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Gluten-Free White Sauce (with cornflour)

This Gluten-Free White Sauce will become an indispensable recipe in your toolkit. It’s a quick and easy sauce which is ready in 5 minutes using only 5 ingredients and no roux making involved. This velvety smooth Gluten-Free White Sauce will become the building block to so many sauces you love and you’ll wonder what you did without it.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: sauce
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 77kcal


  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g cornflour cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg


  • Whisk the cornflour (cornstarch), nutmeg, salt and pepper and whole milk into a large saucepan with the heat turned off.
  • Once the milk has absorbed all the cornflour and it feels thin and smooth then turn on the heat. Continue to stir.
  • Bring the sauce up to a gentle boil, stirring all the while and making sure you get into the corners of the saucepan.
  • Stir until the sauce has become thick and smooth and is starting to gently bubble.
  • Remove from the heat and use immediately.



Ingredient substitutions

You can swap the cornflour (cornstarch) for arrowroot or tapioca starch. However, the resulting sauce will be a little gloopier.

Dairy-free & vegan version

Swap out the whole milk for a plant-based alternative. I recommend oat milk, cashew milk or almond milk. Coconut milk can be a bit too flavourful for this sauce.

Cooking tips

  • You can weigh the cornflour, the milk and the seasonings directly into the saucepan you are going to be using to cook the sauce. This really saves on washing up.
  • Only switch on the heat once you are sure all the cornflour has been absorbed by the liquid for an ultra smooth sauce.
  • It’s imperative to keep whisking the sauce continually whilst it is cooking otherwise it can get lumpy.
  • Use a ball whisk or a French whisk (which is a little thinner) to really get into the nooks and crannies of the saucepan.
  • If your sauce does get a bit lumpy towards the end of the cooking then you can just sieve out the lumps before using.

How much does this recipe make?

It totally depends what you need the white sauce for. This amount is the right size for most uses. However, if making a family-sized lasagne I recommend doubling the recipe.

Make ahead

This sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. I also recommend pressing cling film to the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming.


You can freeze this sauce in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow to defrost fully at room temperature before re-heating.


Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg