This easy vegan brown gravy takes just 15 minutes to make and is full of savory flavor! Perfect for drowning a pile of mashed potatoes.
Looking for a quick and easy vegan gravy recipe? You’ve come to the right place. Alex and I eat a mostly whole food plant based diet and this website is devoted to those recipes! While we do “flex” on holidays, one of our favorite things is to make delicious plant based versions of comfort foods. So, of course we had to try our hand at vegan gravy! We have a great vegetarian gravy recipe, but that one relies on butter and milk. A plant-based gravy can’t use dairy as a crutch…and turns out it doesn’t need it at all! This vegan brown gravy has big flavor, all from plants.
The secrets to vegan gravy
There are lots of ways to make vegan gravy. Many recipes use mushrooms to bring savory flavor (Alex and I working on a mushroom gravy recipe as we speak). Other recipes roast up a ton of vegetables and puree them to use as the base. But for this recipe, we wanted a brown gravy that was incredibly easy. Because, there’s enough work in the main meal: who wants to spend hours on gravy? Luckily, we were able to find secrets to making big flavor that’s 100% plant based:
- Shallot. Minced shallot adds a savory onion flavor.
- Olive oil + coconut oil. Using a mix of fats in a recipe adds nuance to the flavor. We often do this with olive oil and butter, so why not coconut oil?
- Fennel seeds + thyme. Fennel seeds trick the brain and bring a meaty undertone. They’re often used in sausage, so they “taste” like meat too.
- Soy sauce. Soy sauce brings in the final salty note and a little more color to the gravy. Use liquid aminos as a soy-free sub.
A few tips on making vegan gravy
Making this vegan gravy is easy and takes no time at all! Here are a few notes on gravy-making:
- Substitute onion for shallot if you’d like. A shallot is a small onion. If you prefer and have onion on hand, you can use that instead. Just make sure to mince it very finely: and cook it one extra minute.
- The cooking process goes fast. Because the shallot is minced so finely and you’re using a lot of oil, it will brown up quickly. Be prepared! Once the flour starts to turn brown, you’re ready to move to the next step.
- Strain it! You’ll strain out all the shallot and spices in this recipe to get a totally smooth vegan gravy. Then get ready to pour…
What to pour it on!
What to use this vegan gravy on? Well, we’re glad you asked! This one is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe or vegan Christmas dinner recipe. We’ve got lots of vegan and plant based holiday recipes for your perusal. Here are a few favorites:
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Mashing sweet potatoes and Yukon gold together makes the perfect fluffy texture and savory sweet flavor. Try it in the Instant Pot for a crowd!
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes: Here’s a creamy, dreamy pile of mashed potatoes. Try it in the Instant Pot for a crowd (and use the vegan variation).
- Lemony Steamed Green Beans: A super simple holiday side dish, these beans are quick and zesty. Try them in the Instant Pot!
How to reheat gravy
Vegan gravy has a tendency to thicken up even further as it cools. If you have leftovers of this vegan brown gravy that seem too thick to reheat properly, we recommend warming the gravy in a saucepan over low heat to loosen it up a bit. If the gravy is still too thick once it’s heated through, stir in a little vegetable broth. And we mean a little, as in a tablespoon or so! You don’t want it to become too runny.
This vegan gravy recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free flour.Print
This easy vegan gravy takes just 15 minutes to make and is full of savory flavor! Perfect for drowning a pile of mashed potatoes.
- 1 large shallot (1/3 cup minced)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or refined coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon 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
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
- Finely mince the shallot.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and coconut oil. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes until tender. Add the fennel, thyme, and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat until fragrant.
- Add the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn brown and the color turns golden brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the vegetable broth and stir until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the almond milk, salt and soy sauce. Taste and add additional salt until the flavor pops (we used about 1/2 teaspoon total). Remove from the heat and strain into a clean container. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Category: Essentials
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thanksgiving
Keywords: Vegan Gravy
More Thanksgiving resources
A few more Thanksgiving-related resources:
- Looking for main dishes? Here are our favorite Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes.
- Want a side with that? We’ve got lots to choose from: Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes or Best Thanksgiving Recipes.
- Got an Instant Pot? It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, and many of these can be made using it. Here are our Top 10 Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes.
- Eat vegan? Here’s our collection of Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog 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 is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe 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.