Bechamel Sauce with Oat Milk (Vegan White Sauce)

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Learn how to make this simple Bechamel Sauce with oat milk. A classic 3-ingredient vegan white sauce that is perfect for adding a creamy layer to lasagne or moussaka, and for making dairy free cheese sauce.

This homemade vegan béchamel sauce (or white sauce as it is also known) is made with three simple ingredients; dairy free butter, flour and vegan milk. The straightforward method transforms the ingredients into a versatile dairy free white sauce that can be used in a whole host of recipes; from lasagna and pasta, to macaroni cheese and pies.

Have you made homemade white sauce before? Though it can seem complicated, making a classic béchamel sauce isn’t very difficult. If this is your first time, rest assured I’m walking you through the process from start to finish and including my tips for creating a silky smooth and creamy white sauce. It’s a wonderfully versatile sauce to have in your recipe repertoire.

Making a white sauce vegan doesn’t need to be daunting; dairy free milk makes an excellent substitute for dairy milk; you can make this classic white sauce with oat milk, almond milk or soya milk with fantastic results.

Looking to make a vegan white sauce with almond milk? Head to this section of the blog to discover how to make this recipe with almond milk.

Looking for a vegan gluten free bechamel sauce recipe? Click here to find out how to make this recipe gluten-free.

Quick Links:

Thick and creamy vegan bechamel sauce running off of a wooden spoon into a saucepan

Success Tips

Here are our top tips for making this oat milk bechamel sauce recipe:

Use room temperature or slightly warm milk

It’s important to use room temperature (or even slightly warmed) milk in this oat milk bechamel sauce.  We advise against using cold milk as it can cause lumps to form in the sauce.

Make a ‘roux’ first

Whilst this can sound a little intimidating if you haven’t done it before, it simply means to make a paste with the butter and flour before adding the milk.

It’s an important step in making this bechamel sauce with oat milk. By creating a roux you allow the flour time to cook off and it also helps to prevent lumps in your white sauce, thus improving both the flavour and texture of the finished white sauce.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the flour and whisk it into the melted butter to make a thick paste (this is your ‘roux’).
  3. Cook it for 2 minutes (whilst still whisking).
  4. Add the remaining milk in stages, whisking until combined.

Keep whisking

The whisk is your best friend in this recipe. As soon as you add the flour to the melted butter, start whisking.

Once you’ve made the roux (butter and flour paste) and it has cooked off for 2 minutes, add 1/3 of the milk. Keep whisking until this is combined.

Add the remaining milk and again, keep whisking until this is combined and smooth.

Then whisk frequently whilst the sauce thickens (approximately 10-15 minutes).

This regular whisking helps to create a smooth sauce and prevents any lumps of unmixed flour.

Head to our FAQs to find out how to make white sauce with almond milk and how to make this recipe into a vegan gluten-free bechamel sauce.

Vegan white sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon stirring the sauce

How to make this Béchamel Sauce with Oat Milk

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe:

Non dairy butter. You can use either a spreadable margarine or a block butter.

Plain flour. Also known as all-purpose flour.  You can substitute for gluten free plain flour but the method will be slightly different – see this section for how to make vegan gluten free bechamel sauce.

Oat milk. You can substitute for another dairy-free milk of your choice. We have tested this recipe with oat milk, almond milk and soya milk, all with great results.  Just make sure you use an unsweetened milk.

Note:  If you’re making this recipe gluten free, be sure to check that your vegan butter and dairy-free milk are also gluten free.

The ingredients needed to make vegan bechamel sauce with oat milk

Equipment

You’ll need a large saucepan and whisk for this recipe.

Steps

Make sure to head to the recipe card below for the full recipe and instructions on how to make this vegan bechamel sauce recipe!

Gather together your ingredients.

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, until the butter starts to bubble.

 

Margarine in a saucepan
Melted margarine in a saucepan

Add the flour and whisk it together with the melted butter to make a thick paste (a ‘roux’). Keep whisking for 2 minutes over medium heat to cook the flour off.

Melted margarine and flour in a saucepan ready to make vegan bechamel sauce with oat milk
A vegan roux in a saucepan

Add 1/3 of the milk and whisk it together (still over medium heat) until smooth and combined into a creamy consistency.

Roux and oat milk in a saucepan about to be whisked together
A thick white paste in a saucepan; vegan white sauce in the making

Add the remaining non-dairy milk and whisk together until smooth.

Bring the white sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Whisk frequently until the sauce has thickened. This should take around 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and use this creamy vegan sauce in a dish of your choice. An optional pinch of nutmeg may also be used!

 

Vegan white sauce in a saucepan
Vegan bechamel sauce with oat milk, being whisked

Head to the FAQs to discover how to make this recipe gluten free.

Ways to use this vegan béchamel sauce with oat milk

Here are some delicious ways to use this creamy sauce:

  • Cauliflower cheese
  • Vegan lasagna white sauce
  • Lentil moussaka
  • Creamy mushroom pasta sauce
  • Pasta bakes
  • Vegetable bake
  • Creamy vegan chicken and veg pie

FAQs

Can I make this white sauce with almond milk?

Yes, absolutely! We often make this delicious sauce with almond milk and it works just as well. Almond milk can be a straight swap for oat milk in this recipe (i.e. substitute 500ml of oat milk for 500ml of almond milk).

We’ve also tested this recipe with soy milk. You should be able to use any unsweetened plant-based milk for this recipe.  Cashew milk may be another good option as it tends to be quite neutral in flavour.

Can I make this béchamel sauce gluten free?

Yes! We’ve tested this recipe with gluten free plain flour and it works well.

Substitute 60g plain flour for 60g gluten free plain flour (gluten free all purpose flour) in the recipe.

Gluten free flours tend to have more thickening power than a regular flour, and thus, it will likely take a shorter time to thicken the white sauce. In our tests, it took 5 minutes rather than 10 minutes to thicken the sauce, when using a gluten free plain flour. You may need to add a little more milk to thin the sauce if it has thickened too much.

You’ll want to serve/use white sauce made with gluten free flour straight away, don’t hold it out at room temperature because it will thicken further making it difficult to pour or smooth over lasagna sheets.

Note:  Make sure your dairy free butter and plant milk are both gluten free too in order to make this recipe gluten free.  You’re more likely to find gluten free almond milk than oat milk, which will typically contain gluten.

Can I use a different flour in this recipe?

You can use any white flour when creating a white sauce. You will obtain the best results from plain (all purpose) flour, however you can also use bread flour or self-raising (cake) flour.

Due to the proportion of starch, self raising flour will thicken the white sauce the most and bread flour will thicken the white sauce the least. Bear this in mind if you make a substitution – you may need a little more milk if you’re using self raising flour, or a little less if you’re using bread flour.

This recipe has been created with plain flour (all purpose), however we have also tested it with gluten free plain flour and gluten free self raising flour and it worked well – much like regular flours, the self raising thickened it more than the plain flour.

Gluten free flour tends to contain pure starches such as arrowroot or cornstarch, which have more thickening power than wheat flour, and thus, will take a shorter time to thicken the white sauce (3-5 minutes rather than 10-15 minutes).

Can you use oat milk instead of milk for cheese sauce?

Absolutely! Oat milk makes a great substitute for regular milk when making a vegan cheese sauce. Make our vegan bechamel sauce with oat milk and, once thickened, stir in around 100g of grated vegan cheese to make a delicious cheesy sauce (perfect for mac ‘n’ cheese and cauliflower cheese!).  You can also add 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast for extra cheesy flavour!

How much white sauce does this recipe make?

This recipe makes approximately 450ml of creamy vegan bechamel sauce.  It’s the perfect amount of vegan white sauce for lasagne.

Can I make this white sauce in advance?

Yes, we often make this white sauce in advance and either refrigerate or freeze it (which is especially helpful at Christmas!).

Once you’ve made this vegan bechamel recipe, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature and then store it as follows:

To refrigerate: Transfer the béchamel to an airtight container, cover the surface with eco cling film (to prevent a skin from forming) and put the lid on.  Place the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To freeze: Transfer the white sauce to a freezer-safe bag and lay the bag of white sauce flat in the freezer. Having the sauce in a thin layer freezes the sauce quickly and also means that you can defrost it quickly. If you don’t have the space in the freezer to do this, you can use an airtight container instead. Freeze for up to 3 months and defrost in the fridge overnight.  Don’t use the sauce from frozen.

Loved this bechamel sauce with oat milk? Here are some more staple recipes to try

I hope you LOVE this recipe for béchamel sauce with oat milk! Please share this recipe with someone you think will love it because it’s our goal to encourage as many people as possible to try plant based eating.

Also, don’t forget to tag @aveganvisit on social media when you make this recipe. I absolutely love seeing your re-creations! Enjoy 🙂 x

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The Written Recipe:

Thick and creamy vegan bechamel sauce in a saucepan being whisked

Béchamel Sauce with Oat Milk (Vegan White Sauce)

Learn how to make this simple Béchamel Sauce with oat milk. A classic 3-ingredient vegan white sauce that is perfect for adding a creamy layer to lasagne or moussaka, and for making dairy free cheese sauce.
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 people (450ml)
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Tara

Ingredients
 
 

  • 40 g vegan butter
  • 60 g plain flour* (see notes)
  • 500 ml oat milk (at room temperature** (unsweetened))

Instructions
 

  • Melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
    40 g vegan butter
  • Once the butter has melted, add the flour and stir it into the melted butter using a whisk to create a ‘roux’ (a thick paste)***.
    60 g plain flour*
  • Keep whisking for 2 minutes to cook off the flour.
  • Add 1/3 of the dairy free milk and whisk it into the roux until it’s fully combined.
    500 ml oat milk
  • Add the remaining milk and whisk until you have a smooth white sauce.
  • Bring the white sauce to the boil and then reduce the heat to low.
  • Stir frequently until the sauce has thickened (approximately 10-15 minutes).
    Note: If you’re using gluten free flour, it will likely thicken the sauce more quickly. All flours vary, but in our test it took just 5 minutes to thicken a white sauce that used gluten free flour.
  • Once the white sauce has thickened, generously season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and use the sauce in your dish of choice.

Notes

Vegan / Dairy Free / Egg Free / Can be made Gluten Free and Wheat Free
Recipe inspired by: France
* You can use any white flour when creating a white sauce. You will obtain the best results from plain (all purpose) flour, however, you can also use bread flour or self raising (cake) flour. Please see the FAQs on the recipe blog for more details.
** It’s important to use room temperature (or even slightly warmed) milk in this recipe. We advise against using cold milk as it can cause lumps in the sauce.
*** Creating a ‘roux’ by cooking the flour in melted butter for a couple of minutes before adding liquid, helps to prevent the flour from forming clumps when liquid is added. Using this method, and whisking the sauce continuously whilst the liquid is being added, will help to create a smooth bechamel.
Please check the allergens on the ingredients you purchase before use. The allergen and nutritional information provided in this recipe is intended as a guide only and is based on the specific ingredients and brands used at the time of creating the recipe, therefore we cannot guarantee that the same will apply to the ingredients you use.
Prep time excludes any inactive time.
We highly recommend you use the metric and 1x options on this recipe card for the best results. Please note that this recipe has not been tested using US measurements or increasing ingredient quantities to 2x or 3x, therefore results may vary.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Net Carbohydrates: 15g
Have you tried this recipe?Tag @aveganvisit on Instagram or hashtag it #aveganvisit!

Tara

Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.