Vegan Béchamel Sauce – Namely Marley

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This vegan béchamel sauce is a creamy white sauce made with just a few ingredients. Use it as a base for vegan mac and cheese, gravy, cauliflower gratin and more!

A spoonful swirls over a bowl of vegan béchamel sauce.  There is some sauce on the spoon and it is spilling into the bowl.  In the background is a bowl of macaroni.

My mother used to make a breakfast recipe that we all loved and looked forward to. It was called Creamed Eggs on Toast. And now that I look back on it, I realize that it was a bechamel sauce with boiled eggs. We were quite poor in those days and to me this is an example of how you can take very simple ingredients and turn them into a feast.

Many people have a wrong stereotype that a vegetarian diet is expensive. This vegan béchamel sauce is one of many examples that shows that vegan food doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is flour, oil, plant-based milk and salt. Voila! Your sauce is ready.

How to Make Vegan Béchamel Sauce

You can find the complete printable recipe with ingredient amounts below. But first, here are some ingredient explanations and steps to help you perfect this recipe every time.

  1. Cook the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, stirring constantly.
  3. Cook until the flour absorbs the butter.
    Vegan butter is melted in a skillet and flour is added to make a roux.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine.
    In one hand is a measuring spoon, sprinkling roasted nutmeg in vegan white sauce in a skillet.
  6. Cook till the sauce thickens.

the main ingredient

Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:

  • Vegan Butter — I recommend using a vegan stick butter like Earth Balance or Myokos. You can substitute olive oil.
  • Flour — Use all-purpose flour or substitute a high-quality gluten-free baking flour.
  • Plant-based milk – I like to use soy milk, but you can use any plant-based milk. I recommend unsweetened and plain, but I used unsweetened vanilla-flavored milk and interestingly enough, it worked.
  • Ground Nutmeg — There is no substitute for ground nutmeg in white sauce. If you don’t have nutmeg or don’t like it, leave it out. If you are using fresh ground nutmeg, reduce the amount by half.
  • Salt – Regular table salt works just fine, but you can use sea salt if you like.
A bowl of vegan béchamel sauce, a bowl of dough, and a bowl of cooked macaroni.

Why this recipe is a winner

  • Using vegan butter adds buttery flavor to this sauce.
  • Adding a little nutmeg creates a distinct béchamel sauce flavor.
  • Using plant-based milk makes this sauce creamy and smooth!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Béchamel Sauce Vegan?

Traditional béchamel sauce is not vegan because it is made with dairy butter and milk. However, by substituting vegan butter and plant-based milk, this is one of the easiest recipes to veganize.

Can I make béchamel sauce gluten-free?

You can easily substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour to make a gluten-free béchamel sauce. Alternatively, you can use cornstarch (1 tablespoon of cornstarch for every 2 tablespoons of flour), but this will make a thicker sauce.

Serving advice

Use this vegan béchamel sauce in recipes that call for a thicker gravy, such as vegan pot pie, lasagna, and mac and cheese.

Storage Tips

Wrap whole pie tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Individual slices can be transferred to an airtight container. You can freeze this recipe in a suitable freezer container or bag for up to 2 months.

Favorite Vegan Sauce

Having the right sauces can transform your favorite plant-based dishes into something amazing. Here are some favorites you can try:

There is some béchamel sauce in a spoon and it is dripping into the bowl.  In the background is a bowl of macaroni.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • In a large saucepan, cook vegan butter over medium heat. Break it up into small pieces using a spatula and cook until melted, about 5 minutes.

  • Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes until the dough has completely absorbed the butter, about 3 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

  • Store the béchamel in an airtight container or mason jar. Place a small piece of plastic wrap directly over the sauce to prevent it from forming a skin. Then add the lid. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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If you make the gravy ahead of time and reheat it, you may need to add extra vegetable stock to thin it out as it may thicken as it cools.

Calories: 41kcal | Sugars: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fats: 1g | Trans fats: 1g | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist consultation.

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