How to Make a Low Fat Sauce

A Sauce Without Butter

Chicken and zucchini pasta in a cream sauce
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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, 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.