A Gaggle of Girls
I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters. We've outgrown dairy, soy, egg, and corn allergies, but still deal with a berry allergy in my youngest.
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postheadericon Basic Dairy-Free White Sauce

This is the basis for so many dishes – it can act like melted cheese on lasagna, an alfredo sauce, the basis for a sour-cream stroganoff, or any dairy-free alternative for a cream-of soup. This entry is linked innumerable times, and its uses are really only limited by your imagination!

You will note that this is made using coconut milk. If needed, it could be made using any other milk substitute, but the texture is best with coconut milk. It does not taste like coconut – for some reason savory dishes using coconut milk have no residual coconut flavor. Many, many people have eaten dishes that include this recipe, including people who profess to dislike anything coconut, and none of them ever guessed!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegetarian/vegan recipe.

Dairy-Free White Sauce


  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk

  • 3 TBS margarine or cooking oil
  • 3-4 TBS arrowroot, corn, or tapioca starch
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • additional seasonings as desired – we like Italian seasoning, Herbes de Provence, or Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning
  • 1 small onion, a few mushrooms, 1 stalk celery, or other desired vegetable, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine, broth, or other liquid

Melt margarine or heat oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add minced garlic (and any other vegetable you need – ie: mushrooms for cream-of-mushroom soup substitute), and sauté until tender.

Mix 3 TBS starch into the saucepan, it should become a thick paste. If it’s runny, add a bit more starch until it’s thick.

Whisk in the white wine, broth, or other liquid. Continue whisking, and pour in the coconut milk.

While whisking the sauce, add salt and any spices. Continue whisking over medium heat, as the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens.

Once the sauce thickens, use in any recipe as directed.

3 Responses to “Basic Dairy-Free White Sauce”

  • Kosher wine…

    Wine is funny. For example, some wines at 14% a.c. appear to be hot, while others at the same a.c. don\’t. Paraiso Springs Vineyards 1997 Syrah does seem a bit hot at 14%…

  • andrew:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you soooooooo much for the white sauce recipe. We used a variation with coconut cream instead of of the coconut milk (same amount) and beef broth and adapted our own beef strogonoff recipe with this amazing sauce.
    When I get around to typing up our recipe I’ll share it with you for a variation on your own recipe.
    My wife and I agreed that the dish was incredible. Who would have thought that coconut milk would not just be satisfactory, but, actually better than the old recipe with dairy! It was plate licking good!

    I can’t wait to try my Alfredo recipe tomorrow to use up the remaining sauce.

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