Bechamel sauce is one of those recipes that every cook should know how to do! It's sometimes called white sauce, and is easy to make, but has so many uses! This vegan bechamel sauce is perfect for drizzling over a pasta bake, adding loads of cheese to make Mac & Cheese or for creating lasagne or moussaka.
The great thing about knowing the basic method to making a vegan bechamel sauce (also called a roux or white sauce) , is you can then create so many other fantastic dishes with it. We've provided step-by-step instructions for the white sauce, as well as some easy flavour variations so you can use it everywhere!
- Flour - Simple white flour forms the base of this roux
- Oil or Vegan Butter- You can choose to use olive oil or your favourite lightly flavoured oil, or use vegan butter.
- Plant Milk- I like to use oat milk in my bechamel sauce, however unsweetened soy milk or other creamy-style plant milk will also work well.
- For classic bechamel /white sauce- Simmer the plant milk with a bay leaf and a grating of nutmeg before adding it into the sauce.
- Cheese sauce- miso, dijon mustard and nutritional yeast
- Spicy cheesy sauce- miso, nutritional yeast and a few drops of your favourite hot sauce.
- 1) Gently heat the oil or melt the butter
- 2) Toast the flour in the oil or butter.
- 3) You want it to gently colour up. This ensures that the sauce doesn't taste of flour.
- 4) Over the heat, whisk in the plant milk. Keep whisking as you add it bit by bit. This prevents lumps
- 5) Once the sauce has thickened, add your flavours to taste.
- 6) If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more plant milk.
❓FAQ and Trouble Shooting
You can try with other flour, however I do not suggest it.
You need to gently toast the flour in the oil or butter to remove the floury taste. Be sure to get it to gently brown before adding the plant milk.
To avoid lumpy sauce, be sure to keep whisking while you gently add in the plant milk. Having the milk room temperature will help keep the sauce lump free too.
This sauce can be made ahead of time, however it will need to be reheated, then whisked to avoid lumps.
You can freeze the sauce. I often make pasta or lasagne with this sauce and freeze it in portions. If you want a lovely fresh runny bechamel however, it is best to make it fresh as needed.
This recipe yields between 1 to 1 ½ cups of white sauce, depending on how runny you like it.
A basic bechamel or white sauce has so many fabulous applications! Just flavour it up as you need. Here are some of the ways we like to use it:
- Smokey Vegan Mushroom & Kale Lasagne
- Greek Inspired Vegan Moussaka
- Chickenless Pot Pies
- Or use with some lentil bolognese and add to giant pasta shells and bake like in the pictures!
Simple Vegan Bechamel Sauce
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
- 236 ml plant milk
- Salt & Pepper to taste (To keep the sauce a pretty white, use white pepper)
Classic white sauce option
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Gently heat the oil or butter in a saucepan
- Add the flour and toast in the butter until it gently bubbles and becomes slightly browned.
- Bit by bit add in the plant milk and whisk. Keep whisking and adding the plant milk until you have a thickened white sauce.
- Season to taste.
For classic white sauce
- Gently pre-heat the plant milk with a bay leaf. Whisk in as per the usual steps.
- Sprinkle nutmeg in to taste.
For Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Once the bechamel sauce is thickening whisk in miso, mustard and nutritional yeast.
- Taste and add more seasonings as you like.