Easy Vegetarian Gravy Recipe

This easy vegetarian gravy recipe uses simple ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes! Use it over meatballs or with biscuits and gravy.

Easy vegetarian gravy recipe | How to thicken gravy | Vegetarian white gravy

If you eat a lot of vegetarian meals like we do, you might find yourself craving that silky, savory sauce that is gravy. Perhaps you only eat it on Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s a staple that you love with biscuits and gravy. Whatever the case, Alex and I just created a Norwegian vegetarian meatballs recipe and needed a savory vegetarian white gravy to slather over those “meatballs.” Alex came up with this idea for killer easy vegetarian gravy: it’s super savory and delicious with an unexpected undertone of fennel. Keep reading for the vegetarian gravy recipe and a few keys to making vegetarian “copycat” foods taste good.

Easy vegetarian gravy recipe | How to thicken gravy | Vegetarian white gravy

How to make vegetarian gravy

Vegetarian gravy is a bit of a conundrum. Because gravy is all about meat, right? Gravy was born because someone saw those delicious juices that run out of meat while cooking it and said: “I could make a sauce out of that.” So by default, a vegetarian gravy recipe isn’t truly gravy. But, it can still be a super savory, delicious sauce if you put the right flavors together.

Alex and I created this easy vegetarian gravy recipe to be made with common ingredients but still maintain an integrity of flavor. Basically: a vegetarian gravy recipe has to taste really, really good to be worth making. Because this recipe is vegetarian, we’ve used a bit of butter and milk to help bring in a savory, creamy flavor. (If you’re looking for vegan gravy, keep reading). The magic ingredient in this gravy is fennel seeds, which Alex and I use often to create a flavor that’s reminiscent of meat. Because fennel seeds are often used in sausage, they help the brain associate a meaty flavor with the spice. So, fennel seeds are the only ingredient in this recipe that you might not already have in your pantry! Combine these flavors with some sauteed onion and a pinch of cayenne, and you’re in business.

Easy vegetarian gravy recipe | How to thicken gravy | Vegetarian white gravy

How to thicken gravy

How to thicken gravy? For this easy vegetarian gravy recipe, we’ve used a “roux”. A roux is flour and fat (usually butter) that are cooked together, which is used to thicken gravy and other sauces. We first learned to make a roux from watching cooking shows, and then used this concept in our vegetarian gumbo recipe. In gumbo, you cook the roux and watch as the color changes from white to golden to medium brown to a dark, reddish brown. It’s actually fascinating to watch! And it brings a nice color to the gravy. In this recipe, we cook the roux until it is a medium brown color. We then add milk and the gravy turns out as a light golden color.

Do you have a vegan gravy recipe?

We created this recipe as a vegetarian gravy recipe, so it contains dairy. Are you interested in a vegan gravy recipe? If so, let us know in the comments below and if there’s demand, we’ll create one! In the meantime, here are a few vegan gravy recipe ideas:

Looking for vegetarian dinner recipes?

To pair with this easy vegetarian gravy recipe, here are a few of our vegetarian dinner recipes:

This recipe is…

This easy vegetarian white gravy recipe is vegetarian. For vegan, check out the vegan alternatives above. For gluten free, use Gluten Free 1 for 1 Flour.

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Norwegian Vegetarian Meatballs | vegetarian gravy | chickpea meatballs | Norwegian meatballs

Easy Vegetarian Gravy Recipe


1 Star (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 cups
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy vegetarian gravy recipe uses simple ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes! Use it over meatballs or with biscuits and gravy.


Ingredients

  • 1 small onion (1/3 cup minced)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour (for gluten-free, use 1 for 1 gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Finely mince the onion.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then saute onion for 3 minutes until tender. Add the fennel, thyme, and cayenne and saute for 1 minute over medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Add the flour and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the color turns to golden and then to a medium brown (this is called a roux).
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the vegetable broth and stir until smooth and thickened. Drizzle in the milk, stirring constantly, making sure each bit is incorporated before adding more. Then stir in the salt. Stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; the gravy will continue to thicken as it cools. Taste and add an additional pinch or two of salt as necessary.

Keywords: Vegetarian Gravy, How to Thicken Gravy, Easy Gravy Recipe,

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Brenda
    November 15, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I like that this doesn’t have mushrooms in it – it sounds delicious! To make it vegan, could I substitute Earth butter and non-dairy milk?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      November 15, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Absolutely! That’s a great idea. Let us know how it turns out!

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