Vegan Bechamel Sauce

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!

A spoon hovers over a bowl of vegan béchamel sauce. The spoon has some sauce in it and it is drizzling into the bowl. There's a bowl of macaroni in the background.

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.

  1. Cook vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat until its melted.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter while continually stirring.
  3. Cook until the flour has absorbed the butter.
    Vegan butter has been melted in a skillet and the flour has been added to create a roux.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-low and slowly add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring continuously.
  5. Stir in nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine.
    A hand holds a measuring spoon, sprinkling ground nutmeg into vegan white sauce in a skillet.
  6. Cook until the sauce has thickened.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 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.
A bowl of vegan béchamel sauce since in front of a bowl of flour and bowl of cooked macaroni.

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!

Frequently-Asked Questions

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.

Serving Suggestions

Use this vegan bechamel sauce in recipes that require a thick gravy, like vegan pot pie, lasagna, and mac and cheese.

Storage Tips

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:

A spoon has some béchamel sauce in it and it is drizzling into the bowl. There's a bowl of macaroni in the background.

Vegan Bechamel Sauce

Transform your plant-based dinners with this easy vegan bechamel sauce (otherwise known as vegan white sauce). It's easy to make with only a handful of staple kitchen ingredients in your vegan kitchen.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 41kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups plant-based milk (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • 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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Notes

If you make the gravy ahead and reheat it, you may need to add additional vegetable broth to thin it out because it may thicken as it cools.
Calories: 41kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

2 Responses to Vegan Bechamel Sauce

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPaula Reply

    5 stars
    I added v cheese to this sauce and poured it over cooked macaroni. It was so creamy and delicious. Thanks for this recipe!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you liked this Paula!

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