How to Make Gluten-Free Roux: it's one of the basics you need to know! This recipe for gluten-free roux also offers a dairy-free version, plus tips & tricks for getting gluten-free roux just right.
- Updated May 2021 -
Can you make thick, rich gluten-free sauces & gravies? Yes, you can.
This White Lasagna starts with a roux that becomes a creamy mushroom sauce. Who wouldn't want that? Nobody, that's who.
You can use this roux to make your own gluten-free sauces and recipes, or convert conventional favorites, like sausage gravy.
Roux is used for thickening gravies, soups, sauces - all kinds of delicious things. Many recipes call for a white or blond roux, which simply refers to the color of the mixture as it cooks. Gumbo and a few other dishes call for a "brick" roux (or a dark roux). This just means that the mixture is cooked until it gets brick red- just before it burns! Because gluten-free flour acts a little differently than wheat flour, I don't recommend making gluten-free roux much darker than peanut butter colored. Going darker than that can result in a burnt or scorched taste, even if the gluten-free roux doesn't look burned. I also don't make the roux in the oven, because I think you really need to keep an eye on it.
Choosing gluten-free flour for roux + making it dairy-free too:
I usually use one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends to make roux, along with butter or olive oil. My favorites are Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Blend or King Arthur Measure for Measure blend. Neither of these blends contains dairy- some GF blends do. You can also use a mixture of rice flour and tapioca flour/starch. If you'd like to make your roux grain-free, the best option I've found is using a mixture of cassava flour and tapioca flour.
You’ll notice I use a little less olive oil than butter when I make dairy-free roux. That’s because the consistency of the oil is different than butter. Roux is usually half butter-half flour, and I've tried all kinds of dairy-free fats and oils. I'm convinced if you need GFDF roux, the scant-olive-oil-way is the best way.
Now you're ready to make gluten-free Bechamel Sauce or one of your other favorites.
Gluten-Free Roux Recipe
- 4 tablespoons butter -OR- 3 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend -OR- 2 tablespoons rice flour + 2 tablespoons tapioca flour * for grain-free, use 2 tablespoon cassava flour + 2 tablespoon tapioca flour
- In a medium-sized, heavy duty saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted (or warm the oil).
- Add the gluten-free flour and whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color (blond roux), about 6 to 7 minutes.
- If desired, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter, roughly 4-6 minutes more.
- Nutrition calculated for one batch of gluten-free roux using butter.
Frequently asked questions about gluten-free roux:
All-nut flours won't thicken the same way as conventional flour or a GF blend. If you want to make a grain free roux, the best bet is to use a blend of arrowroot or tapioca and cassava.
The best options to use as a universal cooked thickener like roux are rice flour + tapioca flour or a gluten-free all purpose blend. Arrowroot, cornstarch or tapioca slurries will work if you're trying to thicken a sauce without starting from a roux.
Yes. Use olive in a slightly reduced measurement for the fat, along with a gluten-free flour blend, and an unsweetened plant-based milk.
Yes. Tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same product. That is not the case with potato flour/potato starch or corn flour/corn starch/corn meal, so it can be confusing.