This vegan béchamel is a creamy white sauce perfect for topping lasagnas, pasta dishes, and pizzas. It’s completely dairy-free and yields a thick, luscious, creamy texture.
This recipe uses oat milk to create the béchamel, but other kinds of plant milk can be substituted!
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Why You’ll Love This Vegan Béchamel
- classic white sauce: this is one of those staple recipes that you can use in so many dishes!
- super creamy: oat milk is higher in fat than other plant milks, which helps create the perfect creamy texture!
- customizable flavors: add in different flavorings to your liking- make an herbed sauce or vegan cheese sauce.
- can be made thicker or thinner: this recipe includes instructions on how to create a thicker or thinner sauce, so you can use it in any cooking application you’d like.
Today we’re using simple ingredients instead of the dairy products that are in a classic roux. Below are the main ingredients plus a few notes on substitutions & add ins!
- Oat Milk, like Oatly Original or Silk Extra Creamy Oat Milk
- All-Purpose Flour
- Vegan Butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, like Country Crock Plant Butter or Earth Balance
- Salt and Black Pepper
Substitutions & Add-ins
- Flour: to make this gluten-free you could try subbing in an all-purpose gluten free flour blend, glutinous rice flour or chickpea flour.
- Nutmeg or Garlic Powder: add in a pinch of nutmeg or other spices to infuse the plant milk.
- White Pepper: feel free to use white pepper instead of black pepper in this sauce.
- Vegan Parmesan or Nutritional Yeast: Violife Vegan Parm would be a great cheesy addition!
Below are some helpful tools to make the best creamy dairy free white sauce.
- Medium Saucepan
- Whisk: to create a lump-free vegan white sauce
- Measuring Cups: to accurately measure all the ingredients
FAQ and Troubleshooting
Can I make béchamel with Oat Milk?
Yes, oat milk is a great substitute for dairy milk because it has a higher fat content and is thicker than other plant milks.
How do you thicken oat milk?
This vegan béchamel uses all-purpose flour (to create a roux) to thicken the oat milk. Oat milk is naturally thicker than other plant milks lending itself well to creamy sauces like this one.
Which plant milks should I not use?
I don’t recommend using thinner plant milks like rice milk or some almond milks that are on the watery side. (If using almond milk, I recommend Trader Joe’s or Silk Extra Creamy Almond).
- 5 tbsp vegan butter, or olive oil
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened plain oat milk, like Oatly Original or Silk Creamy Oat Milk
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper, or white pepper
- Melt the vegan butter on medium-low heat in a medium sized saucepan.
- Sprinkle in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously to prevent clumps. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
- Pour in the oat milk, ¼ cup at a time, whisking continuously. Make sure the milk mixture does not boil. It should begin to thicken after a minute of stirring.
- Heat over low heat (about 5-7 minutes). The longer the sauce is heated, the thicker it will become. Once it cools, it will continue to thicken.
- Stir in the salt & pepper. Feel free to taste the sauce at this point and add any more salt & pepper to taste.
- To Thin the Sauce: whisk in ¼ cup extra oat milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- To Thicken the Sauce: continue to heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. If the sauce isn’t thickening enough, mix 1 tbsp of all purpose flour with 2 tbsp oat milk, then add it to the sauce.
- Oat milk can be substituted for other plant milks like Soy Milk, Cashew Milk, or Flax Milk.
- Be sure to use plain, unsweetened plant milk.
- I don’t recommend using thinner plant milks like rice milk or some almond milks that are on the watery side. (If using almond milk, I recommend Trader Joe’s or Silk Extra Creamy Almond).