This make-ahead mushroom gravy recipe is naturally vegetarian (and vegan) and full of the best, rich, savory flavors.
Last year for our big Friendsgiving dinner, I whipped up an improvised vegan gravy recipe to serve to our plant-based friends in the group, as an alternative to my traditional gravy made from turkey drippings. And as it turns out, the vegan gravy totally stole the show that evening. Everyone around the table absolutely loved this mushroom gravy!
So this Thanksgiving, I wanted to be sure and share the recipe with you all too. ♡
This vegan gravy is made with a simple base of mushrooms, onions, garlic, veggie stock, thyme, and butter (or vegan butter). But to add in some extra depth of flavor, I deglazed the pan with a generous splash of white wine (or brandy or bourbon would also be delicious) and also added in a spoonful of miso paste (or you could use a dash of soy sauce) for extra umami goodness. And together, all of those savory ingredients combined to make a full-flavored gravy that arguably rivals any meat-based gravy I’ve ever tried — no turkey required!
The other big bonus with this mushroom gravy recipe is that it’s easy to make up to a few days ahead of time, which comes in very handy if you happen to be serving it around the holidays. I’ve also included options below if you would like to make your gravy gluten-free or alcohol-free, plus tips for how to make your gravy more creamy if you would like. And while I happen to love the hearty mushroom chunks in this gravy, you are of course totally welcome to purée yours if you prefer a silky smooth gravy too.
Let’s make some!
Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you’ll need to make this mushroom gravy recipe:
Butter (or vegan butter): We will use a few tablespoons of butter to sauté the veggies and mushrooms. Then I also love melting in a pat of butter just before serving to make the gravy extra rich and creamy.
Onion and garlic: To season the broth. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, feel free to sub in shallots, green onions or chives instead.
Mushrooms: I used a pound of baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, whose texture and flavor I always love. But feel free to use white button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, wild mushrooms instead. Or you could also rehydrate some dried porcini mushrooms too.
Flour: To thicken the gravy (or see a gluten-free option below).
Dry white wine: To deglaze the pan. Alternately, you could use brandy, bourbon, or even some beer. Or if you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can just add in a bit of extra veggie stock instead.
Vegetable stock: To serve as the base for our gravy broth. Alternately, feel free to use chicken or beef broth.
Thyme: I love the classic flavor of fresh thyme in this gravy (or you could use a few pinches of dried thyme). But feel free to add in whatever chopped fresh herbs you have on hand that sound good. Rosemary or sage would both be delicious alternatives.
Miso paste: To add some extra umami flavor to the gravy. If you don’t happen to have miso paste on hand, feel free instead to add in few teaspoons of soy sauce or nutritional yeast, to taste.
Salt and pepper: Don’t forget to season taste and season the gravy with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, as needed, to finish!
Possible Recipe Variations:
This recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to adjust ingredient amounts and customize things as you wish! For example, feel free to…
Make it gluten-free: Instead of using the flour to thicken the gravy, you can make a cornstarch slurry with extra veggie stock (just whisk together equal parts room-temperature veggie stock and cornstarch until combined) and add it to the simmering gravy until it reaches your desired thickness.
Make it alcohol-free: Add in some extra veggie stock in place of the white wine.
Make it creamy: Add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream or coconut cream, if you would like to make this gravy more creamy.
Make it smooth: Use an immersion blender to purée the gravy until smooth. Or carefully transfer the gravy to a traditional blender — being sure to tent open the cap on the blender lid so that hot air can escape — and purée until smooth.
Use different herbs: As mentioned above, fresh rosemary or sage would also be delicious herbs to use in place of (or combined with) the fresh thyme.
Miso paste alternatives: If you don’t happen to have miso paste on hand, you could alternately add in a few teaspoons of soy sauce or nutritional yeast, to taste.
Sauté the veggies: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan or saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and the excess liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the flour and gently toss it with the mushrooms for 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan. Stir in the white wine and use a wooden spoon to gently scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add in the vegetable stock and thyme, and gently stir until no more flour clumps remain. Continue cooking until the gravy reaches a simmer and thickens, then reduce heat to low.
Add the miso. Briefly transfer about 1/3 cup of the gravy broth to a separate bowl and whisk it with the miso until smooth. Add the mixture back to the gravy along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and stir until combined.
Season. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper, as needed. If the gravy is too thick for your liking, feel free to also add in extra veggie stock to thin it out. (Note that the gravy will thicken more as it cools.)
Storage instructions: To store the leftover gravy, let it cool to room temperature. Then transfer the gravy to a sealed food storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Gravy can be reheated either in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
Miso paste alternatives: If you don’t happen to have miso paste on hand, you are welcome to sub in a teaspoon or two of soy sauce or nutritional yeast, to taste, to add some extra umami flavor to the gravy. Or you can just omit these ingredients entirely.
This looks really good, but I’m confused and have a couple of questions!
There is an asterisk beside the white miso paste. WHY? Usually, when there is an asterisk, that means you look else wear and will find an asterisk, explaining something about the item.
I clicked on the link provided to the white miso paste and and was turned off by quite a few reviews. So, my question is, two fold:
Can we skip using the white miso paste all together? And what makes this gravy so dark? If we used beef broth, I’d understand. But chicken broth (vegetable broth) isn’t going to darken this gravy.
Hi Beth! Oops, thanks for catching that asterisk. I meant to include a note for optional miso substitutions, in case readers missed the notes in the post above. You are welcome to use whatever brand of miso paste you like or skip it altogether. And this batch was more dark because of the brand of veggie stock that I used — yours may be lighter depending on your stock. Enjoy!
THANK YOU so much for responding Ali. You were very helpful! I’m going to use beef broth, so it’ll be dark, like yours. Thanks again!
OH! This looks HEAVENLY! This will be a must try for us, and I don’t think I’ll wait for Friendsgiving- this needs to happen asap. The miso is a genius touch! YUMami, lol!
I can’t wait to try this. If I opt to add, at what point would you suggest adding cream? At the end to thicken?
Yep, I would add it at the end and then you can control how much you would like. :) Enjoy!
Made this delish gravy tonight to serve over pork schnitzel. The miso paste added a wonderful umami, & my husband and I loved it. ? Thanks!
This sounds exactly like what I’m looking for in a gravy recipe! Do you know how well this freezes?
Yes, it should freeze well! :)
2 Stupid questions :)
1) I’m just starting to ease into liking mushrooms, I hated them for years. Could you blend the gravy so the mushrooms do it’s not chunky? Or would that ruin it?
2) do you have a suggestion for a vegetarian mushroom alternative? I know it’s called mushroom gravy, just thought I’d ask! I’m going to try this recipe first but in case I can’t do the mushrooms.
I’m obsessed with your blog, all of your recipes are amazing so I can’t wait to try this one!!! Thank you for all of your vegetarian options!!!!
Would half and half work in place if the cream?
I literally just finished making this. Delicious! Thank you for this because I’m terrible at making turkey gravy.
Turned out a little thin for me, had to add an extra tbl of flour (made a paste first). Still was delicious! Used soy instead of the miso.
We had a vegetarian Thanksgiving and I couldn’t make my usual turkey gravy, so I tried this one and this is the best gravy I’ve ever made. It’s going into the recipe box for future re-makes as my go-to gravy!
I used dried mushrooms, which I rehydrated in simmering veggie stock, giving it a really deep mushroomy flavor and deep color through the stock. I omitted the wine, but I’ll add it next time.
YUMMY! I made this to accompany my Thanksgiving meal and this gravy is so creamy and flavorful, the addition of the herbs and miso paste are a must. I love cooking with miso so I always have on hand. I didn’t blend, the mushrooms cooked down enough whereas they added chunk but they weren’t imposing. Mine was not quite as brown, more grey in color but the flavor is amazing and we slathered all over everything, turkey, potatoes, greens, stuffing, etc. Thanks again for a winner!
Thank You Ali! This was really good. I used beef broth and a splash of half and half. Had to be patient to let it thicken. Did not have miso paste and decided on a splash of Worcestershire sauce. I Really Like this recipe! Thank You.
This was delicious! Totally skipped the miso paste and it was still delicious! Might try it next time but….why fix it if it isn’t broken!!! YUM
Hi! This looks great! If I wanted to use dried porcini mushrooms, how many cups should I rehydrate? Thank you!
I “caught” the Asterisk as well. Subbed 1/3 C broth whisked w/ 1 T corn starch. Added a tip of bouquet garlni to darken. Worked out great!. Will definitely put this in my recipe box. Thank you:)
The instructions say to simmer until thickens then reduce heat to low. How long ish until it “thickens” and how long do you keep it on low heat? Smells amazing so far, really excited for this!
Today is Ali comfort food recipe day!
Made this mushroom gravy (first time ever making any gravy from scratch) and the mashed potatoes with cream cheese and just finished a serving of both. My goodness is this good! White miso (Cold Mountain brand) definitely a great secret ingredient flavor enhancer for this and future cooking experiments. Thanks for the miso hint.
Mine was thick, sorta pureed not velvety like your photo. I’m sure not enough broth, but, the flavor was spot on so left it chunky and skipped the thickener.
Thank you for your clear instructions and awesome recipes.