How to make Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Vegan mushroom gravy is a hearty and flavorful sauce that’s a plant-based alternative to traditional gravy recipes which often include meat drippings and dairy-based butter. This savory concoction uses mushrooms as the star ingredient, providing rich umami flavors that are often associated with their meat-based counterparts.

To achieve a deep and satisfying taste, a variety of mushrooms can be used, such as cremini, portobello, or shiitake, which lend their earthy tones to the gravy. The body of the gravy comes from a base typically made with vegetable broth and a thickener like flour or cornstarch, which is whisked into a roux made with vegan butter or oil. For additional depth of flavor, ingredients such as onion, garlic, soy sauce, and sometimes a splash of wine are included. Herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage add aromatic notes that complement the mushrooms’ natural flavors.

Vegan mushroom gravy is not only suitable for those following a vegan diet but also for anyone with dietary restrictions that exclude dairy or meat. It’s an excellent addition to mashed potatoes, vegan roasts, lentil loaves, and other plant-based comfort dishes, making it a staple during festive meals and family gatherings alike.

Vegan Mushroom Gravy Recipe


Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Vegan mushroom gravy is a flavorful and hearty alternative to traditional gravy that utilizes plant-based ingredients. The essence of its robust taste comes from the use of various mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, or shiitake, which contribute an earthy and umami depth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 7 serving
Calories 130 kcal


  • 1 saucepan


  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms properly cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and mushroom and cook until lightly brown, for 7minutes
  • Add the soy sauce to the pan, add garlic, fennel, sage, smoked paprika and pepper to the pan and let it cook until fragrant, for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Add 1/4 cup of oil and continue cooking until mixture is rapidly bubbling for 4 minutes, stir frequently
  • Reduce heat to medium low heat and then add the milk and salt, cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool, it will thicken as it cools, taste sauce and add 1pinch or 2 pinch of salt, if needed.
  • Serve immediately as you want or store in an air tight container and keep in the fridge, use within a week.
Keyword garlic cloves, mushrooms, soy sauce

Cooking Tips about Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy - Elavegan

  • Quality Mushrooms: Start with fresh mushrooms for the most robust flavor. Cremini, portobello, or shiitake mushrooms are great choices that offer a meaty texture and deep umami taste.
  • Sautéing: Begin by sautéing your finely chopped mushrooms and onions in a bit of quality oil or vegan butter until they’re nicely browned. This caramelization process is what builds a complex base of flavors.
  • Build a Roux: Create a roux by adding flour to the sautéed vegetables and let it cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously. The roux helps thicken the gravy and adds a subtle toasted note.
  • Deglaze the Pan: If you have bits stuck on the pan after sautéing, deglaze with a splash of wine or vegetable broth. This step lifts those tasty bits into your sauce for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Slow Additions: Gradually whisk in vegetable broth to avoid lumps. Go slow and steady, ensuring each addition is well-incorporated before adding more.
  • Seasoning: Adequate seasoning is crucial. In addition to salt and pepper, consider adding herbs like thyme, sage, or rosemary, and ingredients such as garlic and soy sauce for complexity. A dash of Worcestershire sauce (ensure it’s a vegan brand) can also bring depth, but be mindful of its strong flavor.
  • Thickness Control: Let the gravy simmer to reach the desired thickness. If it gets too thick, thin it out with more broth; if it’s too thin, cook longer, or you can mix a slurry of cornstarch and water to add in.
  • Blend for Smoothness: If you prefer a smooth gravy, blend the gravy using an immersion blender or pour it into a standing blender. Always be careful when blending hot liquids and vent the lid.
  • Taste Adjustments before Serving: Before serving, taste your gravy and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Don’t underestimate the power of a final splash of acid, like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, to brighten the flavors.
  • Make-Ahead Option: Vegan mushroom gravy can be made in advance and refrigerated. Reheat on the stove, adding a little extra broth to return it to the right consistency.
  • Final Touches: Just before serving, stir in a pat of vegan butter for added richness and a silky finish.

Serving suggestions about Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Vegan Mushroom Gravy

  • Over Mashed Potatoes: Drizzle the vegan mushroom gravy generously over creamy mashed potatoes for a classic comfort food pairing.
  • With Vegan Roasts: Serve alongside a vegan roast or a lentil loaf as a flavorful accompaniment that adds moisture and depth to these main courses.
  • As a Poutine Base: Use it in place of traditional gravy in vegan poutine, topping fries with this rich gravy and adding vegan cheese curds or shreds.
  • In Shepherd’s Pie: Layer it within a vegan shepherd’s pie, using it to moisten and flavor the vegetable and legume filling before topping with mashed potatoes and baking.
  • With Biscuits: Pour the mushroom gravy over freshly baked biscuits for a plant-based take on the Southern favorite “biscuits and gravy.”
  • As a Pasta Sauce: Mix it with cooked pasta, perhaps adding some sautéed spinach or kale for a nourishing and earthy dish.
  • Over Grain Bowls: Spoon it over a bowl filled with grains like quinoa or barley, steamed or roasted veggies, and your choice of protein such as tofu or tempeh.
  • For Stuffed Produce: Use it as a sauce for stuffed bell peppers, zucchini, or squash, enhancing the vegetables and stuffing with its savory notes.
  • On Toast: Serve on top of toast points or crusty bread as part of a savory breakfast or a simple yet satisfying appetizer.
  • With Polenta: Pour it over soft polenta or grits for a deliciously different side dish or entrée.

Top 5 FAQs about Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Vegan Miso Mushroom Gravy - Plant Based RD

  • What makes a gravy vegan, specifically mushroom gravy? Vegan mushroom gravy is made without any animal products, which means it does not contain traditional gravy ingredients like beef or chicken stock, or dairy-based butter. Instead, it uses vegetable broth and plant-based butters or oils. Mushrooms provide the rich umami flavor typically provided by meat.
  • Can you achieve the same depth of flavor in vegan mushroom gravy as in traditional gravy? Yes, with the right combination of mushrooms and seasonings, vegan mushroom gravy can attain a deep and savory flavor profile. Sautéing mushrooms with onions and herbs, using a good quality vegetable broth, and incorporating ingredients like soy sauce or a dash of wine can contribute to a full-bodied taste.
  • What types of mushrooms work best for vegan mushroom gravy? Cremini, portobello, shiitake, or a mix of various mushrooms are great choices for vegan mushroom gravy. They each have robust flavors and textures that stand up well in the gravy.
  • How do you thicken vegan mushroom gravy? A roux is typically used to thicken vegan gravy, just as with traditional gravy. Mixing flour or another starch like cornstarch or arrowroot powder with your choice of plant-based fat (oil or vegan butter), and cooking it briefly before adding liquid, will create the thick consistency associated with gravy.
  • Can vegan mushroom gravy be made ahead of time? Absolutely! Vegan mushroom gravy can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. When ready to serve, simply reheat it on the stove, adding a bit more vegetable broth if necessary to adjust the thickness.

Vegan mushroom gravy is a plant-based alternative to traditional gravies that often contain meat drippings, dairy, or other animal-derived products. Typically, this gravy would be made using mushrooms as the base for its umami flavor, which is often a key component in giving depth to such sauces. Mushrooms are known for their meaty texture and savory taste, which makes them an excellent choice for creating a rich and satisfying gravy without any meat.

In addition to mushrooms, a vegan gravy would normally incorporate ingredients like vegetable stock or broth, a form of fat such as olive oil or vegan butter, and a thickener like flour or cornstarch. Soy sauce or tamari, and sometimes a splash of plant-based milk, may also be added for additional flavoring and to adjust consistency.

Nutritional yeast could be another component in vegan mushroom gravy, contributing a cheese-like flavor while also providing additional nutrients like B vitamins. Aromatics such as garlic, onions, and herbs like thyme and rosemary can be included to build complexity in the flavor profile.


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