Creamy gluten-free béchamel sauce that is rich and smooth ideal for uses in pasta, soups, bakes and more. This is also a vegan béchamel sauce.
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I've always had a fondness for this white sauce, since learning how to whisk it up in cooking class two decades ago. It originates from France, dating as far back as the 17th century.
In Arabic béchamel sauce is written as بشاميل , in Lebanon, there is a heavy French influence, due to once being part of the French colonial empire. Bechamel can be found in various adapted Lebanese pasta dishes - Macarona Bechamel.
Traditionally, bechamel sauce is made with white roux; equal parts flour and fat.
This version of white sauce differs in that the flour is gluten-free and the fat is non-animal. This is a gluten-free vegan béchamel sauce.
😋Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s the classic white sauce that can make a lot of foods fancier
- Can be used within pasta, bakes, soups or even a dipping sauce for vegetables.
- It’s lighter than traditional béchamel sauce (less fat)
- Is ready in minutes
✔️What You’ll Need
Dairy-free milk - you can select your favourite plant milk, I have used both soy and almond milks* which have worked well. Other milks that may work are oat, cashew or rice milk.
Vegan butter I much prefer to use olive oil-based dairy-free butter.
Gluten free plain flour or all-purpose flour* - a store-bought blend is used.
Nutmeg* is used in a slight amount to give a wonderfully subtle flavour enhancement to this gluten-free white sauce.
Nutritional yeast* is optional. This will add a cheesy flavour and will make your vegan béchamel sauce turn a light shade of yellow.
The above photo shows how adding nutritional yeast to bechamel sauce will change the colour to a yellow - tastes absolutely delish.
Here’s how to make vegan béchamel sauce;
Step one - over low-medium heat, melt vegan butter, once it starts to bubble add gluten-free flour and consistently stir until it has combined and starts to slightly bubble again. Stir for about 1-2 minutes until the flour has completely dissolved.
Step two - add ¼ of plant-based milk and continuously whisk in to rid of any clumps. Repeat this three more times until all milk is used up. If it starts to clump, take it off the heat and continuously whisk until all the clumps are gone and place the saucepan back onto the heat. During the third time of adding milk whisk through nutmeg and salt.
Step three - once bechamel sauce has reached a thick and creamy consistency, it's ready.
Heat should not be higher than low-medium heat, this is a delicate sauce to cook.
Cooking flour out with butter is essential to rid of any graininess of gluten-free flour. As this is a gluten-free flour, it will behave differently from wheat flour. It will not spread out but rather clump together. Just keep stirring.
Do not brown the roux (GF flour and vegan butter) mixture
Use cold milk for a silky smooth consistency, this is how I was taught in cooking class and it has always worked
Adding in a ¼ of plant milk at a time helps to work and whisk the vegan béchamel sauce ensuring there are no lumps
Use a thick bottom saucepan/pot this will help retain heat when taking it off the burner to whisk and smooth out
Thickening vegan béchamel can be achieved by adding more or less dairy-free milk and gluten-free flour. Do this with little amounts of any of the above at a time.
As this gluten-free béchamel sauce cools down, a layer of skin will form on top, this is normal.
Nutritional yeast* can be added when adding the nutmeg and salt. You can add as much as you like to suit your desired taste
Dijon Mustard can be added to give this vegan pasta white sauce a little sharpness, start by adding in a ½ teaspoon and adjusting from there.
Use this vegan béchamel sauce in a gluten-free vegan lasagna (I love it as it makes the best vegan lasagna white sauce), vegan mushroom pasta or within your favourite baked vegan pasta or vegetable bake.
Looking for another great pasta sauce, try carrot top pesto by The Flour Hand Print.
How did you use this gluten-free béchamel sauce? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a rating. This will help me sustain Plant Based Folk.
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Gluten Free Bechamel Sauce (Vegan)
- Over medium heat, melt vegan butter
- Add gluten free flour and stir through, until it has combined with the vegan butter
- Add in ¼ of the plant based milk and stir through well. Rid clumps by stirring consistently. Repeat this step three more times until all milk has been used.
- During the third time the milk has been added, stir through nutmeg, salt and optional nutritional yeast.
- Once bechamel sauce has a thick and creamy consistency, it's ready.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.