Low Carb Mornay Sauce – Budget Low Carb Cooking Base

Cost of full recipe: $4.95
Cost per serving: $0.83

Recipe By: Susie T. Gibbs
Serves: 6     Serving Size: About 1/3-1/2 cup    Yield: 2 cups
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Simmering Time: 20 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 30 Minutes

This low carb rendition of Mornay Sauce was inspired by French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller’s Mornay Sauce.

Low Carb Mornay Sauce packs a punch of sophisticated flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup onion – minced (or shallot)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/8 cup sauterne wine — or dry Vermouth
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or leftover turkey carcass soup stock)
  • 1 bay leaf, whole
  • 3 black peppercorns – whole
  • 2 clove, whole
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch nutmeg – freshly grated
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oat fiber, or oat flour, or coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup Gruyère or Emmenthaler cheese – grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – grated
  1. Melt butter in non-stick sauce pan. Add finely chopped onion, or shallot, to melted butter along with a pinch of salt. Saute on medium low and sweat the onion until tender. You do not want the onion to brown because this is a white sauce.
  2. Place cream cheese on microwave safe plate and microwave on defrost for 10-20 seconds to soften cream cheese. Add cream cheese to onion butter mixture and stir until smooth and well combined. Add wine, stir, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth a bit at a time to loosen the sauce base up, and to deter lump formation. Allow sauce to simmer for 10 – 20 minutes. Sauce should reduce slightly, but do not bring to a rolling boil. Add cream and cook 10 more minutes.
  4. Strain sauce into a clean saucepan to remove bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and onions.
  5. If Mornay sauce is too thin: In a separate small saucepan, or non-stick pan, add 1 tablespoon of oat fiber or coconut flour. Drizzle in about 1 cup of sauce, in a thin stream. Whisk sauce to prevent lumps. Cook this mixture over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to cook off raw flavor, stirring constantly. Whisk faux “roux” mixture back into Mornay and stir to combine. Let sauce cook until desired degree of thickness is reached.
  6. Season with a pinch of nutmeg (fresh is preferred, but use what you have) and white pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in grated cheeses. Taste and adjust salt and pepper levels. Serve immediately.

Per Serving: 304 Calories; 28g Fat (82.1% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 93mg Cholesterol; 497mg Sodium; 3g Net Carbs


Serving Ideas: Serve over any white fleshed meat or seafood. Vegetables, and even hard-boiled eggs, are a delicious way to serve Mornay.


Susie T’s NOTES: Ratings – 4 out of Four Forks

Layer leftover Thanksgiving turkey over low carb bread or low carb biscuits.

This is such a simple sauce and so elegant. It works over chicken, turkey, game hens, and seafood of all kinds, especially shrimp and lobster – when they are on sale! It’s also delicious over veggies! The nuttiness of the sauce is intensified when you broil it for a couple of minutes.

I can’t emphasize how amazing the onion, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns make this Mornay Sauce. They transform the Mornay and take it beyond a simple “cheese sauce”. The added Dry Vermouth or Taylor Dry Sauterne also add complexity to the Mornay Sauce. You can read about Cooking With Wine over at Fluffy Chix Cook.

You may use either Gruyère or Emmenthaler Swiss Cheese to make the sauce. We used Gruyère even though it is more expensive. You only use a very small amount in the sauce and I believe the end result justifies the little touch of extravagance.

Open faced turkey sandwich with Mornay Sauce makes an elegant low carb Thanksgiving leftover.

The Low Carb Mornay Sauce was inspired by French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller, but features a low carb riff on a velouté (classic mother sauce), because as legend has it, the béchamel sauce used as the base for most modern Mornay sauces had not been invented at the time the first sauce Mornay was served to the duc de Mornay in 1820.

A velouté mother sauce is a white sauce using equal parts butter and flour white roux, with a chicken stock addition. To convert this sauce to low carb, we ditched the flour and added a splash of wine, and also a bit of cream cheese to add thickening power.

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