How to Make a Low Fat Sauce

A Sauce Without Butter

Chicken and zucchini pasta in a cream sauce
Vegar Abelsnes Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images

The usual way of making a creamy sauce 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. So how can you make a lower-fat sauce?

Here’s how:

  • Warm 2 cups of low-fat or nonfat milk on medium-low heat in a saucepan
  • Mix 3 tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl
  • Add cornstarch mix to the warming milk and stir until smooth. Cook for three to four minutes, stirring continuously
  • Once the sauce has thickened, stir in 1/2 – 3/4 cup of your favorite reduced-fat sharp cheese and 1 tsp mustard for a cheesy sauce, or flavor with herbs and seasonings for a white sauce

Add more flavor in other ways, too. Sauté a 1/2 cup finely chopped onions or shallots in the saucepan before adding the milk, and proceed as above.

Use the white sauce over your favorite vegetables – it’s particularly delicious over leeks, cauliflower, and broccoli-- white meat, or blend with pasta if you’re making a cheese sauce.

Here's a great-tasting low-fat parsley sauce, which goes perfectly with fish.