A perfect, easy gravy for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this delicious and easy vegetarian gravy will please everyone. Vegan-adaptable instructions make this the only gravy recipe you need.
If you need the perfect gravy recipe to satisfy every taste, Delicious Vegetable Gravy is that recipe. At my house these days, like in many households, we have a mix of meat-eaters, vegetarians, and at Thanksgiving and the full holiday season, sometimes everything in between. So I’m glad this gravy recipe pleases everyone. Steeping shiitake mushrooms in vegetable stock helps to increase the “meaty” full flavor, and shallots are mild enough to not overpower but add the perfect flavor that brings everything together in just the right gravy for any meal.
I discovered this recipe from Umami Girl last year and it absolutely made our holiday dinners. I changed it up just a touch but the basic premise is all hers. Super easy to make with few ingredients and steps but just the right natural color, thickness, and incredible flavor perfect for potatoes, stuffing, and any type of meat- be it turkey, chicken, pork, or beef.
Ingredients in Vegetable Gravy-
Vegetable stock- Vegetable stock is supposed to be a the better base for gravies than vegetable broth. The taste difference is subtle and if you use vegetable broth instead, it’s still fine in the gravy.
Shiitake Mushrooms- Shiitakes add a great depth of flavor in this gravy. Along with the soy sauce, they help with the meaty flavor and add nice color to the gravy. The mushrooms are removed before serving.
Butter- Butter enhances the overall flavor of the gravy but if you’re looking to make the gravy vegan, substitute with a plan-based butter, like Miyoko’s or Earth Balance.
Shallots- Shallots are optional in the original recipe that I found on Umami Girl, but I think they’re the necessary ingredient. Shallots have a mild onion-garlicy flavor that won’t overpower the gravy.
All-Purpose Flour- Necessary to thicken the gravy. Gluten-free flour can be used as well.
Soy Sauce- This is the secret ingredient in a lot of vegetable dishes that add the depth and like mentioned in the shiitake mushroom description, add a nice meaty flavor.
Salt and Pepper- Unless you’re avoiding salt for a medical condition, salt is necessary in this recipe to brighten the flavor and is often the answer to the “something’s missing” comment. Pepper can be added to your own taste and adds a nice zing to the gravy.
The gravy is perfectly thick for pouring over mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkey. You can run the gravy through a sieve before serving if you want to remove the minced shallots for a smooth appearance. I’ve served it both ways and everyone loves either way. If you’re looking for a delicious mashed vegetable recipe, check out my Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes. Whatever your gravy needs, this is a delicious find.
Easy Vegetarian Gravy
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup butter (to make vegan, substitute a good olive oil or dairy free butter, like Miyoko's vegan butter)
- 1 shallot finely minced, about 1/3 cup
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sea salt
Optional ingredients- (see notes)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped to sprinkle just before serving
- 1 dash dried sage stirred in before serving
- Pour the 8 cups vegetable stock into a medium pot and drop in the 8 shiitake mushrooms. Bring stock to a boil over high heat, stir occasionally until boiling, then remove from heat and let mushrooms steep for 30 minutes. Pour stock and mushrooms into a large measuring cup or bowl, and wipe out the pot with a paper towel.
- Add the 1/2 cup butter to the empty pot and melt over medium heat. Add the shallot, and cook for a minute or so until softened but not brown, whisking a few times. Turn heat up to medium-high and add the 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour and cook, whisking, until it turns very lightly golden, about two minutes. It will be quite lumpy, don't worry, this is fine.
- Pour in the stock with the mushrooms, whisking while adding to the flour mixture. The lumps will even out as you pour and whisk. Add the 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and about 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (or to your liking- you'll taste again later to add additional if desired).
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until gravy is reduced by at least a third, and to your liking, thickness wise (about 20 minutes, depending on how hard of a simmer is going on). Taste for seasoning and add 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, as desired) and additional pepper if needed.
- Remove mushrooms before serving. If you want the gravy to be silky smooth, pour it into a large bowl through a sieve, pushing with a spatula. This will remove the minced shallots and any lumps if there are any.
- The gravy can be made ahead by about two days and reheat before serving. Or you can do step one in advance and make the rest of the gravy closer to serving time. Doing step one in advance and leaving the mushrooms in the stock until the rest of the recipe is completed will make the gravy flavor be very mushroom-forward. If you'd like the mushroom flavor to be more muted (my preference), either make the entire recipe days ahead or just make it the day of serving, it's so easy.
- The shallots are optional in the recipe but they add a depth of flavor that I wouldn't skimp on. Shallots themselves are very mild- a nice combination between and onion and garlic.
- Optional ingredients- This gravy is perfect just as instructed but for a pretty presentation, at the last minute you could add some fresh thyme leaves, or a dash of dried sage to stir in just before serving.
- If you're making the vegan option, I highly recommend using a dairy-free butter over the olive oil. Miyokos is my favorite vegan butter.
- Make this gravy with confidence for meat-eaters too. This is a great gravy to satisfy everyone.
Recipe adapted from Umami Girl.