I am the daughter of a classically trained French chef. My mother is a phenomenal cook, and to this day I swear I get all my cooking chops directly from her. The art of French cooking centers around a number of classic sauce recipes (known as Mother Sauces, which I love for obvious reasons) that can be customized to suit particular dishes. Béchamel is perhaps one of the better-known Mother Sauces and is traditionally made with butter, flour, and cream. It is the base of many dishes (including lasagne, scalloped potatoes, mac n’ cheese and so many more), and for years I’ve struggled to make both a vegan béchamel sauce and a gluten-free béchamel sauce.
But, just recently, I cracked the code, and have mastered a delicious, gluten-free, vegan béchamel sauce!!
Truly, having this basic vegan bechamel sauce up your sleeve is such a game changer. Add this sauce as a topping to any plant-based dish, or season with fresh herbs on pasta – you’ll instantly enhance any dish with this cozy, comforting, clingy sauce. In fact, the term Mother Sauce actually stipulates that this vegan béchamel sauce can be treated in many different ways for equally many different effects! It’s a fabulous “base,” upon which you can build your flavor profile!
Now, before I share the recipe, I have to say: The saucepan makes the sauce. One of the reasons I able to finally ace this sauce is because of my brand new 2 Quart Saucier from 360 Cookware. Now, you know I love 360 Cookware (it’s incredibly safe, made from surgical grade steel, and made in America, which I LOVE), and this pan is a total keeper. It has a bit of a curve to it that allows a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to reach every nook and cranny. This means you’re able to “agitate” every corner of the sauce, so there’s no uneven cooking or lumps. Right now, 360 Cookware is running a very special discount for my audience: Use the code SOPHIE36 for a 36% discount on this phenomenal pan. Click here to get started. And of course, you can shop the entire 360 Cookware line, and use the code SOPHIE20 for 20% off your entire order at checkout!
Ok, back to the recipe. It is incredibly simple: You’ll need the following ingredients:
- – 2 tablespoons all-purpose, gluten-free flour
- – 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- – 4 tablespoons vegan spread (such as Earth Balance)
- – 2 cups plant-based milk, I’m using Ripple for its neutral flavor
- – 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- – 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (Optional)
- Start by melting your vegan spread over low-to-medium heat (keep an eye on the temperature, you don’t want anything to burn).
- Add your all-purpose, gluten-free flour and tapioca starch and incorporate well. You are creating a roux in this step – basically melding the flour with the butter. NOW – you want to slightly lift your pot off the heat as you stir-stir-stir your butter and flour. This will prevent any burning, while also “cooking out” that raw flour taste. (This is another reason I love this 360 Cookware pot – the steel retains heat, so the roux continues to cook, even after you’ve taken it off the direct heat). Stir for about 60 seconds.
- Add your plant-based milk, and continue to stir gentle. As you are stirring, the sauce will start to thicken rather quickly. It’s important that you stay at your stove and stir after you add your plant-based milk – you don’t want the sauce to burn, or to form any lumps. You can control the thickness of your sauce by adding less (or more) milk to your roux.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir!
- Add your Dijon mustard and stir some more!
- If you’re making a “cheese” sauce, add your nutritional yeast and stir.
- Continue to cook and stir until your sauce reaches the desired consistency!
That’s it! It couldn’t be easier to make this vegan béchamel sauce! This is such a delicious recipe, I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do!!