How to Make a Non-Dairy Vegan Roux

Making a roux on the stovetop
Making a roux on the stovetop photo by Will Heap / Getty Images
  • 8 mins
  • Prep: 0 mins,
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: 3/4 cup (1 portion)
Ratings (10)

Need a vegan roux for a non-dairy or dairy-free recipe? Try this vegan roux recipe which uses soy milk and vegan margarine which is a perfectly good replacement for anything you need a roux or a thickening agent for. As an added bonus, a vegan roux is much lower in fat than a traditional milk and butter-based roux, and is cholesterol-free as well! A roux, sometimes called a white sauce, has many uses in cooking, such as thickening a gravy, soup or stew or as a base for a French cream sauce.

Traditionally,  a roux is made from flour and butter and milk, but there's no reason you can't use non-dairy milk substitutes to make a reduced-fat and cholesterol-free vegan roux which is suitable for absolutely anything you need to use a traditional roux for: from thickening a soup or a sauce or as a starting point for any number of other sauces and dishes such as a white pizza sauce, a vegan white lasagna sauce, and even a vegan macaroni and cheese. 

Note that while the recipe calls for soy milk, any other kind of non-dairy milk substitute would also work, but proceed with caution. Rice milk has a bit of natural sweetness and is much thinner than soy milk, so it's less than ideal. Almond milk or an almond and coconut milk blend would be one to try, but a regular coconut milk might add a bit of unwanted coconut flavor. If in doubt, stick with the originally recommended unsweetened and unflavored soy milk in this recipe. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup soy milk (unsweetened and unflavored is best)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. flour

How to Make It

First, heat the soy milk (or other non-dairy milk substitute) in a medium saucepan or large skillet over low heat.

Once the soy milk is hot, add the vegan margarine and the flour, whisking vigorously and constantly to incorporate and avoid forming lumps. Use a fork or a whisk for this for the best and smoothest roux possible. 

Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened.

Recipe notes: If your roux is not thickening, then you may need to turn up the heat a bit.

If it is getting too thick, add in a little bit more soy milk, and stir it all together to combine well. Remember that just like with a regular milk and butter-based roux, the sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools, so you may want to plan on that, depending on what you need it for.