Seriously Good Vegan Gravy

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This Vegan Gravy is supercharged with savory flavor and is so creamy and rich that no one will miss the meat! A perfect pairing with mashed potatoes and a must for your holiday menu. Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
5 from 22 votes

Once you taste this rich and creamy vegan gravy, your holiday table will never be the same. Say good-bye to those mild-flavored, one-note gravies that leave everyone underwhelmed.

And despite being indulgent, this mushroom gravy is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free! It’s so flavorful you and your guests will want to drink it.

It’s the perfect pairing for vegan mashed potatoes and a must-make for any traditional holiday dinner.

Table of Contents
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe card

vegan gravy with mushrooms on top of bowl of mashed potatoes on green background

Why this recipe works

A serious umami bomb!

Traditionally, gravy is made with meat, which is naturally rich in umami. So a great vegan gravy also needs that deep savory, meaty quality.

First, mushrooms. While many vegetarian gravy recipes use onions as the base, I think a holiday gravy needs something bolder and richer in flavor.

To amp up the natural umami found in mushrooms, this recipe adds soy sauce and miso paste. Both pack in some serious savoriness that salt alone can’t bring (trust me, I’ve tried!) and enhance the mushrooms’ meatiness.

The result is an umami explosion that will make your taste buds sing!

PS: If you love the sound of these savory flavors, don’t miss out on my creamy and dreamy Mushroom Soup!

Packed with herbs and aromatics

Many gravy recipes use dried spices and herbs (e.g., onion and garlic powder, dried sage or thyme). But for a serious-flavored gravy that will win over even meat lovers at the holiday table, the fresh stuff is a lot more powerful.

First, shallots are sauteed in vegan butter or olive oil, then the shrooms, followed by a generous amount of minced garlic, fresh thyme, and rosemary. The result: herbaceous, garlicky notes that beautifully complement the mushrooms.

Yes, it takes a bit more time than using dried herbs and spices, but it’s worth it for the holidays. Plus, you can make this gravy a few days ahead of time (more details in the Tips section).

Perfectly creamy

This recipe scoops out a cup of the gravy, blends it, and then folds it back into the remaining gravy. This naturally thickens the gravy and gives it a luxuriously creaminess (something I do often with soups and stews, like this Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale).

At the same time, blending just a portion retains some of the mushrooms, which gives the gravy a meatier vibe (and nicer presentation).

If you prefer a totally smooth gravy without mushroom pieces, you could blend all of the gravy. Or, if you love the gravy as is, keep it unblended.

Ingredient notes

ingredients for vegan gravy on tablecloth with ingredients labeled

Mushrooms. They’re the star here! I like using a mix of cremini (which are inexpensive) and shiitake, which are bold and meaty-flavored, but you can opt for just cremini. If using shiitake, remove the tough stems first. 

Soy sauce and miso. A double hit of fermented soy products make for an umami-rich and maximally flavor vegan gravy.

Substitute: If you have a soy allergy, use (1) double the nutritional yeast and (2) a concentrated vegetable broth, like this vegan “chicken-flavored” broth seasoning or Better than Bullion no-chicken base (affiliate links).

I don’t recommend coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce, as it has a slightly sweet taste.

Vegan butter. I like using it for that rich buttery flavor, but feel free to use extra virgin olive oil

Fresh herbs. Fresh thyme and rosemary add a lovely woodsy depth of flavor here.

Substitute: You can sub sage for either herb. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, use a teaspoon each of the dried herbs, but it won’t have the same flavor.

Tip: Near the holidays, many grocery stores sell packages of “poultry herbs,” which combine rosemary and thyme with sage or marjoram, so you don’t have to buy all the herbs separately.

Red wine. Red wine plays multifaceted roles in this vegan gravy.

First, the acidity cuts through some of the richness. Second, the compounds in wine bring an extra depth of flavor (think subtly earthy and fruity flavors) and enhance the meatiness of mushrooms. Finally, cooking the wine down adds a jammy, rich body.

Substitute: Don’t drink alcohol? Check out the FAQ section.

Nutritional yeast. A natural source of glutamate (e.g., umami), nooch adds to the overall savoriness of this gravy.

Balsamic vinegar. A tiny splash of good-quality balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar) brightens all the flavors. The acidity really awakens the rich flavors, especially if the gravy has been made in advance.

ladle spooning mushroom gravy onto mashed potatoes

Step-by-step instructions

Heat half of the butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the shallots for 3 minutes until golden. Add the rest of the butter, followed by the mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nicely browned and the water has been released.

Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the red wine, vegetable broth, and soy sauce. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes to cook off the wine, whisking frequently.

Next, add in your “roux” (nutritional yeast, plant milk, and cornstarch stirred together). Whisk constantly to combine. Add in the miso paste, stir well, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

If a thicker texture is desired, scoop out 1 cup of gravy and blend in a blender, then return to pan and stir to combine.

a thick vegan gravy with mushrooms in a ceramic saute pan.

Tips for making this recipe

Make gravy ahead of time for a stress-free holiday!

The benefit of vegan gravy (in addition to being better for the animals!) is you can make it 1 to 3 day ahead of time (no need to wait until the turkey is being cooked). It tastes just as good on the day it was made.

Store it covered in the fridge and reheat on the big day. The gravy does thicken as it rests, so when reheating it, add a couple splashes of water or veggie broth to thin it out to your desired consistency.

Season judiciously.

This recipe uses low-sodium veg broth and just a couple pinches of salt because (1) you get a good amount of salty savoriness from both the soy sauce and miso, and (2) as the gravy simmers, the flavors will become concentrated.

Don’t season with too much salt early on. If needed, you can always season with a pinch or two of salt at the end.

Blend (or not) for your preferred texture. If you want a smooth gravy, you can blend all of the gravy. It will thicken quite a lot, so you can use less cornstarch or more broth.

If you want lots of mushroom pieces and not as creamy of a texture, skip the blending.

I like a happy medium: blend one cup of gravy to naturally thicken and mix it with the rest of the unblended gravy. You get creaminess but still retain some texture from the mushrooms.

vegan gravy with mushrooms on top of bowl of mashed potatoes on green background

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve vegan gravy with?

With Mashed Potatoes, obviously! If you have my cookbook The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, it would be great over the Millet-Cauliflower Mash for something a little lighter than mashed potatoes, or over the Polenta for some crazy good rustic Italian comfort food.

It’s also amazing with my Vegan Wellington! That recipe has an easy vegan gravy, but this one would certainly take things over the top.

If you’re making biscuits for the holiday or a lentil/seitan “meatloaf,” this gravy will definitely jazz things up.

Is this vegan gravy also gluten-free?

Yes, as long as you use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce! Many gravy recipes use flour to thicken, but since this one uses cornstarch, it works great for those on a gluten-free diet.

What kind of red wine should I cook with?

The most important rule is to pick a wine you wouldn’t mind drinking on its own. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle though, just something drinkable. Just avoid bottles labeled “cooking wines.”

Any dry red wine should work here, but if you’re not sure, you can always choose a Pinot Noir, Malbec, or a Merlot. You can use Barnivore.com to check that your wine is vegan-friendly.

I don’t drink wine. Can I substitute it?

The alcohol does cook off, but if you don’t drink any alcohol, you can try adding a tablespoon of red wine vinegar to deglaze, along with a little extra vegetable broth.

The gravy will have less complexity and body without the red wine, but it will still be good.

How do you store leftovers and reheat this gravy?

Store cooled gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat, thinning out with a bit of vegetable broth until you reach your desired consistency.

vegan gravy with mushrooms in a gravy boat with mashed potatoes in the background

That’s all you need to know about this luscious Vegan Mushroom Gravy! If you love it as much as I do, please be sure to rate and review it below :) Your feedback is super helpful for us!

Seriously Good Vegan Gravy

5 from 22 votes
This Vegan Gravy is supercharged with savory flavor and is so creamy and rich that no one will miss the meat! A perfect pairing with mashed potatoes and a must for your holiday menu. Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Cuisine: American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 10

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil, divided (I used vegan butter)
  • 1 cup (120g) diced shallots (3-4 medium shallots)
  • Kosher salt + freshly cracked black pepper
  • 16 ounces (454g) cremini and/or shiitake mushrooms*, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) plant-based milk of choice (can sub veggie broth)
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) dry red wine (such as Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Merlot)**
  • 2 cups (480 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth, , at room temperature or warmed***
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (use tamari for GF)
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (AKA shiro miso)
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vegan butter or olive oil. Once melted or hot, add the diced shallots with a pinch of kosher salt. Sauté until translucent and golden, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil and the mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring only occasionally so they get some color, until the mushrooms release their liquid and are nicely browned.
  • While mushrooms are cooking, whisk together the nutritional yeast, cornstarch and plant-based milk.
  • Add the minced garlic, thyme, rosemary and season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and several cracks of black pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until very fragrant.
  • Add the red wine, vegetable broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Whisk frequently and allow to boil for 3 to 4 minutes to cook off the wine. Add the nutritional yeast roux to the pan, whisking constantly to make sure it dissolves and thickens, about 2 minutes. Then add in the miso paste and stir well to incorporate it into the gravy. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, whisking very frequently, until the flavors have melded together.
  • If you want a smoother and creamier consistency, scoop out 1 cup of gravy (about 2 ladles) into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the blended gravy back to the pan and mix together.
  • Add the vinegar, stir to combine, and taste. Add salt or pepper to taste. Finish with chopped parsley, if using.

Notes

*I like using a mix of cremini (which are inexpensive) and shiitake, which are bold and meaty-flavored, but you can use just cremini. If using shiitake, remove the tough stems first. 
** If you don’t consume alcohol, you can skip the wine and add ~ 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar and an extra splash of veggie broth.
*** Make sure to use low-sodium broth to avoid oversalting the gravy. 
To save time on prep, you can chop the garlic and herbs while the mushrooms cook, as they don’t need to be stirred frequently. You can also buy pre-sliced mushrooms and/or use a garlic press to mince the garlic finely. 

Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

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29 comments on Seriously Good Vegan Gravy

  1. Nicola

    I was looking for a veggie-friendly gravy! The ONLY thing I’m a bit concerned about is that I’m one of few vegetarians that don’t enjoy mushrooms. If I blend them entirely, can someone let me know if there are enough other flavors to mask it to still be enjoyable? I’m still curious about this, but wondering if one choice of mushroom over another might be better for a non-mushroom family.

    1. Nicola

      5 stars
      Alright I decided to try it as is. Gotta try the recipe how it is meant to be before I change anything! I used only shiitake mushrooms and just made sure they were REALLY cooked through. I put the entire recipe in the blender to get it nice and smooth. And I am REALLY happy with how it tastes!! Like, don’t change a single thing! I absolutely love your recipes and how they always turn out! So thank you so much for this!!!

      1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

        Aw, such a lovely review! Thanks, Nicola :)

  2. Rachel

    5 stars
    This gravy has become a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving table! Even my non gluten-free/vegan family members love it. It’s so simple to get ready on the big day, too — very excited to make it again this year!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yay, so good to hear! Thanks for putting your faith into this recipe, Rachel!

  3. Steph

    Just wondering if this gravy freezes well? We do a lot of transporting food so having some frozen items really helps.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Steph, we think it should freeze just fine! You can defrost in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

  4. Diane Bucka

    Sounds great! Can this be made up to 2 days before?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Diane, thanks! Yes it can!

  5. Rebecca

    5 stars
    I’m starting to plan this year’s Thanksgiving menu (I know, I know – I’m a dork like that) and I remembered how much of a hit this was last year. We had a mixed vegan-omnivore thanksgiving and the omnis actually preferred this to their own gravy! It’s just that good.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Rebecca. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  6. Mona

    5 stars
    This gravy was really delicious! I used onions instead of shallots and didn’t use wine, but it still tasted very good! I served them with your smashed potatoes and the combination was perfect! Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Mona. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  7. Cathy

    I made this gravy for Christmas dinner. It is the BEST gravy I’ve ever served! Rich and tasty, this recipe is a keeper. I’m not making any other gravy recipe! It was delicious the next day as well.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Cathy! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  8. Marissa Kochanski

    5 stars
    I didn’t have all the ingredients, but considering mushrooms and potatoes were some of the few foods left in the fridge, I gave it a whirl. Shallots? Onions. Vegan butter? Canola oil. Broth? Water. Fresh herbs? A tablespoon of za’atar I found in the back of the cupboard. It was still shockingly delicious, so I can only imagine how good it is when you have All The Things. Highly recommended.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Marissa! Thrilled the gravy was a hit!

  9. Beth

    5 stars
    Y.u.m. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I was missing gravy and this absolutely ticked all the boxes for me. It’s going into my most loved recipes category. 😋

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Beth. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  10. Sarah

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Made for Christmas dinner and a meat-eating family member chose this gravy over the meat one!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So glad you loved the gravy, Sarah! We are so happy to hear it was even able to convert the omnivores!

  11. Cindy Cruz

    5 stars
    Loved this gravy, so flavorful and hearty, really has a depth. Sooooo good! First time making one of your recipes, looking forward to trying others.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Cindy. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  12. Mo

    5 stars
    This recipe saved my christmas. I have never been so grateful to follow a recipe in my life. I also cannot stop eating it. And damn, i can cook, but this….. wow.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Mo, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  13. Lisa

    5 stars
    I just made this to accompany some vegan meat with dumplings and veg for tonight and it came out excellent. Rich and deep in flavour but not overpowering. Better than other vegan gravy I have made. I used onion instead of shallots for convenience and purreed part of the gravy at the end as suggested. Lovely, thanks Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Lisa, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  14. Ariel

    4 stars
    Yum! The flavor is absolutely on point. I’ll have to make it again and experiment with developing the thickness… made exactly as the recipe states it coats the back of a spoon but doesn’t quite have the body I prefer. So tasty though I really don’t mind and will definitely make again.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad you enjoyed the gravy, Ariel!

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