Regardless how you call it, vegan Béchamel sauce or vegan white sauce, it’s the same thing. It is one of the classic “mother sauces” (a base in which other sauces are born) that makes most of the basis of French cuisine. It’s so smooth and creamy and it pairs well with a variety of savory dishes.
Béchamel sauce is made usually from three basic ingredients which include dairy products. But with this recipe, we’re veganizing it ?. And I’ll also explain you how to customize it.
Vegan Béchamel sauce basic ingredients
- vegan butter – choose a good quality vegan butter (no margarine); sometimes it’s replaced with oil, but I think vegan butter is the best option due to the creaminess it adds to the sauce;
- plant based milk – use unsweetened plant based milk; I used oat milk (which is a bit more thick), but soy milk works fine too;
- flour – the ingredient that thickens the sauce.
How to make vegan Béchamel sauce
Warm the milk – it’s better to warm the milk before adding it to allow the butter and flour mixture dissolve faster and to avoid splattering on the stove.
Melt the butter and cook it with flour – in al small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour, mix well and stir continuously until you get a fine paste. Make sure you won’t turn it into a brown sauce by overcooking it ?.
Slowly stir in the warm milk -pour the warm milk slowly (not all at once) over the butter and flour mixture; while the milk is cooking, the butter and flour roux is dissolving and the sauce thickens and gets very smooth.
White sauce variations
- make it garlicky – add 3-4 minced garlic cloves in the melted butter and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add flour and milk; you can use garlic powder if you want to keep the smooth texture; this Béchamel variation is perfect when cooking pasta;
- add herbs – bring in herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary or other favorite herbs;
- season it – you can add spices like nutmeg or ground white pepper to improve the taste;
- make it cheesy – ad nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor which goes well with pasta; or add vegan Cheddar and call it vegan sauce Mornay (a Béchamel sauce variation);
- color it up – add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste (and some spices) and make it vegan Aurore sauce (another Béchamel variation); it will turn into a gorgeous pinkish-red color sauce that truly deserves its name (the French word aurore means dawn);
- add onion – sauté one big finely sliced onion in butter until it gets soften, but not brown; then pour Béchamel sauce on top and simmer together for a few minutes; puré the sauce with an immersion blender and this is how you get another old-school French sauce: Soubise sauce.
How to use Béchamel sauce
- use it as a soufflé base
- add it to pasta
- layer it in a lasagna
- use it for homemade mac and cheese
- add it to vegetables casserole dishes
- put in deep fried croquette batters
How to store the sauce
Although it can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container up to 3 days, the Béchamel sauce is best when made right before it’s needed. You can also freeze the sauce for a few months.
If you like this recipe, please leave a comment below and rate it. And if you prepare something using this vegan Béchamel recipe, take a photo and don’t forget to tag #choose_tasty on Instagram?.
Vegan Béchamel Sauce | Basic Recipe
- 2 cups warm oat milk (or other unsweetened plant based milk) 500 ml
- 2 tbsp vegan butter 20 g
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- Melt the vegan butter into a sauce pan over low heat;
- When it's completely melted, add the flour and stir continuously until they combine perfectly;
- Add a few table spoons of warm oat milk and stir until you get a thick smooth sauce;
- Add the remaining the milk and the salt and cook over low medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens; stir continuously;
- When the sauce is thick enough, turn off the heat; transfer the sauce into a bowl.
- Control the sauce thickness by adjusting the quantity of used milk.
- Be careful not to overcook the flour after adding it into the melted butter; use low heat and stir continuously.
- Use warm milk to help the roux dissolve better.