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4.89 from 9 votes

How to make bechamel sauce without butter

How to make Bechamel sauce without butter - it's creamy, silky smooth and so delicious. Use this sauce for many classic comfort food dishes even if you've run out of butter.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: sauces and dressings
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp flour all-purpose
  • 2 cups (500ml) full fat milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp parmesan grated (optional)
  • 2.8 oz (80g) gruyere cheese grated (optional)


  • 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


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 354mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Calcium: 707mg | Iron: 0.2mg