This recipe for white sauce with cornflour is invaluable. White sauce is a key part of many meals, and this gluten free cornflour white sauce is easy to make. It's also healthier and lower in fat than most alternatives.
What's different about this recipe?
One of the most common types of white sauce is a béchamel. However, this contains quite a lot of butter, wheat flour and a fiddly two step process which can easily end up with a lumpy sauce. This easy white sauce is made with cornflour rather than wheat flour.
- It's very quick and easy to make a silky smooth sauce
- Cornstarch is naturally gluten free
- Low fat. Cornflour white sauce is made without butter, and you can control the level of fat in the sauce by the type of milk that you use.
It's a very simple list. You'll need:
Cornflour, or cornstarch as it is sometimes known, is made from the kernel of corn. It's milled into a flavourless white powder, and is great for thickening sauces and gravies. (See here about a fuller explanation about cornflour if you want to double check you've got the right ingredient!) Provided that you always mix cornflour into a cold liquid first, you'll find it easy to avoid lumps. Cornflour is naturally gluten free.
You can use any kind of milk to make this white sauce, either dairy or vegan. If you want a very low fat white sauce, then use skimmed milk. Even then, you'll end up with a creamy, silky result. Alternatively, if you want something richer, use milk with a higher fat content, or add a splash of olive oil or cream
Seasoning is key with a low fat white sauce recipe, as you want to end up with a good flavour. As well as salt and pepper, you might want to include some other flavours such as nutmeg, or mustard
How to make white sauce with cornflour
Making a gluten free white sauce with cornflour is very easy.
Simply add the cold milk and other ingredients to a cold pan. Slowly bring to the boil stirring all the time. The sauce will thicken as it comes to the boil. Simmer for a minute or two to make sure that the cornflour is cooked, and voila. If you want your cornflour white sauce to be slightly thinner, just add a little more milk.
It's easy to adapt this healthy white sauce with cornflour:
- A large handful of chopped parsley will transform it into a quick, healthy parsley sauce for fish or gammon. (See here for the full recipe for parsley sauce.)
- Chopped spinach, either fresh or frozen will make a lovely vibrant green sauce, which is perfect with pasta
- And a splash of white wine plus some cooked mushrooms and onions will make a lovely gluten free white sauce for chicken
- If you want an easy cheese sauce, add some grated cheese. Using a strong flavoured cheese such as mature cheddar or parmesan will mean that you need to use less to get a good flavour. I'd suggest 40-50 gr of cheese to 400ml of milk, and a pinch of dried mustard and maybe some Worcestershire sauce. See here for the the full recipe for cheese sauce with cornflour
How to serve white sauce
This recipe is ideal for a number of popular family meals. It's a perfect healthy white sauce for lasagne, with either beef, turkey or sweet potato and kale. It's also ideal for a gluten free fish pie. You could also serve it with vegetables or pasta, maybe with a topping of grilled cheese.
Freezing and storage
White sauce with cornflour will keep in the fridge for a few days if you want to make it ahead of time. When you are ready to use it, warm it through in a pan on the hob, and whisk until it returns to a smooth sauce. You can also freeze white sauce - it may look a little split as it defrosts, but a quick whisk as it heats up will solve the problem.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, cornflour can be used to thicken a sauce in place of flour. However, you'll need to adjust the recipe slightly. Mix the cornflour into cold liquid before adding it to the sauce, and use half the quantity of cornflour.
Other healthy sauces you might be interested in
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White Sauce with Cornflour
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 400 ml cold milk see notes above
- salt and pepper to taste
- grating of nutmeg
- Add the cold milk to a cold saucepan and whisk in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- If you want your sauce a little thinner, add more milk to achieve the desired consistency.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.