Easy vegan white sauce
This vegan bechamel sauce (white sauce) is only three ingredients and super easy to make. Takes your creamy, dairy free recipes to the next level. Great to use in mac and cheese, lasagna, or au gratin potatoes. No cashews.
This recipe is
- dairy free
- quick and easy
Ingredients and directions
The greatest thing about this easy recipe is that it’s only three simple ingredients.
- Dairy-free butter – I found that dairy free butter gives this a richer flavor. Use whatever vegan butter you have on hand. Earth balance, Miyokos or country crock vegan butters work well. If you don’t have it on hand, use extra virgin olive oil.
- White flour – All purpose flour is the thickening agent in this recipe.
- Dairy-free milk – I found that unsweetened, plain oat milk works best. Extra creamy oat milk works great. I don’t care for soy milk or almond milk, because it leaves a weird after taste. You can also use a nut milk like cashew milk or coconut milk. Make sure whatever plant milk you use is unsweetened.
- Additional seasonings – You can take this sauce to the next level by adding a pinch of nutmeg and garlic powder. Salt is also a necessity. Nutmeg is used in traditional French bechamel sauces. Black pepper or white pepper also taste great in this.
Don’t let the small pot get too hot. Melt the butter on low, medium low heat.
Don’t brown the roux (the roux is what you call the butter, flour mixture). Keep the heat low and steady. Only cook these two for about two minutes. We want this to be a white roux.
Turn the heat up to medium heat when you go to add the milk in. Don’t add all the milk in at once. Add about ⅓ of it at first and whip it constantly to make sure it doesn’t form any lumps. Then add the next ⅓, stir then add the last ⅓.
You can use a whisk or a wooden spoon to stir.
I didn’t bother warming up the milk or bringing it to room temperature. It worked just fine out of the fridge.
The sauce thickens up more as it cools.
How to use vegan white sauce
You can use this any time you want to thicken up a recipe. This classic white sauce goes great in au gratin potatoes, vegan lasagna, pasta dishes or you can turn it into a cheese sauce and pour it over steamed vegetables or use it as a creamy base to vegan mac and cheese.
To make cheese sauce
This is a great base for mac and cheese. After you make the white sauce, keep it on low and add in ¼-1/2 cup of dairy free vegan cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese melts. Then pour it over your favorite pasta.
History of bechamel sauce
Bechamel sauce, also called white sauce, or ‘glue sauce’ is a great staple recipe to know. This creamy sauce works really well to thicken up any pasta or vegetable recipes.
Although it’s widely known in French cuisine as one of the mother sauces, creamy white sauce has its roots in Tuscany, Italy, during the renaissance era. It’s often called besciamella (or balsamella or bechimella).
It wasn’t introduced to France until 1533 by the chefs of Catherina de Medici (wife of Henry II). (1)
Storing and making ahead
Fridge – To make sure this doesn’t leave a film on top, pour a little bit of cold dairy free milk over the sauce to cool it down. Then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Freezer – You can easily freeze this sauce if you make a large batch of it. Lasts for 3 months in a freezer friendly container.
Making ahead – This is great to make ahead and store in the fridge. Use it any time you need to thicken up a recipe.
Is this gluten free?
Unfortunately no, this recipe is not gluten free. To make a gluten free version, you can use ½ cup of raw cashews. Soak them in boiled water for 10 minutes.
Then blend them with 1 cup of dairy free, unsweetened milk. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
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Easy vegan bechamel sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter (or olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1¼ cups unsweetened, plain oat milk (or your favorite unsweetened dairy free milk)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch nutmeg (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- On low, or medium low heat add your vegan butter and stir. If you want to add a nutty, richer flavor to this, let the butter brown just a little bit.2 tablespoons vegan butter
- Add the all purpose flour and stir. Don't let the roux brown. Only cook this for about two minutes. Keep the heat low.2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Turn the heat up a little bit. Add ⅓ of your dairy free milk and whisk the whole time. Don't let it form any lumps. Add the rest of your milk and stir the whole time. Keep stirring until it thickens up. Should take 5-8 minutes. Keep in mind, the sauce thickens more as it cools.1¼ cups unsweetened, plain oat milk
- Add salt and any other seasonings you like.¼ teaspoon salt, pinch nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.