Easy Homemade Gluten Free Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Whether you’re gluten-free, or simply looking for a new twist on the classic white sauce recipe, this creamy, luxurious gluten-free bechamel sauce is the perfect base for countless dishes

gluten free bechamel sauce dripping off a wooden spoon

Creamy sauces are not my usual go-to, I am firmly in the tomato-based camp. But there are times when you need a delicious creamy white sauce to add to your meals and recipes. And this gluten free version will not disappoint. Still luxuriously creamy and delicious it’s easy to make and is the perfect base for so many dishes from pasta to my favourite moussaka

Making a traditional bechamel sauce with all purpose flour and butter to create the roux and slowly adding the milk was possibly one of the first things I remember learning to make at school (yes a long time ago). However, living in a house with a person who is gluten intolerant meant that I needed to find a gluten-free alternative. So I embarked on a quest to recreate that perfect creamy consistency without the wheat. I experimented with various gf flours like ready-made mixes, tapioca starch, and white rice flour, but none quite captured the smoothness I craved.

Then, I decided to try corn flour (also known as corn starch). This readily available, high starch content flour, when combined with a little patience and the right technique, created the perfect gluten-free béchamel sauce that rivalled the original!

gluten free bechamel sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon

Gluten-Free Flours and Blood Sugar Control 

Every flour is different and how our blood sugars respond to them is also unique. We have certainly found wheat flour to have the most profound impact on blood glucose and have spent a lot of time investigating gluten-free alternatives. 

However, some gluten-free flours made from grains or starches like rice flour, tapioca starch, or potato starch may have a similar glycemic index (GI) to wheat flour, meaning they can cause similar blood sugar spikes. Corn flour, which I use in this gluten-free recipe, generally has a lower GI compared to wheat flour, making it a potentially better choice for individuals managing blood sugar levels. But remember, this is just a general comparison, and individual flours particularly the many different blends of GF flours available can vary in their GI. 

You can read more about the glycemic index of flours and blood sugar control in the article below:

a bag of flour and sieve with the heading understanding the impact of high vs. low glycemic index flour on blood sugar levels

High vs. low glycemic index Flour

Exploring the Impact of High vs. Low Glycemic Index of flour on Blood Sugar Management is an important part of getting to grips with your diabetes. Read on to understand what the glycaemic index is and which flours can help support better blood sugar levels.

Ingredients for Gluten-free Bechamel Sauce Recipe

Butter

  • A good source of vitamins like A, D, and E. However, it’s also high in saturated fat

Corn flour (corn starch)

  • Made from dried corn kernels
  • Has a moderate Glycaemic Index and is gluten-free

Whole Milk (or your preferred dairy-free milk)

  • Contains all its natural fat, but feel free to use semi or skimmed milk if you prefer
  • Full of protein, calcium and essential vitamins like A, D & B12

Salt & Black Pepper

Grated nutmeg (optional)

  • Adds a punch a flavour to this basic sauce

ingredients for Gluten Free Bechamel sauce

Equipment

How to Make Gluten-Free Bechamel Sauce

This creamy white sauce is even easier to make than a traditional béchamel sauce as it’s a little less temperamental. My top tips however are to not stop whisking and make sure that your heat isn’t too high that the sauce boils. This recipe makes around 500g of gluten free bechamel sauce.

Follow the steps below for the perfect white sauce every time

butter and cornflour roux

Step 1

Melt the butter over low heat in your saucepan.

Whisk in the corn flour into the melted butter until you have a smooth paste.

butter and cornflour roux

Step 2

Gradually whisk in the milk, Start with a little at a time, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. This prevents lumps from forming.

unthickened bechamel sauce in a saucepan

Step 3

When you have added around 200ml of the milk Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Keep whisking while the milk heats through and the sauce begins to thicken

white sauce with seasoning unmixed in a saucepan

Step 4

Whisk constantly and continue to slowly add the rest of the milk until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Season with salt, black pepper & nutmeg

gluten free bechamel sauce in a saucepan with a whisk

Step 5

Enjoy your gluten-free béchamel sauce immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Cutomisations and Tips

For a richer sauce: Add a splash of white wine or a tablespoon of nutritional yeast at the end.

Make it vegan: Use vegan butter and your favourite plant-based milk. Options include unsweetened soy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. Avoid Oat milk as it can spike blood sugars.

Thicken the sauce further: If your sauce seems a little too thin, whisk in a little more corn flour (about ½ teaspoon) mixed with a tablespoon of cold milk. But be careful not to add too much, as it can make the sauce gloopy.

Turn it into a cheese sauce: Once you’ve made the basic recipe, remove it from the heat and whisk in your favourite grated cheese until melted and smooth. Cheddar, parmesan, or Gruyère are all excellent choices.

Experiment with different flavours: Add a pinch of smoked paprika for a smoky twist, or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard for a tangy kick.

Serving suggestions

Here are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy this creamy white sauce

Low-Carb Vegetarian Moussaka: This sauce makes the perfect topping for my delicious low-carb vegetarian moussaka

Gluten-free Mac and Cheese: Use this sauce as a base for a creamy and comforting mac and cheese dish. Simply cook your favourite gluten-free pasta according to package instructions, toss with the sauce, add some cheese and bake until golden brown.

Easy Individual Open Lasagne: Add this white sauce on top of layers of gluten free lasagne sheets stacked with roasted vegetables and tomato sauce.

Add to your Veg: This versatile sauce is a tasty addition on top of your broccoli or cauliflower for a special treat.

gluten free white sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of gluten-free flour besides corn flour?

Yes, other options like your favourite gluten free blend or rice flour might work, but they may not achieve the same smooth texture as corn flour.

What is a good substitute for dairy milk?

Many plant-based milks like soy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk can be used successfully

How long will the sauce last in the fridge?

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Diabetes Note

Corn Flour has a moderate GI and potentially a slower impact on blood sugars compared to a traditional wheat flour bechamel sauce.

Carb Counting

The overall carb count for this sauce based on the ingredients we would count for, is calculated as follows:

60g Cornflour = 55.2g of carbs

400ml Whole Milk = 18.4g of carbs

Now add all the carbs together – 55.2 + 18.4 = 74g of carbs

If you are not using the full amount of sauce in a dish then to work out the carb count per serving, use the following formula below:

infographic of the diabetic carb counting formula

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Easy Gluten Free Bechamel Sauce

Easy Gluten Free Bechamel Sauce

Recipe by Michelle

A creamy, luxurious gluten-free bechamel sauce is the perfect base for countless dishes whilst also being kinder on blood sugars.

Course: SaucesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
5.0 from 1 vote
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Total time

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 60 g 60 butter

  • 60 g 60 corn flour

  • 400 ml 400 milk of choice

  • salt & black pepper to taste

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 grated nutmeg (optional)

Directions

  • Melt the butter over low heat in your saucepan.
  • Whisk in the corn flour into the melted butter until you have a smooth paste.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, Start with a little at a time, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. This prevents lumps from forming.
  • When you have added around 200ml of the milk, Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
    Keep whisking while the milk heats through and the sauce begins to thicken
  • Whisk constantly and continue to slowly add the rest of the milk until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Season with salt, black pepper & nutmeg
  • Enjoy your gluten-free béchamel sauce immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Equipment

Tips and Notes

  • This recipe makes around 500g of gluten-free bechamel sauce
  •  If your sauce seems a little too thin, whisk in a little more corn flour (about ½ teaspoon) mixed with a tablespoon of cold milk
  • Don’t stop whisking and make sure that your heat isn’t too high that the sauce boils
  • Diabetes Note – Corn Flour has a moderate GI and potentially a slower impact on blood sugars compared to a traditional wheat flour bechamel sauce. See Carb Counting Info above
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