Gluten-Free Béchamel, White Sauce or White Gravy

Just because you are gluten-free, doesn’t mean that you can’t have gravy with your mashed potatoes, a rich cheese sauce with your macaroni and cheese, a lovely alfredo sauce with your pasta, or a roux with your gumbo. Many people use corn starch as an thickening alternative to flour, but I find it leaves a weird aftertaste sometimes. I prefer arrowroot powder or flour. It is much smoother and creates a nice white sauce which you see above. Make a cheese sauce with this béchamel and use it with your fondue pot. Perfect for Valentine’s day!

Gluten-Free Béchamel, White Sauce or Gravy

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Makes 1 cup


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup reduced fat milk (not skim), warm
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg, about a pinch


Pre-heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Place butter in pan and melt. Add arrowroot, begin to whisk to join the two ingredients. Add milk slowly, and continue whisking. Add seasoning. Bring to quick boil. Turn heat to low, while continuing to whisk frequently, will thicken fast. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes, stir. If the sauce appears too thick for your preference, add more milk.


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  1. Béchemel is indeed easy to make gluten free! I prefer to use a flour rather than a starch for it, and have found that millet works really well. Love the flavor of béchemel, great looking recipe!

  2. I have used sweet rice flour and it seems to work…

  3. annielaurie says:

    I love a good simple bechamel recipe. I have used whatever GF flour I’ve had on hand to make mine and I’ve used rice milk, with no poblems. I add nutritonal yeast, w a couple other things, for a cheese sauce. Thanks!

  4. I used sweet rice flour to make a béchamel, but could still taste the “ricey” flavor in the sauce. Don’t like cornstarch either. Does arrowroot leave any aftertaste? Ever try amaranth flour? Thanks!

    • Hey Mary! Yes, the rice flour and corn starch will leave a different taste to the bechamel. I really like arrowroot powder because it is very mild. The butter flavor in this sauce is stronger than the arrowroot flavor so the combination pairs nicely. Let me know if you try it! We love it here. :)

  5. Perfect recipe. no need to modify at all. Thanks a million!

  6. Do you think I could freeze or refrigerate this? I made too much, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to go to waste.

  7. I love this recipe, and am eating alfredo/beschamel noodles right now!! I tried making mac and cheese with this once and it didn’t really work. When do you think i should add the cheese ( i used shredded) – before or after the milk?

  8. I have been wanting to try linguine Alfredo from long time but never attempted to make the gluten free sauce at home. This is wonderful that I cam across your site while looking for arrowroot powder for thickening.

  9. Yay! Let me know what you think! xo


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