This creamy, silky keto béchamel sauce tastes just as good as the classic French bechamel, but without all the carbs! Pour it over vegetables, use it in lasagna, eat it with eggs - so many possibilities.
Table of contents
What is béchamel sauce?
Béchamel is also known as white sauce. It is a classic French sauce made from butter, white flour and milk. You cook the flour and butter to form a thick mixture called a roux. Then, the milk is added slowly until the desired creamy consistency is reached.
In French cooking, bechamel is considered one of the five "mother sauces". This is because you can use it as a base for other sauces.
How to make bechamel keto friendly
Whilst a "proper" bechamel is certainly delicious, there's a problem: it is not gluten-free and it is high in carbs because of the flour and the milk. Not what we want on a Keto Diet!
So, how do you make a thick and creamy low carb bechamel sauce that looks and tastes like the real deal?
Many recipes simply add an extra portion of mozzarella. Don't get me wrong - a keto cheese sauce tastes great, but bechamel is not supposed to be cheesy.
My version of béchamel is by no means authentic, but it tastes wonderful. I settled on the following ingredients:
- Cream cheese - full fat
- Double Cream - that's heavy whipping cream in the US
- Egg yolk - this helps thicken the sauce
- Chicken broth - for an extra bit of flavour
- Salt and nutmeg - the classic bechamel seasoning
The sauce is so thick and lovely you're going to want to pour it over almost anything. Thanks to my swaps, it's just 1.9 net carbs per serving.
Keto Bechamel sauce - step by step
Add the butter, cream cheese, ½ cup heavy whipping cream and chicken stock to a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the butter melts - about 2 minutes. Do not boil.
Now, put the egg yolk in a cup. Add a little of the warmed cream mixture to it, mixing well with a fork, then add back into the saucepan.
This step is essential! It will stop the béchamel splitting.
Stir constantly over a low heat using a hand balloon whisk for about 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Don't overheat the sauce or the egg yolk can curdle.
You can customise this gluten free, low carb bechamel sauce by adding one or more of the following ingredients:
- shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
- grated parmesan cheese, gruyere or Emmental (to make a low carb sauce mornay)
- white wine or sherry
- lemon juice
- puréed sautéed onions (for a soubise sauce)
Where to use low carb bechamel
Here are a few ideas which low carb recipes and meals work well with bechamel:
- Vegetables such as cauliflower, zucchini noodles, broccoli or Brussels sprouts
- keto lasagna
- Eggplant lasagna
- Any casserole dish that is topped with cheese - use the keto bechamel as a final layer before the cheese
- zucchini boats
- Croque Monsieur (use my 90 Second Keto Bread)
- boiled eggs
- your protein of choice such as fish or chicken
Keto bechamel sauce stays fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Reheat slowly so the sauce does not split.
More essential keto sauce recipes
In my opinion, it's the sauces that take a meal from simply food to simply delicious. Here are some of my favourites:
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Keto Bechamel Saucefrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 14g
- ½ cup cream cheese 120g
- ½ cup heavy cream 120ml
- ¼ cup chicken stock 60ml
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of flaked sea
- pinch of nutmeg
- Add the butter, cream cheese, cream and chicken stock to a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until the butter melts - about 2 minutes. Do not boil.
- Put the egg yolk in a separate cup. Add a little of the warmed sauce to it, mixing well with a fork (this step is essential to stop the béchamel splitting).
- Add the yolk mix into the saucepan. Stir constantly over a low heat using a hand balloon whisk for about 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Don't overheat the sauce or the egg yolk will curdle.
- Season with salt and nutmeg to taste.
- shredded mozzarella or cheddar for a Keto Cheese Sauce
- grated parmesan, gruyere or Emmental (to make a low carb sauce mornay)
- white wine or sherry
- lemon juice
- puréed sautéed onions