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How to make Bechamel sauce without butter – it’s creamy, silky smooth and tastes delicious. Use this sauce for many classic comfort food dishes even if you’ve run out of butter.
Bechamel sauce is one of the first, basic sauces most people learn to make when they first start cooking.
It’s a base that’s used for many different sauces and recipes and it’s definitely one of the most important sauces to learn how to make.
But what if you run out of butter or forget to pick it up from the store? This has happened to me far too often so today I’m showing you how to make bechamel sauce without butter.
Ok, so if you love comfort food dishes such as lasagne or macaroni cheese as much as I do then you’ll know how important it is to know how to make a basic bechamel sauce, right?
Bechamel is a base that’s used for a lot of recipes that I personally couldn’t live without.
Take pasta bakes, homemade pies or baked cheesy vegetable gratin for example. I don’t know about you but I need those in my life especially at this time of year when it’s all about hearty comfort food.
More Ways To Use Bechamel Sauce
- Baked cauliflower cheese
- Macaroni cheese
- Cheesy leeks
- Souffle (savoury)
- Croque Madame
- Mix with vegetables/meat/herbs/spices for hearty homemade pies + more!
There have been many occasions when I’ve forgotten to buy butter and I need to make bechamel sauce. Instead of rushing back out to the shops or changing the meal plan, there is a very simple, easy solution that almost all of you (especially those who love Italian food) will have in your kitchen.
Yes, you can make a silky, smooth, thick and creamy bechamel sauce using olive oil and there’s no compromise on flavour either. It’s that simple!
The Ratios For Making Bechamel Sauce (white sauce)
The basic ratio for making a classic bechamel sauce is 1:1 fat to flour. Choose a fat such as butter or oil and use the same amount of flour to form a thick paste.
This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 heaped tablespoon of flour which will thicken around 2 cups/1/2 litre of milk. You can adjust the milk measurements for a thicker or thinner sauce by adding less or more to your liking.
How To Make Bechamel Sauce Without Butter
Add the olive oil to a saucepan and warm it for a couple of seconds before adding the flour (photo 1).
Once the flour has been added mix it together with a whisk or wooden spoon to form a paste and let it cook for one minute (this cooks the flour so you don’t have a floury taste in your sauce) photo 2.
Add a little milk and whisk constantly to remove any lumps. Once it has started to thicken add a little more milk (around 1/4 at a time) until you have used up all the milk (photo 3).
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, take it off the heat and add nutmeg, salt and pepper and cheese if making a cheese sauce (photo 4).
The best cheese to add to bechamel sauce is something that melts well such as parmesan, gruyere, fontina or cheddar.
Recipes to Use White Sauce With That You Might Enjoy:
- Classic Beef Lasagne with Spinach Pasta
- Lentil Ragu Lasagne
- Tomato Pasta Bake – Pasta Al Forno
- Pesto Provolone Cannelloni Pasta
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How to make bechamel sauce without butter
- Add the olive oil to a saucepan and warm it for a couple of seconds before adding the flour.
- Once the flour has been added mix it together with a whisk or wooden spoon to form a paste and let it cook for one minute (this cooks the flour so you don't have a floury taste in your sauce).
- Add 1/4 of the milk and whisk constantly to remove any lumps. Once it has started to thicken add a little more milk (around 1/4 at a time) until you have used up all the milk.
- Continue to heat the sauce whilst stirring until thick. Once it's thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, take it off the heat and add nutmeg, salt and pepper and cheese if making a cheese sauce.
- If making a cheese sauce stir the sauce until the cheese has melted. You may need to put it back on the heat for a few seconds. If it thickens too much add another splash of milk.
- The best cheese to add to bechamel sauce is something that melts well such as parmesan, gruyere, fontina or cheddar.
- Cals 400 without cheese 700 with cheese
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
- When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
- All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
- All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
- Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
- Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
- You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here