Béchamel Sauce with Olive Oil – An Alternative
Béchamel Sauce is simply a fancy name for what most people know as a white sauce.
It is a base for many different sauces and is necessary to master, as you will see white sauce listed in a lot of recipes.
Of course, I am using olive oil in place of the butter, that is typical in most recipes.
Read on if you are also looking for a keto béchamel sauce. I’ve included some substitutions below. (I think you will like it.)
The Five French Mother Sauces
Have you heard of the five French Mother Sauces? They are:
- Classic Tomato Sauce, and (of course)
These sauces are seen as the five bases of classic sauce cookery.
The term ‘Mother’ is an umbrella phrase to categorize each of the sauces’ spin-offs and adaptations, basically the children born from the five sauce recipes.
You will know some of those adapted sauces, including:
- Cheese sauce, also known as Mornay, which comes from Béchamel
- Béarnaise which is a twist on Hollandaise
- Creole with a tomato sauce base
Traditionally, all of the sauces, besides Hollandaise, are made with a basic roux recipe.
What is a Roux?
A roux is a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and fat. A liquid is then slowly added until it is smooth and creamy, then it comes to the boil to thicken. At this point you have a simple roux, and you can now personalize it.
Each of the Mother recipes use different variations of the roux – velouté is made with liquid stock and espagnole has a rich base of tomato purée, diced onions, carrots and celery.
These days, there are hundreds of variations for each of the Mother sauces, chefs tweaking here and there to incorporate flavors or catering to dietary requirements.
I have decided to add my own twist, with the inclusion of extra virgin olive oil.
Can I Make a Roux with Olive Oil?
Yes! Working with olive oil in a roux is the same process as making the roux with any other oil or fat.
I put together a quick video to accompany the recipe. This will help if you want to see the technique for making the roux or the finished sauce.
White Sauce with Olive Oil
Béchamel will always be the classic – a simple combination of a roux with milk, plus a pinch of nutmeg to complement the creamy flavor. Typically, it is made with butter – it is French after all – but, as you know, here we all love olive oil!
Furthermore, a roux is a mixture of flour and fat, so anything goes.
This recipe for Béchamel with olive oil is the perfect substitute if you are looking to reduce your butter intake, or even if you forgot to pick up some butter at the store.
It still retains that creamy texture, yet is much lighter thanks to the extra virgin olive oil’s peppery notes and gentle acidity.
Instead, it lends an Italian twist to the classic French recipe which is perfect for your vegetables, pasta, or lasagna.
Recipes for Your Olive Oil Béchamel
We all know Béchamel is delicious covering a lasagna like a creamy blanket, or mixed with cheese then stirred into macaroni.
There are many ways to serve it, so here are a few suggestions on how to use your Béchamel Sauce with Olive Oil:
- Moussaka – another Mediterranean recipe from a country with an exorbitant supply of olives and olive oil. Moussaka is Greek and consists of layers of eggplant, spiced lamb mince, potato and Béchamel. Use olive oil Béchamel for a taste of the Mediterranean.
- Fish Pie – Under a bed of mashed potato hides chunks of flaky fish and pearly pink shrimp all bundled together in Béchamel sauce. If you fill your pie with salmon and other oily fish, the olive oil in the Béchamel will complement the fresh flavors, as well as boosting the fish’s healthy fats and Omega-3. Check out my post on the 21 Remarkable Benefits of Olive Oil
- Dairy-Free Béchamel – Mastering olive oil Béchamel means you can create a diary-free recipe. Instead of using milk, try a dairy-free milk substitute like soy or almond.
- Cabbage Lasagna – My recipe for lasagna, using cabbage instead of pasta sheets, is the perfect excuse to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. The olive oil Béchamel and layers of cabbage create a significantly lighter lasagna, so you can go back for more!
Keto Béchamel Sauce
Yes, you can even make your white sauce keto friendly.
Instead of flour, try substituting unflavored whey protein in the same 1:1 ratio with the olive oil when making the roux.
Then, feel free to substitute another liquid for the milk. Broth, stock, almond milk, and even half-and-half will work to smooth out your sauce.
Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce) with Olive Oil
- 400 ml Whole Milk
- 40 g All Purpose Flour
- 40 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 g Salt
- 3 g Pepper
- 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
- In a deep saucepan over medium heat add the extra virgin olive oil, then add the flour, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the warm milk and stir to avoid the formation of lumps.
- Stir constantly to prevent sticking, cook for 5 minutes until the béchamel sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Add salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.
- Use béchamel sauce immediately so it is easier to spread.