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How to make bechamel at home: the traditional and vegan version
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How to make bechamel at home: the traditional and vegan version

Quick and easy recipe for a genuine bechamel sauce ready in just 5 minutes

Bechamel is a creamy sauce of French origin which, given its versatility, has now become a fundamental component of Italian cuisine.

It is a white sauce with a full and delicate flavor which is made, in its traditional version, essentially with three main ingredients: milk, butter and flour. Spices and aromas can then be added to this basic mixture, creating different variations.

The vegan version of bechamel does not involve the use of butter and milk which are replaced with ingredients of plant origin such as vegan margarine (or EVO oil) and soy milk (or almond milk or oat milk).

Homemade bechamel is made in no more than 5 minutes with a very simple process and the results are significantly better in terms of authenticity than ready-made bechamel on the market.

Recipe for traditional bechamel

Here's how to prepare bechamel in the traditional version:

Ingredients

  • 50 g of butter
  • 50 g of flour
  • 500 ml of fresh milk (preferably whole for a richer flavor, but partially skimmed is also fine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg (optional)

 

Procedure

  1. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt it completely over medium heat;
  2. Gradually add the sifted flour to the melted butter, stirring it in little by little to avoid the formation of lumps;
  3. Cook the mixture for a few minutes over medium-low heat, continuing to stir constantly. Then, add the milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency;
  4. Finally, adjust with a pinch of salt and pepper;
  5. At this point, according to your taste, you can grate a little fresh nutmeg to emphasize the flavor.

 

Bechamel sauce is essential in many Italian recipes such as lasagna, cannelloni, and many other dishes. It can be customized by adding ingredients like cheese for a creamier version or incorporating other flavors such as garlic or herbs to enhance the taste.

Recipe for vegan bechamel

Here's how to prepare vegan bechamel:

Ingredients

  • 50 g of vegan margarine or vegetable oil (e.g., olive oil)
  • 50 g of flour
  • 500 ml of plant-based milk (such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg (optional)

 

Procedure

  1. Melt the vegan margarine (or heat the extra virgin olive oil) in a saucepan over medium heat;
  2. Gradually add the sifted flour to the melted margarine, stirring it in little by little to avoid the formation of lumps;
  3. Gradually add the soy milk (or almond or oat milk) and continue stirring until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency;
  4. Finally, adjust with a pinch of salt and pepper;
  5. If desired, you can also grate some fresh nutmeg to emphasize the flavor.

 

Vegan bechamel can be further customized by adding grated vegan cheese, garlic powder, or aromatic herbs to vary the taste according to your preferences.

This vegan version of bechamel is used in many vegan recipes and is suitable for anyone following a dairy-free diet.

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