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Vegan Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Also known as white sauce, Bechamel is one of the most basic sauces that has a wide range of variations and uses. Its versatility makes it an excellent sauce for the home cook to have in their back pocket.

Equipment

Single burner

Difficulty

Medium


This image shows the vegan white sauce recipe.

Use this dairy-free, simple bechamel sauce recipe to create several vegan meals.


Made with simple ingredients, this dairy-free bechamel is a great alternative to make many favorite dinner recipes into easy vegan recipes, from lasagnas to gratins. Whether drizzled over pasta, layered in lasagna, or used as a creamy sauce for vegetables, this vegan bechamel sauce creates the same lusciousness and flavor you expect from traditional recipes.

This is the trick to making vegan lasagna so creamy that it feels naughty!

Don't worry though, you're still right on track.


This recipe will also start to brown on top if used on top of a food that needs to bake, making it a good topper for recipes that would otherwise rely on a cheese topping for browning.



This recipe make a lot, but I often like to keep a little in my fridge for later in the week and whisk it into some tomato sauce for a lazy pasta dinner. Makes a nice change-of-pace from straight marinara. It can also be tucked into calzones, or spooned onto pizzas.


Substitutions?

Can I substitute white pepper with black? Yes! It is possible to substitute the white pepper for black. Be aware that this will add black specks to your sauce, so in a situation where you want the sauce to look completely white it is probably best not to use black pepper.


Substitute for nutmeg: You can use mace or allspice. If you don't have those, or don't want to use them, you can leave it out altogether. It is traditional and adds a warm depth of flavor, but it is ultimately unnecessary for the final product.


Can I omit the salt? Go for it, no biggie.


Can I use extra virgin olive oil? Absolutely. Honestly that's how I usually make it, but the final product will taste strongly of olive oil. It is up to you whether or not that is the final product you are trying to make.



Picture of ingredients for vegan bechamel sauce.

Gather all the ingredients.



Picture of the oil and flour used to make the roux.

Warm the 1/4 cup oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sifted 5 Tbs of flour to the heated oil. It is important to cook the flour long enough that the raw flavor of the flour is removed.



Picture of the roux simmering before adding the non dairy milk.

Keeping the heat medium, slowly add the 2 1/2 cups dairy-free milk while whisking constantly to keep the mixture smooth. It can help to add it in sections, whisking out any lumps between. Be sure you whisk all the lumps out of the flour while it is cooking! This is absolutely necessary! If you leave lumps this early there is no way to make your sauce lump-free later.



Picture of the white sauce forming.

Keep adding the milk in sections as you whisk any lumps out as soon as they form. After all the milk has been added cook the sauce for another 5-10 minutes, whisking often and scraping the edges to keep the sides and bottom from burning.



Picture of the final vegan bechamel.

The bechamel sauce is ready when it is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. Use immediately because it rapidly forms a skin. If you cannot use it right away keep it covered.


What recipes use a bechamel sauce substitute?

Bechamel is used in many different genres of cooking as a base sauce. You can use in any of the following vegan recipes:

  • Moussaka

  • Lasagna

  • Gratin

  • Chicken pot pie

  • Macaroni and Cheese

  • Pasta bakes

  • and more!


Storage.

This sauce recipe will last in the fridge 4-5 days.


Can I freeze it? Freezing it is not recommended.


Can I reheat it? Yes! However, it is difficult to return it to its original consistency. You can heat it slowly in a pan and add a little water to try to whisk it back to creamy, it takes some time and won't be exactly the same, but can still be easily used!


Here are some ideas on how to use the bechamel sauce leftovers.

  • tuck it into calzones (you can do this from cold!)

  • spoon it into a lasagna layer

  • mix it with marinara sauce to pour over pasta

  • mix it into a soup to make it creamy

  • mix it into a pot pie filling

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