This cauliflower bechamel sauce is such a creamy, healthy bechamel for any pasta bake, casserole, or gratin. It’s also dairy-free and gluten-free, made without flour or butter.
I love sneaking more vegetables into our dinners.
Since cauliflower is almost flavorless, it’s easy to turn it into hummus, sauce, or this delicious cauliflower bechamel sauce recipe to use in lasagna or casseroles.
What Is Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce?
A cauliflower bechamel sauce is a creamy white sauce made from cooked, blended cauliflower. It’s thick, creamy like a classic bechamel, but it’s also dairy-free and flourless.
As a result, cauliflower bechamel is a healthy bechamel recipe, low in fat and calories, low in carbs, and high in vitamins and nutrients.
It’s also a great sauce for anyone on a low-carb vegan diet.
How To Make Cauliflower Bechamel
To make a cauliflower bechamel, you need a food processor, blender, or at least an immersion blender to turn your cooked cauliflower into a puree.
Next, you need a bunch of wholesome ingredients to make this creamy cauliflower sauce.
- Fresh Cauliflower Forest – Trim the florets and measure the number of cups you need. It’s ok if you use too much cauliflower, but the sauce will be ticker, and you may need more liquid to thin out.
- Almond Milk, oat milk, or soy milk – any plant-based milk works great.
- Vegetable Stock
- Olive Oil or plant-based butter
- Plant-Based Cream – Like coconut cream, cashew cream, or soy cream. You can also use a bit more non-dairy milk if you don’t have cream available or you don’t want to increase fat in your sauce.
- Garlic Cloves
- Trimming Cauliflower – Trim the cauliflower head, remove the feet, and keep the florets. Wash and place in a vegetable steamer.
- Steaming – Steam the cauliflower until it’s fork-tender. It takes about 15 minutes. Remove it from the steamer and let it cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Cooking Onions – Meanwhile, warm olive oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick saucepan. Add garlic and onion, cook, and stir for a few minutes until fragrant and golden brown.
- Adding Stock – Then pour in plant-based milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then stop the heat and cover the pan. Set aside while the cauliflower is cooking.
Blending The Ingredients
- Blending Sauce – In a high-speed blender, add the steamed, cooled cauliflower florets. Pack the cooked florets in a measuring cup to measure the amount requested by the recipe, or the sauce may be too thin or thick.
Add the lukewarm milk mixture, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
Blend on high speed – speed 9 of your Vitamix, until smooth and thick. Add in cream and blend again to incorporate. If too thick or difficult to blend, add more almond milk or a splash of water.
You can also blend the sauce with an immersion blender in a saucepan, but it comes out grainy not as smooth.
I recommend placing all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or, eventually, a food processor and blending on high speed.
- Adjusting – If it’s too thick, add some more plant-based milk as you blend. Stop adding milk when the texture and consistency reach your liking.
Taste the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Using Cauliflower Bechamel
This bechamel can be used as a replacement for any bechamel in recipes like:
- Cooked Pasta as a thick creamy sauce
- Steamed Vegetables – cover steamed broccoli or potatoes with this bechamel sauce in a large baking dish. Then, add dairy-free cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes at 350°F (180°C) to make a delicious side dish.
You can store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or, freeze the cauliflower sauce in an airtight container for up to one month.
That in the fridge the day before and rewarm in a non-stick saucepan.
If you need to adapt the recipe for any allergy reasons or because you don’t have some of the ingredients, try the options below.
- Gluten-Free – Make sure the vegetable stock is wheat free, which is most of the time fine.
- Nut-Free – Use a nondairy milk like oat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.
- Cream-Free – Swap the plant-based cream for more dairy-free milk.
- Vegetable Stock Free – Use cold water, and to add flavor to the sauce, add some dry spices like dried oregano or dried parsley.
- Oil-Free – You can cook onion and garlic with plant-based milk and stock without stir-frying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are my answers to your common questions about this bechamel sauce recipe.
Bechamel is a thick creamy sauce that adds a milky, creamy texture to dishes like lasagna or vegetable casserole.
Bechamel sauce goes well with steamed vegetables to make an au gratin recipe.
Pour the bechamel over steamed broccoli, potatoes, pumpkin, or cauliflower and bake to broil the top.
Alfredo sauce is made without flour. It’s a sauce high in butter and cream, while bechamel is made from a roux, a mix of butter and flour that thickens the milk.
Yes, you can boil water, add cauliflower florets and boil until fork-tender – about 6-8 minutes.
Then, steam out in a colander before using it in the blender. The sauce is slightly more watery if you use the boiling method than steaming.
Did You Like This Recipe?
For a cheesy flavor
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
- In a large non-stick saucepan, warm olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and onion and stir fry for one minute, until fragrant.
- Add almond milk and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then stop the heat and cover the pan. Set aside while steaming cauliflower florets.
- In a vegetable steamer, place the small cauliflower florets and steam until fork-tender – it takes about 15 minutes.
- When cooked, remove from the heat and let it steam out for 10 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is less warm, measure 5 cups of steamed cauliflower florets and place in a high-speed blender.
- In the blender, add the remaining ingredients: lukewarm milk mixture made in step 1, dairy-free cream. nutmeg, nutritional yeast if used, salt, and pepper.
- Blend on high speed – speed 9 of a Vitamix blender – until smooth and creamy.
- If too thick and difficult to blend, add a splash of almond milk or cold water.
- To rewarm, return to a non-stick saucepan over low, medium heat to warm the sauce, and stir in more almond milk if too thick or more nutritional yeast to increase the cheese flavor.
- Use as a bechamel sauce for lasagna, cooked pasta, or to make a broccoli casserole.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator the day before.