Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (2024)

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Gluten-free white sauce, also known as a béchamel, is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine. This basic white sauce recipe, made from butter, gluten-free flour, and milk, can be used on its own or as a base for many other dishes. Easy to customize for dairy-free or grain-free options.

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (1)
Jump to:
  • Why You Need This Recipe
  • Ways to Use Béchamel
  • Simple Ingredients
  • Substitutions
  • Variations
  • How to Make White Sauce Without Flour
  • Top Recipe Tips
  • Storage
  • Recipe FAQs
  • More Gluten-Free Sauce Recipes
  • Recipe
  • Comments and Ratings

Why You Need This Recipe

This gluten-free white sauce recipe may not seem like much, but knowing how to make a creamy white sauce can come in handy in the kitchen! Classic béchamel sauce has been used for generations to enhance many dishes and make them more appetizing.

Simply put, a white sauce is a milk-based sauce thickened with flour. It starts with a roux, which is just a mixture of equal parts flour and butter, cooked together. Then milk is added to the roux to make the sauce.

Like this gluten-free spaghetti sauce, this gluten-free béchamel is easy to make and tastes phenomenal.

Ways to Use Béchamel

On its own, this simple sauce can compliment vegetables or meats. Or use this basic recipe to thicken creamy soups and casseroles. Mix in other ingredients, such as herbs, mushrooms, or cheese, and you can easily create an entirely new sauce.

This sauce is so versatile, it's no wonder it was dubbed a mother sauce! Here are just a few more ways to use this gluten-free recipe:

  • Spooned over roasted vegetables to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
  • Add fresh herbs like dill and serve with fish.
  • White sauce is often used as a layer in traditional gluten-free lasagna.
  • Use it as the base to thicken chicken pot pie, gluten-free hashbrown casseroles, or gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup.
  • Adding cheddar cheese creates a delicious cheese sauce for gluten-free au gratin potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or nachos!
  • Swap the milk for chicken or beef stock to make gluten-free gravy.
  • In place of butter, cooked breakfast sausage and the drippings make a delicious southern gravy for biscuits and gravy!

Simple Ingredients

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (2)

Only three main ingredients are needed to make a gluten-free béchamel sauce: butter, sweet rice flour, and milk.

  • Sweet Rice Flour, also known as glutinous rice flour, is the key ingredient to this effortless sauce! Sweet rice flour provides the most consistent results and produces a velvety smooth, thick sauce, most similar to all purpose flour, without any grittiness or strange mouthfeel.
    • Surely, you can also use white rice flour, brown rice flour, or other gluten-free flour blends but they don't produce the same consistent results as plain sweet rice flour.
    • Depending on your gluten-free blend, the sauce may end up gummy and gloopy. If you're choosing a blend, try to use one without gums included.
    • Corn starch cannot be used to make a roux so it is not recommended for this particular recipe.
  • Milk: Whole milk or 2% milk are preferred, although cream could also be used for a much richer sauce.

Substitutions

Dairy-Free: Substitute dairy-free milk and butter, such as vegan butter or olive oil and almond milk or oat milk.
Grain-free: Substitute potato starch for the sweet rice flour.

Variations

It is very easy to infuse other flavors into a classic white sauce. Here are some classic variations:

  • Cheese sauce:Remove the pan from heat and stir in ½-1 cup of grated cheese. Use any combination of easily meltable cheeses, such as parmesan cheese, cheddar, gruyere, or Monterey Jack.
  • Parsley or herb sauce:stir in 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley or other fresh herbs before serving, such as tarragon, oregano, rosemary, or thyme.
    For dried herbs, add ½ teaspoon to the sauce while it simmers.
  • Onion or shallot sauce:sauté finely chopped onion or shallot in the butter before adding the flour.
  • Mushroom sauce:sauté mushrooms in butter before adding the flour.
  • White wine sauce: Replace ⅓ of the milk with white wine. Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon, or thyme before serving.

How to Make White Sauce Without Flour

It is very simple to make a white sauce. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes. Essentially you'll make a gluten-free roux by cooking butter and rice flour together, then you'll add milk and cook until thick. That's it!

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (3)
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle in sweet rice flour.
  3. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk.
  5. Continue to cook until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (4)

Top Recipe Tips

  • Add the milk gradually, whisking well after each addition. This will help prevent lumps.
  • When the sauce has thickened properly, it will coat the back of a spoon. If you swipe your finger through, it should not run back together.
  • If the sauce is too thick, feel free to add more milk to reach your desired consistency!

Storage

Usually, a white sauce is prepared when you need it, but you can make it in advance if needed. Either keep warm on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Add more milk as needed for the desired consistency.

To refrigerate, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, again adding more milk, if needed, to thin the sauce.

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (5)

Recipe FAQs

What can I use instead of flour in white sauce?

Sweet rice flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend without gums will produce results closest to wheat flour.

What is the best gluten-free flour to use in a roux?

Sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour, is the best option. It can be substituted measure for measure with wheat flour and produces a similar velvety-smooth thickness.

Does white sauce contain gluten?

Yes. Unless you specifically make it gluten-free with a gluten-free flour.

What can I add to white sauce for flavor?

Adding flavor to a basic white sauce can be as simple as adding salt and pepper. Or, you can add herbs, wine, shallots, mushrooms, or cheese to add flavor.

More Gluten-Free Sauce Recipes

  • Gluten-free Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Easy and Flavorful Gluten-Free Au Jus Recipe
  • Homemade Chipotle Mayo
  • Gluten-Free Buttermilk Ranch Dip or Dressing Recipe

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Recipe

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (10)

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel)

Katie Olesen

Gluten-free white sauce, also known as a classic béchamel sauce, is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine. This easy recipe, made from butter, gluten-free flour, and milk, can be used on its own or as the base for many other sauces. Easy to customize for dairy-free or grain-free options.

5 from 4 votes

Pin Recipe Print Recipe Save

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 15 minutes mins

Total Time 20 minutes mins

Course Sauces

Diet Gluten Free

Servings 4

Calories 101 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet (glutinous) rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
  • teaspoon black pepper, optional
  • 1 cup milk, plus more as needed to reach desired consistency

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.

  • Whisk in sweet rice flour.

  • Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

  • Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

  • Gradually whisk in the milk.

  • Continue to cook over medium to low heat, stirring continuously, until the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes.

  • Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

Notes

  • Add the milk gradually, whisking well after each addition. This will help prevent lumps.
  • When the sauce has thickened properly, it will coat the back of a spoon. If you swipe your finger through, it should not run back together.
  • If the sauce is too thick, feel free to add more milk to reach your desired consistency!
  • Store sauce in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat on stovetop or microwave, adding more milk if needed to thin the sauce.
  • Dairy-Free or Vegan: Substitute vegan butter or oil and dairy-free milk of choice.
  • Grain-Free: Substitute potato starch.

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 274IUCalcium: 77mgIron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and star rating below!

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  1. Kim

    Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (15)
    This sauce was excellent! I used it in a pancetta, mushroom, spinach sauce for pasta. It had a velvety texture which I loved. For the pasta, I added some white wine and pasta water to thin it a bit. This is now my go to sauce for bechamel. Thank you thank you for this lovely recipe

    Reply

  2. Bonnie in Spanaway, WA

    Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) - Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (16)
    Very easy to make. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Baking Flour. It is a blend of white & brown rice flours, with potato starch (and sorghum & xantham gum), but it worked just fine providing you continually whisk and mash it as it cooks for the 2 minutes...it WILL clump, but that's okay as it all smoothes out well when slowing adding the milk base (I used cashew milk). For the butter, I used a plant-based spread. I did add the salt and pepper, scallion, and wine. It DOES suck up the milk and gets THICK, so it's vital to keep adding a milk base for thinner consistency. It thickens even as it sits at the dinner table in a gravy boat so be aware of this.

    Reply

Gluten-Free White Sauce (Béchamel) -  Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe! (2024)

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