The usual way of making a creamy white sauce, known as a béchamel in the culinary world, is by using equal amounts of butter and flour, which are cooked together to form a roux.
After this paste is cooked, milk, cream or broth is added gradually to complete the sauce. The end result is a rich, creamy, hopefully lump-free sauce that is indeed delicious, but very high in fat.
How to Make a Lower-Fat White Sauce
- Warm 2 cups of low-fat or nonfat milk on medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Mix 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl.
- Add cornstarch mix to the warming milk and stir until smooth. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously so the sauce doesn't burn.
White Sauce Variations
- To make a cheese sauce known as a mornay, stir in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite grated reduced-fat sharp cheese and optional 1 teaspoon dry mustard or herbs and seasonings of choice to the finished sauce, stirring until the cheese has melted.
- To make an onion white sauce known as a soubise, sauté 1/2 cup finely chopped onions or shallots in the saucepan before adding the cornstarch-milk mixture and proceed as above.
How to Use White Sauce
Use the white sauce over your favorite vegetables -- it’s particularly delicious over leeks, cauliflower, asparagus and broccoli-- and white meat or seafood, or blend with pasta.
Here's a great-tasting low-fat marinara sauce recipe that can be used in a multitude of ways.