What can I use instead of bechamel sauce? (7 alternatives)

In this article, we will answer the following question: What can I use instead of bechamel sauce? We will give you seven alternatives to the classic ingredients of the bechamel sauce, and leave you with a simple replacement for the classic sauce.

What can I use instead of bechamel sauce?

Here is a quick sauce recipe that you can use instead of bechamel sauce. You will need:

  • 100 gr. cream cheese
  • 1 cup skim milk (or whole, is to taste)
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Pepper and salt

Steps to follow:

  1. We beat the cream cheese and little by little we add the milk, until it is a homogeneous mixture. 
  2. At that time we pour the preparation into a non-stick pot and stir with a wooden spoon for 7 minutes over high heat until it begins to thicken. 
  3. We add nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste.

Tip: The sauce thickens much more when it cools as you can see in the photo, so if you want a sauce a little more liquid you can try 1 and a half cups of milk or up to 2 cups. 

These amounts are for approximately 250 to 300 ml of sauce “bechamel express” depending on the amount of milk used.

Seven alternatives to traditional béchamel

Whether you feel bad about milk, whether it is flour you hate or your black beast is the saturated fat in butter, you can also make a homemade béchamel lady without these ingredients. Even everyone at the same time. 

Purists will say that this concoction without flour, milk or butter cannot be called béchamel because two pears are not the same as two apples, but we have decided to go beyond those categories and opt for alternative sauces that will work just as well as our friend. the traditional bechamel in croquettes, cannelloni, lasagna or baked vegetables.

But let’s start with the quantities, which in this case will vary depending on the ingredients we choose and, of course, depending on how thick or liquid we like this sauce or what the dish in which we are going to include it requires. But we could say that the standard measures of a traditional bechamel are half a liter of whole milk, 50 g of butter and another 50 g of flour (a little more if we are going to make croquettes). 

Starting from there, each one that adapts the quantities to their tastes and needs when they get down to work with these alternative sauces that are much lighter and more elegant than traditional béchamel.

  1.  We substitute the milk for homemade vegetable broth. And we have a fantastic béchamel to accompany some gratin baked vegetables or vegetable croquettes. In fact, if we have boiled a broccoli or a cauliflower, a good option is to prepare the béchamel with the leftover broth, a touch of flour and butter, put in the oven to gratin with a good cheese and… delicious to the song!
  1. Butter for olive oil. Substituting the saturated fats in butter for the polyunsaturated fats in olive oil is usually a good idea. Our recommendation is to avoid extra virgin and use olive oil with a discreet flavor, even a sunflower or sesame oil can work.
  1.  Milk for vegetable drinks. But be careful, because a good part of the vegetable milks have a sweet flavor that perhaps makes the dish we are making a bad feeling. We recommend avoiding some with a very strong flavor, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or oats, and opting for those with a more discreet flavor, such as the vegetable drink of rice or soy. 

Make it ecological and without additives, since industrial companies usually have added sugars that should be avoided because they will modify the flavor of the dish.

  1. Wheat for other cereals. We can substitute wheat flour for rye, spelled, Kamut, buckwheat, rice, or any other cereal that feels better to us. It will slightly change the color of the béchamel, which will also have a much less mealy flavor and will feel infinitely better.
  1.  Butter for vegan butter. We can buy it made or prepare it at home so that we will always have our vegan butter or margarine ready for breakfast.
  1. Flour for chickpea flour. In addition to being very nutritious and delicious, because its flavor is discreet and we will hardly notice the difference with a traditional béchamel, chickpea flour is gluten-free, so it is perfect for both celiacs and for all those who in recent times have decided to follow the ‘gluten-free’ trend.
  1. Spices to taste. Once we get the hang of tuning the béchamel, we can improvise depending on the dish we are going to cook. We can make, for example, an almond béchamel with a vegetable drink and flour from this dried fruit, which will be perfect for some dishes. 

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

What can I use if I don’t have pasta sauce?

Is Alfredo sauce healthier than marinara?

Is Alfredo a bechamel sauce?


With the bechamel sauce, we recommend eating it in smaller quantities, as it is high in calories and contains a lot of sodium (400 mg/100g). 

Instead, you can prepare with the alternatives mentioned above. We know they may not go with every dish, but remember that you can also be creative and improvise a healthier alternative to the bechamel sauce!

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.




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