When I shared my review of Ripple Half & Half, many of you were intrigued by how it would work in recipes. I had done some quick sauce experiments before writing the review, but decided to give it a more thorough testing in dairy-free bechamel. Bechamel is a basic white sauce that is versatile and straight-forward, but I get mixed results with the various types of milk beverages. And it can be especially problematic with allergy-friendly milk beverages. But I’m happy to report that Ripple Half & Half Original works like a dream in dairy-free bechamel.
Some milk beverages can be too watery, produce “gummy” results, may separate, or have an overpowering flavor when used to make dairy-free bechamel. The Ripple Half & Half was smooth and creamy throughout the whole cooking process, and even after refrigeration. But like most bechamel sauces, you will want to heat and whisk it before serving. They can thicken quite a bit and are definitely best when served hot.
I made several versions of this dairy-free bechamel, and ended up settling on two variations. The one pictured above is more of a traditional medium white sauce consistency. It is the base dairy-free bechamel recipe, since it is more of a classic bechamel in texture and taste.
The Super-Creamy Option is pictured in the photo just above, and is a very thick dairy-free white sauce. It uses half the amount of buttery spread and flour, but is made with all Ripple Half & Half.
I love the consistency of the Super-Creamy version, but take note that the flavor is just a touch more pronounced. I like to use it in other recipes (like lasagna) or with some flavor add-ins. For the pasta below, I added some nutritional yeast, spices, and light squeeze of lemon. I left the sauce on top for the photo below, but it stirs in nicely and clings to each noodle.
This post is sponsored by Ripple Foods. However, the opinions, ideas, results, photo, and recipe are all my own. Also, my review was unsponsored and unbiased, as usual. I purchased the product myself and did the write up purely to provide more extensive information to dairy-free consumers.
Special Diet Notes: Basic Dairy-Free Bechamel
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can sub wheat flour for "tan" sauce; use sweet white rice flour for gluten free)
- ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free half & half (I used Ripple Original)
- ½ cup water, plus additional as needed
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Black or white pepper, to taste (optional)
- Pinch nutmeg (optional)
- Melt the buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour until smooth and bubbly.
- Gradually add the half & half, while whisking, until smooth.
- Gradually add the water, while whisking, until smooth.
- Whisk and cook until thickened to your desired consistency. If it thickens too much, whisk in a little more water.
- Season with the salt and pepper or nutmeg (if using).
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat and whisk until smooth before using. Add more water, if needed.