Easy Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel)

Well, I don’t know about you, but as a fan of lasagna and macaroni I can’t go without white sauce— not only is it super versatile, but it’s pretty simple and easy to make. It’s precisely what you want when you’re either too busy or tired but still wanna whip up something delicious in less than 30 minutes.

The traditional version of this dish is uncomplicated and can be done in a few steps, and the vegan version isn’t any different. There are many ways in which you can prepare the vegan white sauce. For the base, you can use ingredients such as tofu, oats, cauliflower, navy beans, and yam, but for this recipe, I use ingredients that are closely similar to the traditional preparation, apart from two elements.

If you want to learn how to make a delicious vegan white sauce for your lasagna or favorite pasta dish, follow me.

the complete vegan bechamel sauce ^^

❓What is White Sauce?

White sauce, also known as béchamel sauce, is a basic sauce that is traditionally made from butter, flour, and milk— a recipe that is not originally suitable for vegans.

However, it’s easy to picture how we could make this recipe vegan by simply replacing butter and cow’s milk with their respective vegan substitutes, which I’ll be partially doing in this recipe.

White sauce is a versatile sauce that can be used as a base for many other sauces and dishes, perhaps the more common ones being lasagna and macaroni.

Traditionally, to make the white sauce, butter is melted in a pan, and flour is added to make a roux, a technique used to thicken sauces. Milk is then added to the mixture and constantly whisked until it thickens before the final touches of salt, black pepper, and nutmeg are added to heighten its flavor.

It’s a very simple recipe you should have no trouble replicating in your kitchen!

🗒️ Ingredients

bechamel ingredients

My vegan version of the white sauce is slightly different from the traditional recipe, as I use olive oil instead of vegan butter, and I include onions, bay leaf, and fresh thyme.

However, the remaining ingredients are pretty much the same as the traditional recipe, except for dairy milk which I replace with unsweetened soy milk (but you can use another version close to zero sugar, like the barista version). I also use wheat flour and simplify by using standard seasonings such as ground black pepper, nutmeg, and salt.

If you’re allergic to gluten, feel free to replace wheat flour with rice flour, for example.

👨🏻‍🍳 How To Make Vegan White Sauce

Frankly, making this sauce is incredibly easy and should only take you about 15 minutes.

Me sautéing the onions and the bay leaf and the thyme

1st step: You start by sautéing thinly chopped onions, a bay leaf, and a sprig of thyme in olive oil until the onions are translucent. This is not a step that is in the traditional recipe, but I truly enjoy the flavor and aroma the onions and herbs add to this sauce.

the mixture after adding the wheat flour and cooking it for a few minutes

2nd step: Remove the herbs and add the wheat flour (or rice flour for a gluten-free white sauce). Mixing the flour with the fat from the olive oil is a technique called “roux”, which is a way to thicken the sauce.

adding the unsweetened soy milk to the mixture to finally create the amazingly delicious vegan bechamel sauce

3rd step: Add unsweetened or low-sugar soy milk. Stir the mixture and when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat. Continue stirring the mixture to prevent clumps from forming, for about 10-15 minutes or until you get a thicker and creamier texture.

The final touches: adding the salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.

4th step: Turn off the heat. Add ground black pepper, nutmeg, and salt for extra flavor.

bechamel sauce

5th step: This is an optional step but is one I’d recommend you do. Since the recipe contains onions, the mixture is not as homogenous as it should be. As such, I would recommend blending the mixture to get a more homogenous sauce, and this will also enhance the flavor of the sauce because you’ll be fully incorporating the onions into the recipe.

👍🏻 How To Use It

Generally, people use this white sauce for lasagna, macaroni, and gratin dishes. However, you can also use it as a handy topping for veggies and even pizza, or as a filling for sandwiches and pastries.

It can also be used as a base for cream soups such as a vegan mushroom or cauliflower soup, and it may also serve as the base for a vegan version of white gravies.

You can get really creative with it and see how well it combines with certain dishes you’re probably used to making.

My favorite way of consuming white sauce is with plain pasta and vegetables, but it can also be a great addition to a very yummy vegan Tuscan pasta. There are many possibilities!

adding my vegan bechamel sauce as a topping to a pasta dish I created pretty quickly.
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vegan white sauce

Easy Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel)

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Learn how to quickly make a creamy and rich vegan white sauce that will serve as the perfect base for your lasagna, or as a topping for your favorite pasta dish.


Units Scale
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (thinly chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 tbsps wheat flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ground nutmeg (to taste)


  1. Sauté chopped onions, bay leaf, and thyme in olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes until transparent.
  2. Remove the bay leaf and thyme and add the wheat flour and mix well. Cook, over medium heat, for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let it burn.
  3. Add unsweetened soy milk. Mix together with a whisk, and lower the heat when it comes to a boil. Continue cooking, frequently stirring so as not to clump, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you get the desired texture.
  4. Add salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Blend the mixture for a more homogenous texture and powerful flavor.


  • Because of the onions, the sauce doesn’t come out as homogenous as you would expect from a white sauce. If you want a more homogenous sauce, you can blend it. I actually prefer blended because it’s more sauce-like and it better incorporates the onions’ flavor into the sauce. 
  • If you want to make this a gluten-free recipe, swap wheat flour with rice flour.
  • If you’ve got any bechamel leftover, you can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can store it in the freezer for up to 4 months. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Sauce, Topping
  • Cuisine: French

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

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  1. Really good & super simple. Didn’t have nutmeg, subbed for almond milk, added some grated garlic & a touch of nutritional yeast. Will be my go to!

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