This gluten free bread sauce recipe is easy to make, and tastes just like the real deal. It's the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken or turkey. Now there's no need to make a separate sauce, everyone will enjoy this traditional British classic recipe without even knowing it is gluten free.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Quick and simple to make, with no waiting around. This easy free from bread sauce tastes as good as the original!
- Ideal for using up stale gluten free bread
- Lower in fat than many sauces (and you can adjust to suit). This bread sauce is made without cream, but you can add a splash if you prefer
- Gluten free bread sauce is great for meal prep if you want to get ahead. It also freezes very well
- This savoury, creamy bread sauce recipe is a perfect side dish for a Sunday roast or a traditional British Christmas lunch
Milk. Whole milk will give you a slightly creamier bread sauce, but you could use skimmed milk if you prefer. You can also make a dairy-free gluten-free bread sauce which is vegan if you use a non-dairy milk such as GF oat milk (and omit the butter).
Onion adds a subtle savoury flavour. Chop it very finely, or use a grater. That way the flavour will infuse into the milk more quickly.
Bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg and seasoning. The fragrant, aromatic spices and seasoning are important in bread sauce. Let's face it, bread and milk would be pretty tasteless by themselves! Cloves are traditional and give the sauce its distinctive taste. Six cloves will be noticeable, but not overpowering, so adjust this to suit. If you prefer you could use a pinch of ground cloves.
You could also replace nutmeg with ground allspice or mace.
Gluten free white bread. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of GF bread, but it is perfect for this gluten free bread sauce. It falls apart quite easily, and makes excellent bread crumbs. If you've been experimenting with GF loafs and had a few failures, turn them into breadcrumbs and use them in this sauce, or to make sage and onion stuffing, or baked gluten free chicken goujons. Stale bread is ideal but not essential. You can also use a gluten free sourdough loaf.
Butter. A small amount of butter added at the end adds extra richness. Adjust the creaminess to suit. If you're trying to reduce the saturated fat in your diet, just add a small amount, if it's not an issue and you want a richer flavour, add a little more. You could also add a splash of cream to the finished sauce.
How to make gluten free bread sauce
Ideally, use a non stick pan as milk can have a tendency to stick. Keep the heat very low throughout, so that the milk doesn't boil over.
Add the milk to the pan along with the very finely chopped onion, bay leaf, cloves, grated nutmeg and season generously. Bring up to a boil on a very low heat, and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. This will ensure that the fragrant flavours infuse into the milk.
Make the breadcrumbs. Trim the crust off each slice, and either blitz in a food processor or liquidiser or crumble the bread by hand.
Remove the bay leaf and cloves. Add the breadcrumbs to the milk and let it gently bubble for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the butter, and taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- If you'd prefer, you can blitz the sauce for a smoother texture. Or if you'd prefer to remove the onions, sieve them out before adding the breadcrumbs
- You can also make an extra creamy gluten free bread sauce by adding a little double or single cream
- If you want a slightly thinner sauce, add a little more milk at the end
Gluten free bread is expensive, so if you ever have any left, pop it in a bag in the freezer. You can use it for breadcrumbs for recipes such as this homemade bread sauce and these healthy chicken goujons.
If you want, you can leave the milk to infuse with the flavours of the spices for up to a couple of hours. Do whatever works best for the rest of your timetable.
Serving and storage
You can serve the bread sauce immediately. It's usually served hot or warm, but if you prefer it cold, go ahead!
If you want to make it ahead of serving, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat it gently on the stove. Add a little more milk if necessary as it will thicken further when it cools.
Homemade gluten free bread sauce also freezes well. Defrost overnight in the fridge and heat through on the stove.
It's traditional to serve English bread sauce as a side dish with roast chicken, roast turkey or game such as goose, especially on Christmas day. The flavours of cloves, nutmeg, bay and onion really complement white meat. Try it with this spatchcock chicken, and you can go all out with gluten free Yorkshire puddings and onion gravy.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, there are a number of gluten free bread sauce mixes on the market. But tempting as they may be, they often contain additives and even sugar. Why not try making your own with this simple recipe. It really is one of the easiest sauces to make as it thickens straight away with breadcrumbs. Homemade bread sauce is so much nicer than anything out of a packet. And you can make it ahead of time if you want to take the pressure off a busy day.
Bread sauce is a savoury sauce served with white meat. It's made of milk which is thickened with stale breadcrumbs with various flavourings such as onions and spices. It's a very old traditional British recipe. Sauces were originally often thickened with stale bread in medieval times as it is very easy and uses up leftover stale bread.
Yes, follow the recipe using an unsweetened dairy-free milk such as gluten free oat milk. Omit the butter, or use a vegan alternative. You could also add a splash of vegan cream for extra creaminess.
You might also like to read tips for making a gluten free roast dinner.
Other gluten free sauces
Once you know how, it's really easy to make gluten free sauces suitable for coeliacs. Browse the healthy sauce category.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Gluten Free Bread Sauce
- 450 ml whole milk
- 1 onion peeled and very finely chopped or grated
- 6 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 slices gluten free white bread approx 80g
- 25 g butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add the milk to a pan, along with the finely chopped onion, bay leaf, cloves and salt and pepper.
- Over a low heat, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, trim the crusts from the bread and blitz into breadcrumbs in a liquidiser or processor. Or crumble very finely with your fingers.
- Remove the bay leaf and cloves.
- Add the breadcrumbs and simmer for a few minutes until the crumbs swell and thicken the sauce. Stir in the butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- For a thinner sauce, add a little extra milk at the end. The sauce will thicken as it cools
- If you'd like a smooth bread sauce, blitz with a hand blender at the end
- For a vegan sauce, you can use oat milk and omit the butter
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only