade balls – I’m going to do this when the butter goes down in price for the holidays!

  26. 11-11

    So this morning I took my sauce balls (that sounds so, so weird!) and used three of them in a cup and a half of 2% milk.

    Amazing, creamy gravy! Whoa! This is fantastic.

    I will make ONE change to the recipe. I will reduce the salt and just salt to taste when I prepare the gravy.

    I put the gravy over some grits I had canned in a pint jar, another one of my science projects. Which, by the way, worked great!

  27. 11-11

    I made some of these yesterday and I AM SOLD!!! I made peppered gravy to go on top of chicken fried chicken and mashed potatoes. It was a big hit and sooooo much easier than the normal from scratch way I make gravy. Thank you so much for posting this!

  28. 11-12

    I made a half batch of these last night (only a half batch due to limited freezer space). I’m pretty sure it took me longer to wash the dishes than it did to make these. :D I will try them out this weekend. I’ll also share the idea with my mother, who swears she can’t make a white sauce or white gravy “to save her life”. I bet she can now! Thanks for the great idea!

  29. 11-12

    I used these little gems to make macaroni and cheese today. Boiled some mac shells in my cast iron dutch oven (from http://www.shopgoodwill.com)….

    Used 1 1/2 cup 2% milk, 1/2 cut half&half and five little balls. When creamy, I dumped in about a cup of shredded cheddar.

    OMGosh it turned out GREAT.

    I think this may be the best time-saving recipe I’ve ever seen. FABULOUS! :dancingmonster:

  30. 11-16

    These were awesome to make gravy for biscuits this past Sunday morning! I spiced it up with some red pepper and black pepper and served them wich sausage links. Yum!

    I just found the “Cream of Anything Soup” post on Farm Bell, and I bet these balls would make that even easier and quicker than it already is. I can’t wait to try it!


  31. 11-19

    I am going to make these tomorrow. I will brown my flour first tho.
    I am a medium tan, white gravy girl. Thank you so much for this time saver.

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