Bechamel, as well known as White Sauce, is one of the five Mother Sauces in French Cuisine. Our Vegan Bechamel Sauce is a staple recipe that can be used for pasta dishes, lasagna, moussaka, cannelloni, and many other basic recipes that you can now make plant-based or dairy free.
What is Bechamel?
Bechamel is a creamy white sauce that combines fat (butter), flour, and milk. The traditional béchamel is cooked with dairy butter, all-purpose flour, and cow's milk. Some recipes include seasonings such as black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, or nutmeg.
Our Bechamel Sauce is a vegan version of the classic recipe. To make a basic vega white sauce recipe that has the perfect texture and flavor, we combine five simple ingredients: cashews, water, nutritional yeast, vegan butter, and all-purpose flour.
What type of plant-based milk can I use to make Vegan Bechamel?
The answer is simple, you can use any plant-based milk to make vegan béchamel. But we want to explain a few things to help you choose the right ingredient to create the best white sauce.
For our Vegan Bechamel recipe, we use cashew milk, made by combining presoaked cashews and water. This adds one more prepping step to the recipe compared to using already-made non-dairy milk such as soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.
So, why do we use cashew milk? We found that cashew milk thickens quite fast to the right texture when making bechamel. Some plant-based kinds of milk such as almond milk or soy milk are quite watery, containing just a small percentage of almonds or soybeans, which will make the thickening process a bit more difficult. As well, cashew milk has a lovely nutty flavor that won't overpower the rest of the flavors you want to serve the sauce with. Sometimes, oat milk or almond milk can be quite sweet.
If you are using another type of plant-based milk such as soy, almond, oat milk, or another type of nut milk, we recommend always using an unsweetened milk version. You don't want to end up with a sweet white cream when cooking béchamel.
How to make cashew milk
Making cashew milk is really simple and all you need are cashews and water. You will need to leave the cashews soaking for at least 20 minutes in hot water. After that, you can drain the water and rinse the cashews.
Once the cashews are soaked, add them to a blender jug with water and blend until you have smooth milk.
To avoid the cashew milk from being grainy, make sure you are using a high-speed blender such as Ninja or similar, or if you plan ahead, you could leave the cashews soaking overnight in room temperature water.
How to make Vegan Bechamel or White Sauce
This is an easy recipe that can be made in a few minutes following these steps:
- Leave the cashews soaking in boiling hot water for 20 minutes. Then drain and rinse the cashews.
- Add the soaked cashews to a blender jug with water and nutritional yeast. Blend until you have smooth milk. To avoid the cashew milk from being grainy, use a powerful blender such as Ninja Bullet or similar. As well, the longer you soak the cashews, the easier they blend.
- Using a medium saucepan or small pot, add the butter and melt the vegan butter at low heat.
- Keep the pan or pot at low heat and slowly add the flour. Using a wooden spoon or whisk keep mixing while adding the flour to make sure no lumps are formed.
- Pour the cashew milk while you keep stirring.
- Stir for 3-5 minutes until the bechamel has thickened to the desired consistency. If you find that the bechamel is too thick, you can always add some plant milk. If the bechamel is too liquidy, keep cooking for 1 or 2 more minutes or bring the pot to medium heat.
What do you use Vegan Bechamel Sauce for?
This creamy vegan sauce can be used in many dishes such as Vegan Lasagna or even Vegan Lasagna soups, pasta dishes or pasta bakes, Vegan Moussaka, veggies gratins such as Vegan Cauliflower Casserole, savory crepes, vegan mac and cheese, and many others.
You can add other ingredients to our basic recipe to make the flavor perfect for your recipe such as a pinch of nutmeg, garlic powder, black or white pepper bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, etc.
You can make this sauce one or two days ahead by keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge.
FAQ and Tips
- What can I use instead of vegan butter? Sometimes, vegan butter is not easy to find or you may want to use something less refined. You can substitute this ingredient for olive oil (extra virgin or regular).
- What can I do if my bechamel is too grainy? If your cashew milk bechamel is too grainy, you will need to use a blender to get a perfect consistency. If you make sure that you get smooth milk while making the cashew milk, the béchamel should not be grainy.
- How can I get the perfect bechamel consistency? If you stir the mixture for too long, your bechamel will become too thick. Don't worry, if this happens, simply add some more plant-based milk and stir one more time.
- Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, this creamy sauce works great using gluten-free flour. Make sure the nutritional yeast you are using is labeled as gluten-free as well. You can use other flour such as coconut flour, chickpea flour, or almond flour, but you may need to reduce the flour amount to 30 g as they thicken faster.
Vegan Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
- 100 g cashews presoaked
- 400 ml water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 40 g vegan butter
- 40 g all purpose flour
- Leave the cashews soaking in hot water for 20 minutes. Then drain and rinse the cashews.
- Add the soaked cashews to a blender jug with the water and nutritional yeast. Blend until you have smooth milk.
- Using a medium saucepan or small pot, add the butter and melt it at low heat.
- Keep the pan or pot at low heat and slowly add the flour. Using a wooden spoon or whisk keep whisking while adding the flour to make sure no lumps are formed.
- Pour the cashew milk while you keep stirring.
- Stir for 3-5 minutes until the bechamel has thickened to the desired consistency.
- If you find that the bechamel is too thick, you can always add some plant milk. If the bechamel is too liquidy, keep cooking for 1 or 2 more minutes or bring the pot to medium heat.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!|