If you need a quick vegetarian gravy for holiday meals or mashed potatoes, this is it! This fuss-free gravy uses pantry staples and is ready in just about 5 minutes. It's perfect on mashed potatoes, biscuits, and Tofurkey!
There are so many foods that are just better with gravy: mashed potatoes, biscuits, and even meatloaf. Last year at Thanksgiving I needed a quick vegan gravy, so I mixed up a few staples and this was the result.
It was a bit of an accidental success because I was just looking for a quick gravy and not something for the blog. I often make mushroom gravy, but I wanted something super quick because I had forgotten to make gravy for my meal!
Everyone in my meat-eating family tasted it and couldn't believe how much it tasted like the turkey-broth gravy that they were using.
Seriously, the flavor of this vegetarian gravy is awesome! It uses super simple pantry staples that you probably already have on hand, and it takes just a few minutes to mix up.
- Quick & easy: Ready in just 15 minutes using 7 pantry staples. The gravy can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Flavor: Savory and salty, like a classic brown gravy. Think of this as an alternative to the gravy served at Thanksgiving which is usually made with turkey drippings or beef broth.
- All-purpose: I call this an all-purpose gravy because it's great whenever you need a quick gravy. It works on Tofurkey, tofu cutlets, mashed potatoes, etc.
- Dietary features: This gravy is vegan as-is and is easy to adapt to be gluten-free by using tamari in place of soy sauce.
- Vegetable broth: This is the main difference between my vegetarian gravy and classic gravy, which uses drippings or chicken/beef broth. You can also use a mixture of vegetable bouillon and water, which is what I usually keep on hand.
- Nutritional yeast and soy sauce: These two ingredients add the depth that tends to be missing from vegetable broth. For a gluten-free option, use tamari in place of soy sauce.
- Olive oil: Gravy is often made using the drippings from turkey or other meat, which are high in fat. Adding olive oil is an easy way to get the mouthfeel of traditional gravy.
- Thyme: This adds a Thanksgiving-y feel. I use dry thyme for ease. If you don't have thyme, it can be left out.
- Corn starch: This is what thickens the gravy. An equal amount of arrowroot starch also works.
How to make
In a small pot, whisk together the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, olive oil, tamari, thyme, and black pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a cornstarch slurry. Add this thinned cornstarch to the gravy mixture.
Turn the stove to medium-high heat. Bring to a rapid simmer. Once simmering, stir and reduce heat to medium-low. The gravy should be very gently simmering. Stir every so often to avoid a skin from forming on top of the gravy.
The gravy is ready when thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off.
Like with the stove-top option, add all ingredients except for the corn starch into a microwaveable container then add in the corn starch slurry.
Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after every interval until the gravy is thickened to desired consistency.
Cooking and storage tips
- Thickness: Simmer the gravy until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off. Note that gravy thickens a lot as it cools. Add a splash of vegetable broth or water to thin the gravy as needed.
- To thicken the gravy further, continue simmering (this evaporates off excess liquid) or add in additional corn starch slurry.
- I use cornstarch because it is a quick way to thicken sauces. If you don't have corn starch, an equal amount of arrowroot starch or double the amount of flour and water works. Corn starch should be mixed with water before adding to the gravy because otherwise it will be lumpy and not mix into the gravy well.
- This recipe makes a little over a cup of gravy. It can easily be doubled or tripled to make more gravy. If doubling the recipe, make sure to double every ingredient (including the corn starch).
- Leftovers are best within 3-4 days and should be kept refrigerated. To reheat, add a splash or two of water to thin. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, or in the microwave in just 1-2 minutes.
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All-Purpose Vegetarian Gravy
- 1 cup vegetable broth see note #1
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- salt to taste
- In a small pot, whisk together the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, tamari, olive oil, thyme, and black pepper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the corn starch and water to make a corn starch slurry. Stir this into the pot with the other gravy ingredients.
- Bring the pot to a rapid simmer on the stove over medium-high heat. Once simmering, reduce to a low simmer (just a few bubbles popping at a time).
- Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off. This should take no more than 5-10 minutes.
- The gravy will thicken as it cools. If it becomes too thick, just whisk in 1 tablespoon at a time vegetable broth or water. Taste for salt and enjoy!
- Broth: I use a mix of vegetable bouillon and water because it is more flavorful than boxed broth.
- Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of water to thin the gravy.
- This recipe makes about a cup of gravy. It can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many you plan to serve.
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