This vegetarian gravy (with vegan option) is a favorite here in our house and with readers. It’s a shockingly easy, surprisingly delicious recipe that welcomes vegetarians (and vegans, with the vegan option) into the Thanksgiving fold.
Want to know something else cool? You can make this gravy today and freeze it for the big day! Anything to make Thanksgiving easier.
This 100% vegetarian onion gravy recipe – with a vegan option – is exactly what you’ve been missing on Thanksgiving. It’s so easy to whip up a batch of this stuff.
Just keep those saucy carnivorous mitts away from your gravy boat – meat eaters may prefer it over their own non-veggie-friendly gravy.
I can’t be the only vegetarian who’s suffered the lonely and tasteless holiday dinner fate of having to eat mashed potatoes with only a bit of salt and pepper and a sorry pat of butter. While everyone around you gleefully shoves down forkfuls of gravy-heavy potatoes… it’s horrible! Just horrible!
Okay, you know I’m exaggerating. But it does kind of suck a little. Gravy’s yummy, but I just can’t bring myself to eat it because of the whole meat thing.
That is… until now.
It all started on Thanksgiving when my guy’s awesome mom whipped me up a portion of my very own vegetarian white gravy for my potatoes. Yum!
And while we were stirring the meaty gravy meant for everyone else and talking about the whole affair, I came to the realization – why not do the roux thing and then add vegetable broth?
I know, total duh moment. I decided to do it one better and make it a vegetarian onion gravy. (Note: I’ve since added soy sauce [or Tamari] to the mix for some additional umami oomph.)
How to Make Vegetarian Gravy
- First, cook the onions
- Then make the roux right with the onions
- Then, drizzle in your veggie broth, stir and cook until thickened, and add in additional flavorings (I keep it simple and just add soy sauce here). Done!
(Keep scrolling for the full recipe!)
This stuff is truly really really good. And way easier than I ever thought it would be. So of course, I have to share.
Psst: My carnivorous guy approves of this also – apparently it’s great on, well… meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this gluten-free?
I have not tried it myself, but I had one reader report that she used all-purpose gluten-free flour as a one-for-one substitute and it was successful.
If I want to make this vegan, do I have to use Earth Balance or can I use another vegan butter?
I’ve used Melt with success and also a 50/50 olive oil/vegan butter split. Both are great! I do not recommend only olive oil, however, the flavor just isn’t the greatest.
If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!
Easy Vegetarian Onion Gravy
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8-10 minutes. If they start to turn brown, turn down the heat - you're looking for translucent and tender, not golden.
- Increase heat to medium. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for three minutes.
- Gradually stir in the vegetable broth and continue stirring, over medium heat, until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Stir in Tamari or soy sauce if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Vegan option:Substitute Earth Balance for the butter. I also like to use half olive oil and half Earth Balance.
Recipe updates:11/17/2015: I've recently started adding a splash of Tamari to the mix, and I really like the additional flavor (and color) it adds! So I thought I'd revise the recipe to include that option. 11/13/2019: I've simplified the recipe by changing the instructions a bit. Before, I suggested sautéing the onion then removing them and setting them aside. The removal was to help keep the onions from getting too brown once they were cooked with the flour. I've since learned that simply sweating the onions and not letting them brown while cooking them means they don't overcook during the remainder of the process - so no need for removing them. Much simpler!
Holy crap this gravy is so good I almost want to eat it like soup, I’m really having to hold myself back! I’m so excited to smother my Seitan “turkey” loaf with it on thanksgiving!!
Haha maybe a new recipe idea – Gravy Soup?! lol I’m so glad you like it. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review – and Happy Thanksgiving!
I make this every year for Thanksgiving. I use a whole onion and add some sage and thyme. I use Better Than Bouillon for the broth. It’s so good. One year at friendsgiving the person who made the turkey didn’t make gravy (huh??) so everyone ate mine. They thought it was better than turkey gravy.
This tastes really good. Thanks for sharing.
This recipe is excellent and easy.
I made it for my mushroom Wellington and everyone loved it.
Thank you so much for you review, Elizabeth! I’m so glad the gravy was a hit! And mushroom wellington?! Yummmmm. Happy holidays!
Made this recipe as directed and it was excellent… daughter being a vegetarian said it was the best Thanksgiving meal yet!
Amazing recipe! This will definitely be my go to in years to come!! Will make this again, adding fresh herbs!
Delightful! I’m not vegan so I made with regular butter which way my only sub. Used better that bullion to make the stock and WOW, that was easy and delicious! This is a keeper. I’m going to pour it over roasted potatoes and carrots in kind of a “stew style” and have it for lunch tomorrow. Thank you!
I made this gravy last night. Absolutely delicious. Even my friend who eats meat asked me to share your recipe. Thank you.
I made this gravy last night, absolutely amazing. Even my friend who is a meat eater asked me to share this recipe. Thank you!!
This is literally such a great recipe! it’s my go-to I’ve made it dozens of times. It’s so easy and good. Definitely try!
This is the bomb! Yummmm…
This is my new favorite gravy!
I made this last night and it was the best part of a delicious vege-loaf roast meal!
very good and quick I used bobs red mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour, used chicken broth and it needed the tamari
used 2 tbs butter and 2 tbs oil to cut back on the fat.
This is my-go to vegetarian/vegan gravy for Thanksgiving for three years running now– it’s so easy and tastes good with everything from roasted veggies to biscuits and mashed potatoes. Thanks so much for the recipe!
I’m so glad it’s a winner for you! Thank you so much for leaving a review. Happy Thanksgiving!
Have you (or anyone here) every tried incorporating mushrooms into this? If so, what would be your suggested changes for incorporating mushrooms?
I’d sauté them with the onions, but I actually have a Vegan Mushroom Gravy recipe that is SO good and all about the mushrooms! 🙂 https://www.kitchentreaty.com/vegan-mushroom-gravy/
I have to double or triple the recipe because everyone eats this gravy before the trukey gravy, and they are all carnivores!
Haha not having enough because everyone loves it too much is always a good problems to have! 🙂 Happy holidays!
Hi, can you make this ahead of time and freeze?
Yes, I have done that and it works great! Reheat slowly and don’t panic because it looks a bit separated at first but once it’s warm it all comes together. 🙂
This was so good. Thank you! I did use gluten-free flour all purpose flour.
First time I have ever made gravy, I made it for my husband’s birthday dinner party and it was a winner. It really taste great and really taste like regular gravy. I’m going to make it again for special occasions.
I made this at Christmas and non-vegetarians and vegetarians both loved this! People were so surprised that it was a vegetarian recipe. I added a tsp of nutritional yeast for unami. In hindsight, I should have chopped up the onions finer. Definitely will be making this again. I made this a few days ahead and froze it until Christmas morning. It defrosted quickly on the stove and needed just a bit of stirring and it was all good.
My teenage daughter has just become a vegetarian. I decided to use this recipe because it looked very easy and I had everything I needed for it in the cupboard. It worked out far better than I expected, so good she thinks it’s life changing!
Woohoo! So glad it’s a winner. 🙂 Thank you for the review!