A creamy bechamel sauce adds a delightful flavor to any dish. It’s a classic sauce you can enjoy so many ways. And, yes, we’re going to make it vegan!
Bechamel sauce, or white sauce, is a classic and versatile sauce that is beloved in French cuisine.
Traditionally made with milk and flour, it may seem challenging to make a vegan version. However, with this easy dairy-free and gluten-free recipe, everyone can enjoy the creamy goodness of bechamel sauce.
How to serve vegan bechamel sauce
Bechamel sauce can be used in a variety of dishes, adding richness and flavor. Here are some ideas:
1. Macaroni: Toss cooked pasta with vegan bechamel sauce for a comforting and indulgent mac and “cheese.”
2. Vegetable Bake: Pour the vegan bechamel sauce over roasted vegetables and bake it in the oven until golden and bubbly.
3. Lasagna: Layer vegan bechamel sauce with veggies and lasagna noodles for a creamy and satisfying lasagna.
4. Sauce for Pasta: Use vegan bechamel sauce as a base for creamy pasta sauces. Add your favorite vegetables and herbs for added flavor.
5. Pie Fillings: Use vegan bechamel sauce as a filling for savory pot pies.
The possibilities are endless with this versatile sauce. Experiment and get creative with how you use bechamel sauce in your favorite recipes.
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making gluten-free vegan bechamel sauce.
Here’s everything you need to make this vegan white sauce.
Soy milk: Choose unsweetened and unflavored soy milk for this recipe. It serves as the base for the béchamel sauce and provides a creamy texture.
Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg adds a warm, aromatic flavor to the sauce. You can adjust the amount according to your preference.
Rice flour: Rice flour is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and helps thicken the sauce. It’s important to use rice flour specifically to achieve the desired consistency.
Sugar: A small amount of sugar is added to balance the flavors in the sauce. You can adjust the sweetness according to your preference or omit it entirely if desired.
Vegan butter: Look for a vegan butter substitute that is suitable for cooking and has a creamy texture. It adds richness to the sauce.
Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the sauce. Adjust the amount according to your taste. Start with the recommended measurement, and add more if needed.
Equipment required includes:
In a medium-sized pot, melt the vegan butter. Then incorporate the rice flour.
Next, introduce the soy milk, along with nutmeg, salt, and sugar, to the mixture.
Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Make sure to whisk constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
Then simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally.
This vegan bechamel sauce is a versatile and delicious addition to any recipe that calls for a creamy white sauce.
With this easy recipe, you can create a gluten-free and dairy-free version of this classic sauce.
Whether you use it in a veggie lasagna, a pot pie, or as a sauce for vegetables, bechamel sauce will elevate your dishes and impress your dinner guests.
- Creamy: The sauce has a rich and creamy flavor thanks to the soy milk and vegan butter, providing a smooth and indulgent taste.
- Nutmeg: The addition of nutmeg adds a warm and slightly sweet aroma to the sauce, enhancing its overall flavor profile.
- Subtle sweetness: A touch of sugar is added to balance the flavors in the sauce. It provides a subtle hint of sweetness without overpowering the other ingredients.
- Savory: The combination of salt and vegan butter gives the sauce a savory undertone, adding depth and enhancing the overall taste.
- Mild and versatile: Vegan Béchamel Sauce has a mild flavor that acts as a base for other ingredients in various recipes. It allows the flavors of other ingredients to shine while providing a creamy and comforting backdrop.
- Whisk thoroughly: When whisking together the soy milk, nutmeg, rice flour, and sugar, make sure to whisk until the flour and sugar are fully dissolved. This helps prevent lumps from forming in the sauce.
- Use low heat when thickening: Once you’ve added the soy milk mixture to the saucepan, keep the heat on medium, and whisk continuously until the sauce begins to thicken. Then, reduce the heat to low to simmer, and continue cooking. This gradual process helps the sauce thicken evenly without scorching or clumping.
- Stir occasionally while simmering: While the sauce is simmering, stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
- Adjust consistency as needed: If the sauce becomes too thick during cooking or after refrigeration, you can add a small amount of soy milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, return it to the heat and cook for a few more minutes to thicken it further.
- Season to taste: The suggested measurements for salt and sugar are a starting point. Taste the sauce once it’s off the heat. Then adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Add more salt if you prefer a saltier sauce or more sugar if you want it slightly sweeter.
- Customize with additional flavors: While the basic recipe provides a delicious base, you can experiment with additional flavors by adding herbs, spices, or other seasonings. For example, you can add garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, or a dash of white pepper to enhance the taste according to your desired flavor profile.
- Store properly: When storing the sauce, ensure it is completely cooled before transferring it to an airtight container. This helps prevent condensation and moisture buildup. Label the container with the date and use within the recommended storage timeframe.
- Reheat gently: When reheating the sauce, do so over low heat to prevent scorching or burning. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and maintain the desired consistency.
Storing and Reheating Your Bechamel Sauce
- Refrigeration: Allow the sauce to cool completely before storing it. Transfer it to a small airtight container or jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shelf life: This sauce can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to four to five days. However, always check for any signs of spoilage before consuming.
- Reheating: When ready to use the sauce again, gently reheat it on the stovetop over low heat. Stir it occasionally to ensure even heating. If the sauce has thickened too much, you can add a small amount of soy milk to thin it out.
- Texture: Keep in mind that the texture of the sauce may change slightly after refrigeration. It may thicken further, so you may need to adjust the consistency by adding a little more soy milk or reheating it gently to loosen it up.
- Freezing (optional): If you want to freeze a smaller portion of the sauce, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, or use an ice cube tray for individual servings. Leave some space in the containers as the sauce will expand when frozen. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and using.
Vegan Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
- Medium-sized saucepan
- Small bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 2 cups Soy milk
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 cup Rice flour
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- In a medium-sized pot, place the vegan butter, and let it melt over medium-low heat. Once it's melted, incorporate the rice flour, ensuring a thorough blend.
- Next, introduce the soy milk, along with nutmeg, salt, and sugar, to the mixture.
- Continue whisking the mixture over medium heat until it begins to thicken, which should take about 5 minutes. Make sure to whisk constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cooks.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, and taste the sauce. Add salt according to your preference, and whisk it in until well incorporated.
- Allow the Vegan Béchamel Sauce to cool for a few minutes before using it. It will thicken further as it cools.
- Once cooled, the sauce is ready to be used in your favorite recipes. It's a versatile sauce that can be used in lasagnas, gratins, pasta dishes, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use a different type of plant-based milk instead of soy milk?
A: Yes, you can use other types of plant-based milk, such as almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk, as a substitute for soy milk in the recipe. However, keep in mind that the choice of milk may slightly affect the flavor and texture of the sauce.
Q: Can I use all-purpose flour instead of rice flour?
A: If you don’t have rice flour on hand, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute. However, note that rice flour is gluten-free, while all-purpose flour contains gluten. Using all-purpose flour may result in a slightly different texture.
Q: Can I omit the sugar in the recipe?
A: Yes, you can omit the sugar if you prefer a savory Vegan Béchamel Sauce. The sugar is added to balance the flavors, but it is not essential for the sauce to work.
Q: Can I freeze the Vegan Béchamel Sauce?
A: Yes, you can freeze the sauce. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container or use an ice cube tray for smaller portions. Make sure to leave some space in the containers as the sauce will expand when frozen. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and using.
Q: Can I reheat the sauce in the microwave?
A: Yes, you can reheat the sauce in the microwave if desired. Transfer it to a microwave-safe container and heat in short intervals, stirring in between, until the desired temperature is reached.
Q: Can I use the Vegan Béchamel Sauce in recipes that require regular béchamel sauce?
A: Yes! Vegan Béchamel Sauce can be used as a substitute for regular béchamel sauce in your favorite recipes. It works well in dishes like lasagna, gratins, pasta bakes, and creamy soups. Simply replace the regular béchamel sauce with an equal amount of this vegan version.
There’s a lot to love about this easy and delicious sauce. Leave a comment to let us know how you use it!