This vegan brown gravy recipe is absolutely packed with flavor and makes a rich sauce. It’s perfect to serve over vegan meats, roasts, mashed potatoes or whatever else you like!
Featuring a vegetable base and loaded with a wide range of flavorings, it would be hard to tell the difference between beef gravy and this vegan version!
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Ingredients For Vegan Brown (Beef-Style) Gravy
This recipe uses quite a few flavorings from different sauces and spices to create the ultimate vegan gravy. Some of the ingredients required are specialty ingredients that you may not be able to find at a typical grocery store, but they can be found online.
- Olive oil: For delicious flavor, this recipe starts with some olive oil. Vegan butter or margarine could work as well. The oil mixes with flour to create a roux that will thicken your sauce.
- Onions, garlic, mushrooms: To build a base layer of flavor, this recipe starts by sautéing onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Any type of mushroom can work but I typically use cremini or button mushrooms. If you want a smooth gravy without small pieces of vegetables in it, blend the gravy once cooked.
- All-purpose flour: To thicken the gravy, make a simple roux using olive oil and all-purpose flour.
- Water: Since this recipe uses a bouillon cube and tons of other flavors, water is all you need to get enough liquid content for this gravy.
- Vegan beef-style bouillon: While this may seem like “cheating”, vegan beef-style bouillon cubes are a game-changer. They’re packed with flavor and replicate the taste of beef broth better than anything else. Vegetable bouillon could work as well, if that’s all you have access to. I buy vegan beef bouillon online as it isn’t sold in any stores where I live.
- Nutritional yeast: One of my all-time favorite ingredients, nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, slightly nutty and rich flavor to recipes. It’s a yellow, flaky seasoning that’s completely different from other types of yeast (like baking yeast or brewers’ yeast) and these yeasts cannot be interchanged for one another.
- Dark soy sauce: If you’ve never had dark soy sauce, I highly recommend it! It’s much richer and thicker than regular/light soy sauce and has a unique flavor. I buy mine at an Asian grocery store. If needed, use regular soy sauce (but the final gravy won’t be quite as dark in color).
- White miso paste: Another salty, umami ingredient to create the ultimate flavor in this gravy recipe! I use miso paste in so many ways because it adds incredible flavor to so many dishes.
- Red wine vinegar: While any type of vinegar could work for this recipe, I like the pairing of red wine vinegar with beef-flavored recipes.
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce: This is a tricky ingredient to find, but worth it if you can get your hands on some (I found mine at an Asian grocery store). If you don’t have vegan Worcestershire sauce, substitute it for half regular soy sauce and half vinegar (for this recipe, I use red wine vinegar).
- Dry thyme: This is optional but adds a fantastic flavor and earthiness to the gravy. Rosemary could also work but chop it finely before using.
- Black pepper: Round out the flavor of this gravy with some black pepper to taste. You could also add salt to taste, but with the bouillon, soy sauce and miso, I find this gravy to have plenty of salt.
- Vegan cream: Gravy is meant to be a rich and flavorful sauce, so I like to finish the recipe with some vegan cream. Store-bought vegan cream options are fairly easy to find these days, but canned coconut milk also works. For a lighter option, plant-based milk should also work (although I’ve never tested this).
How to Make a Vegan Brown Gravy
This is a simple recipe to make, despite having a long ingredient list. Just get out your whisk and make sure your arm is ready for a quick workout!
Step 1: Cook Vegetables
Start by finely mincing onion, mushrooms and garlic.
Warm some olive oil in a medium-sized sauce pot over medium heat, then add in the vegetables. Cook these vegetables for 8-10 minutes until they’re really soft.
They can brown slightly but lower the heat if they become dark brown or start to burn.
Step 2: Prepare Roux Base
Next, add flour to the pot and stir to create a paste. Cook this over medium heat for about 1 minute.
Then add about ½ cup of water to the pot, whisking vigorously and continuously until it’s well combined and there’s no clumps of the flour. This should thicken quickly.
Add the remaining water and whisk vigorously again to make sure all the flour is evenly mixed throughout and there’s no clumps.
Step 3: Flavor, Cook and Serve
At this point, add all the remaining ingredients except for vegan cream. There are quite a few ingredients, so I recommend whisking regularly while you add them (quickly whisk after every ingredient or every other ingredient).
Once everything is in the pot, turn up the heat to medium-high. Whisk well to make sure the bouillon cube and miso paste dissolve completely.
Cook the gravy until it thickens, whisking regularly for 5 to 8 minutes. The gravy will still have a pourable consistency when done but should be thicker than water (more like the texture of cream).
Remove the pot from heat and whisk in your vegan cream.
You can taste the gravy and adjust seasonings to your liking, then serve hot.
How to Serve this Vegan Gravy Recipe
Gravy is the perfect addition to any roast dinner or holiday meal. This flavor-packed, rich gravy is also great for making bangers and mash!
Some tasty vegan options to serve with this gravy include:
- Seitan sausages
- Lentil loaf
- Classic seitan roast
- Mashed potatoes
I also have a vegan turkey-style gravy recipe if you prefer!
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Gravy
Refrigerate any leftover gravy in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To reheat, use your microwave, or a pot on the stove (over medium-low heat until warmed through).
I haven’t tried freezing this recipe but suspect it would freeze well.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Brown Gravy (“Beef” Gravy)
- Medium-sized sauce pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 milliliters)
- ½ cup onion , finely minced (70 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed or very finely minced
- 1 cup mushrooms , cremini or button, finely minced (100 grams)
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (30 grams)
- 2 cups water , lukewarm
- 1 cube vegan beef-style bouillon
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (10 grams)
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (15 milliliters)*
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste (15 grams)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (15 milliliters)
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (15 milliliters)**
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- black pepper , to taste
- ¼ cup vegan cream ***
Step 1: Cook Vegetables
- Warm olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add finely minced onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.½ cup onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 cup mushrooms
Step 2: Prepare Roux Base
- Once you’ve cooked the vegetables, return the heat to medium and add flour.3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Stir flour into the vegetables until a paste forms and cook this for 1 minute.
- Add about ½ cup of the lukewarm (or warmer) water while whisking vigorously and continuously until the mixture thickens.2 cups water
- Add the remaining water and whisk vigorously to make sure there are no clumps of flour remaining.
Step 3: Flavor, Cook and Serve
- Add all remaining flavorings except for the cream. If needed, whisk a few times while adding these ingredients to make sure the sauce/flour doesn’t clump.1 cube vegan beef-style bouillon, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon white miso paste, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dry thyme, black pepper
- When all the flavorings are added, whisk until the bouillon and miso are well dissolved.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and, whisking regularly, cook the gravy and thicken for about 5-8 minutes.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and stir in vegan cream.¼ cup vegan cream
- Serve hot.
**If you can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce, substitute for ½ regular soy sauce plus ½ red wine vinegar.
***Any store-bought vegan cream option should work. Canned coconut milk also works. Accuracy of nutrition information cannot be guaranteed (certain ingredients may not have all nutrients listed in the database); amounts may vary (and will vary depending on brands of ingredients used); all nutrition fact values rounded to the nearest whole number.
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
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