Vegan Sauce Espagnole

Sauce Espagnole is a basic brown sauce, and is one of Auguste Escoffier’s five mother sauces of classic French cooking. Typically made from stock, mirepoix, and tomatoes, and thickened with roux. This easy and basic brown sauce can be used as a base for other French sauces.

According to Alan Davidson, in The Oxford Companion to Food, “The name has nothing to do with Spain, any more than the counterpart term “allemande” has anything to do with Germany. It is generally believed that the terms were chosen because, in French eyes, Germans have blonde hair and Spaniards have brown hair.”

It is also easy to freeze and use as needed! This simple recipe is an adaptation of the great Thomas Keller.

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Vegan Sauce Espagnole

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch (Adapted from Thomas Keller)
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


Basic brown sauce that can be used in a variety of ways. 


  • ¼ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup canned tomato purée
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf



  1. In a heavy-bottom saucepan set over medium heat, cook the carrots and onion in the butter with a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and cook the roux, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until golden brown in color, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Using a whisk, add the hot stock in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add the tomato purée, garlic, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often to make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch. Reduced the liquid by about one-third, until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Pour sauce through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.


*Can easily be frozen and thawed when needed. 


  • Serving Size: 4 cups

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