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!
This was very good cheese raviolis with a side cauliflower tots. I used some soy sauce, as suggested, and topped with parmesan. All my children, aged 10, 7 and 5, loved it. Thank you.
Yes!!!! 😀 This recipe is so awesome! I used it over my garlic roasted mashed potatoes, and turk’y cutlets. It was sooo delicious. I have made one similar to this recipe, but it required a lot more soy sauce and was okay, but this one blew me out of the watee! I also added some minced garlic, and sauteed with the onions. Because, garlic is life!!! 😀 thank you sooo much for this much needed recipe.
Great idea to add garlic! So glad you like the recipe – that meal sounds like comfort food heaven!
OMG!! You are going to make me a star on Easter. My vegan son is going to give his mama the stamp of approval. I can’t wait.
Yay! What a sweet mama you are. 🙂 Happy Easter!
I just made this gravy for my vegan son for our Easter dinner. It is absolutely hands down, the best gravy I have ever made. I can’t wait to serve it tomorrow!! This Mom is savoring points for this one!! Thank you so much!!!!
Lovely, easy recipe for vegetarians. My carnivore son nearly inhaled it, lol. I just made it with biscuits and veggie soup on the side. I had seconds which rarely happens…ty
Did the recipe change? I saw the question asked earlier about the 1 plus 4 tablespoons of butter and you say it comes in later and says in the directions… But I’ve read the directions over and over and can’t see where the other 4 tablespoons come in to play?
Yes, it did! I’m so sorry, I forgot to update the butter portion of the ingredients list, so it was confusing. It now says 5 tablespoons butter and it’s all added at the beginning of the process. When I update a recipe I do add information about the change in the “notes” section of the recipe so you can find more about the change there. But it was still confusing because of how I had the butter listed. Thank you for asking so that I could make the fix and again I’m sorry about that!
This was such an easy recipe to follow and tasted amazing! I used half a vegetable stock cube and half a red wine stock cube as I really fancied red wine gravy and it was amazing. Thank you ☺️
I’m so glad you liked it Hannah! Love your additions; great ideas! Thanks so much for the review.
How long will this last in the fridge?
Just made this to go over my seitan turk’y. YUMMY and so easy to make. Thank you for a great recipe! Funny part is, I never liked gravy even when i ate meat. But this, I like 🙂 I did not add any extra salt, as my homemade broth was pretty salty to start with. I added about 1/2 the soy sauce called for in the recipe. Thanks again!
I’m so glad you liked this one! Thanks so much for sharing and for your review. Happy holidays!
I tend to modify recipes to my taste. I modified this one and was very pleased with the result. I needed gravy for a large party, so I tripled the recipe.
I used my food processor to basically puree the onions, along with about 3 ribs of celery for each recipe. I sauteed them in olive oil. I also added about 1/4 tsp of poultry seasoning, sage, and lemon pepper. Gravy is very flavorful, we’ll see how the meat eaters like it!
That sounds great, thank you so much for sharing! I created a recipe for another website a few years ago where I caramelized onions then pureed them for the gravy. It was one of my faves!
Yum yum! Just whipped this up for my vegetarian dad for Thanksgiving. He’s going to love it. Thank you!
What a nice daughter you are! 🙂 Happy holidays!
SO easy and SO delicious 😍 I used this recipe as a last minute vegetarian alternative at our family Thanksgiving dinner for myself. Let’s just say, I ended up not being the only one eating it! Multiple meat eaters preferred this yummy gravy over the traditional turkey gravy!
I’m so glad you liked this one! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review. I really appreciate it. Happy holidays!
I have been a vegetarian for over 13 years and I absolutely love love love this gravy!! I added some spices and I really couldn’t be happier with this gravy! Never again dry mashed potatoes or stuffing ❤️❤️
Thanks so much, Amanda! Which spices do you add, if you don’t mind sharing? I love to hear how people tweak it to make it their own!
This gravy is insanely delicious! I made an over complicated bosh gravy for Christmas and it was so disappointing, I’ve also tried 2 other veggie gravy recipes that were nice but nothing amazing. This will now be the gravy I make all the time, thank you so much!
Woohoo, love to hear it! So glad this gravy is a keeper for you. Thanks so much for the review!
This gravy is delicious. I used veggie Better Than Bullion, a gluten free all purpose flour, half a medium onion, with a splash of tamari. Wow. I am saving this simple, quick recipe for all my gravy needs. I might add some rosemary next time for a little extra zip.
This turned out so much better than I expected. Really good. Will not be buying gravy packets anymore, I love how basic this recipe is
Yay! So glad you liked this one. Thanks Tamara!
Fantastic recipe, thank you! I struggle at making gravies, but this one is foolproof and came together easily and tastes delicious.
So glad you liked this one! Thank you for your review!
Wants to know more about different gravy recipe
This was delicious! Poured it over roastes veg and crunchy chickpeas. Better than store bought gravy, thank you.
That sounds delicious! Thank you so much for leaving a review. 🙂
I made this to go with lentil meatballs and it was so delicious!! I have a little bit left in the fridge and was wondering how long it would last in there? Also, can this be frozen? Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Lisa, this sounds delicious with lentil meatballs! I’ve kept this gravy in the fridge for 3-4 days with success. Yes, it also freezes well! Just reheat gently in a saucepan on the stove; maybe add a touch more vegetable broth if it’s super thick.
Thank you for the rating!
Whoops just left a comment on here for a vegan roast in error. But I always make this gravy and its fab. I only use about 2tbsp of butter though.
The vegan roast does sound amazing! 🙂 Thank you so much for your review.
Delicious! This will be my go to recipe. I made this with the coconut oil ( same amount as the recipe required) I had on hand instead of butter.
So glad it was a hit! Great tip about using coconut oil; I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you so much for the review.
I don’t normally leave reviews but I just had to for this because it was so darn delicious!!!!
Thank you for a wonderful recipe. This is now my go to recipe for sure. Yum, yum and double YUM!!
I’m so glad this is a hit for you! I really appreciate you leaving a review. 🙂
Love the recipe!
I love this recipe, it’s my go to for gravy now. I use liquid smoke instead of soy sauce or tamari. I also add mushrooms to the mix and include a bit of garlic and Italian seasoning. It’s a really great recipe to play with flavors with.
Love those ideas – yum! Glad this was a great jumping-off point for you. 🙂 Cheers!
One thing I missed when I became a veg lol was poutine! I found a great veg cheese an now my new fav veg gravy….store bot was too salty.
This recipe is absolutely incredible! The taste isn’t like a meat based gravy, it has its own unique flavour that I have never tasted before. I’ll definitely be making this again, not only for the delicious taste but also because of how easy it was and how versatile it is. I made it last night to pour over mashed potato and then today for lunch I poured it over my roasted veggie bowl with brown rice. This recipe is a keeper thank you so much for sharing!
I’m so glad it’s a winner for you! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review.
Delicious! I was looking for a simple veggie gravy recipe for thanksgiving and this was perfect! I didn’t bother with the tamari/soy sauce as I used salted butter, but it’s great! Added lots of fresh pepper and some dried thyme. Will definitely make again 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing and for coming back to rate the recipe! I’m so glad it was a winner for you. 🙂
Wow, I wasn’t sure how this gravy would taste but it was AMAZING.
Best vegan gravy I’ve ever found. Everyone who tries it loves it too.
So glad it’s a winner for you! Thank you so much for the review.
This veggie onion gravy is fantastic. It is all I like: simple, fast to make and tasty!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review.
This gravy is the best vegetarian gravy that I’ve ever had in my life. So glad to find it in time for Thanksgiving. I just made it for the first time tonight and I poured it all over mashed potatoes and broccoli and it was heavenly. Thanks, for the recipe!
Hi Lettie, thank you so much for the review! I’m so glad it’s a hit for you.
Best recipe ever !! Really an enjoyable gravy for thanksgiving and Christmas!!
I’m so glad you like it! Thanks so much for the review.
I love this gravy and make it gluten free and paleo by substituting almond flour for regular flour. Always a crowd pleaser, even for the carnivores
Ah, thanks, Ava – I made this before as directed (and loved it!) but was curious about trying it with almond flour. Glad to hear it’s still a winner.
I made this gravy last night and it turned out very good. I ran out of fresh onion so I used some dried diced onion plus a little bit of dried diced garlic and it turned out very tasty and it was quick to make. It would taste even better if I used fresh onion and garlic, which is how I will make it next time. Oh and the vegan butter I used was Myoko brand which is very tasty (Earth Balance is just OK).
The recipe did not call for dry ingredients at all, ew.
Thanks for these tweaks, Scully Rose! I rarely have fresh onion on hand so it’s good to know I can sub dried minced onion in a pinch.
I have been using this recipe for years and I loooooove it!!!!!
Just used this for Thanksgiving dinner this a afternoon and it was fabulous! Couldn’t be easier and it came together perfectly. I love onions and this was super flavorful and made the perfect amount!
yumyum it is soooooo yummy with mushrooms!!!!
This was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. I was most concerned about not having gravy for my mashed potatoes. But that all was for nothing! This is so delicious! I never need to try a different recipe because this was perfect! Thank you!
I made this as part of my Thanksgiving meal, and my wife and I loved it! Neither of us had high expectations for a vegetarian gravy, but this really surprised us with how well it scratched the gravy itch. I ended up adding a bit of corn starch to thicken it up a little more, although I think in hindsight that probably wasn’t necessary. We also ended up blending the gravy after cooking it to get rid of the last chunks of onion – if you “diced” the onion in a food processor instead of by hand, that probably wouldn’t be necessary (and you might have a slightly thicker gravy to start with).
Soooo good. Didn’t expect it to come out so satisfying. Added a little vegan Worcestershire sauce and garlic too. Definitely a new go to 🙂
Thank you for this! I made vegetarian gravy for the first time this year and it’s so good! I wasn’t familiar with the concept of gravy before so it’s great to have a go to formula:)
An excellent Gravy even at its most basic. However I find if I add a good dash of paprika and some pepper it tastes SO much better.
Remebee to cut your onions very small!
Thank you so much for this recipe though, so good!
Two thumbs way up for this recipe. I finely diced the onions in my food processor and then my husband, who had never made gravy before and is not a cook, made the gravy while I talked him through the steps. Simple and delicious. We served over tofu and cauliflower rice and had a healthy and delicious dinner. Plenty of leftovers for another meal too.
Came out very, very bland. Needs some kind of extra spice or seasoning, I threw in some poultry seasoning and Worcestershire sauce at the end and that drastically improved the flavour.
I’m sorry this one wasn’t for you! I find that it’s perfect with the right amount of salt and pepper + the splash of soy sauce/tamari gives it some extra goodness.
Love the vegetarian onion gravy. Modified it to suit my needs but still loved it. So did my friends.
This exceeded my expectations. It is delicious and that in my view is the point of cooking . I do not exclusively eat vegetarian so that after making this I put it on meat means it stand its ground on flavor alone. As it should be. Next batch I gonna toss in some parsnip to add a note.
I’m so glad this was a winner for you! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review. Parsnip is such an intriguing idea! If you try it can you please report back?
This is hands down the yummiest gravy,! My daughter is a vegetarian and so is my sister so I tried this recipe last year and was asked to make it again for Christmas and triple the batch as everyone all the meat eaters devoured it , there wasnt any leftovers! Making it again this week!!
I’m so glad it’s a keeper for you and your family! Thank you so much for the review. Happy holidays!!!
I am responsible for turkey gravy this year and with no turkey parts for the drippings I wasn’t sure what to do. Followed this recipe using turkey bone broth, and adding poultry seasoning, garlic powder and blended with a stick blender. So delicious! This is a great recipe for whatever broth used. Will be a go to. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving 2021
I’m so glad this was a great base recipe for you to run with! Thank you so much for the review and happiest Thanksgiving to you!