This vegan bechamel sauce is a creamy white sauce made with only a few ingredients. Use this as a foundation for vegan Mac and cheese, gravy, cauliflower gratin, and more!
My mom used to make a breakfast recipe we all loved and looked forward to. It was called creamed eggs on toast. And now that I look back on it, I realize it was simply a bechamel sauce with boiled eggs. We were pretty poor in those days and to me it’s an example of how you can take pretty simple ingredients and turn them into a feast.
A lot of people have a misplaced stereotype that a vegan diet is expensive. This vegan bechamel sauce is just one of many examples showing that vegan food doesn’t have to be costly. All you need is flour, oil, plant-based milk, and salt. Voila! Your sauce is ready.
How to Make Vegan Bechamel Sauce
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Cook vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat until its melted.
- Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter while continually stirring.
- Cook until the flour has absorbed the butter.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and slowly add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring continuously.
- Stir in nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine.
- Cook until the sauce has thickened.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Vegan butter — I recommend using a vegan stick butter like Earth Balance or Miyokos. You can substitute olive oil.
- Flour — Use all-purpose flour or substitute a high-quality gluten-free baking flour.
- Plant-based milk — I prefer to use soy milk, but you can use any plant-based milk. I recommend unsweetened and plain, but I have also used unsweetened vanilla-flavored milk and interestingly enough, it worked.
- Ground nutmeg — There are no substitutions for ground nutmeg in a white sauce. If you don’t have ground nutmeg or don’t like it, leave it out. If you’re using freshly ground nutmeg, reduce the quantity by half.
- Salt — Plain table salt works fine, but you can use sea salt if you’d like.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using vegan butter adds buttery flavor to this sauce.
- Adding a bit of ground nutmeg crreates a distinctive bechamel sauce flavor.
- Using plant-based milk makes this sauce creamy and smooth!
Is bechamel sauce vegan?
Traditional bechamel sauce is not vegan because it’s made with dairy butter and milk. However, this is one of the easiest recipes to veganize, by substituting vegan butter and plant-based milk.
Can I make bechamel sauce gluten-free?
You can easily substitute gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour to create a gluten-free bechamel sauce. Alternatively, you can use cornstarch (1 tablespoon of cornstarch to substitute for every 2 tablespoons of flour), but it will create a shiny sauce.
Use this vegan bechamel sauce in recipes that require a thick gravy, like vegan pot pie, lasagna, and mac and cheese.
Wrap the entire pie tightly with plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Individual slices can be transferred to an airtight container. You can freeze this recipe in an appropriate freezer container or bag for up to 2 months.
Favorite Vegan Sauces
Having the right sauce can transform your favorite plant-based dishes into something amazing. Here are some favorites you can try:
Vegan Bechamel Sauce
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups plant-based milk (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large saucepan, cook the vegan butter over medium heat. Use a spatula to break it up into smaller pieces and cook until melted, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter while continually stirring. Cook for a few minutes until flour has completely absorbed the butter, around 3 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and slowly add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring continuously. Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Store bechamel in an airtight container or mason jar. Place a small piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce to prevent it from forming a skin. Then add the lid. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.