It turns out that gravy doesn’t photograph all that well.
But I wanted to go ahead and share this recipe with you before the day of gluttony otherwise known as Thanksgiving rolls around, so you’ll have to take my word for it that this stuff is good.
When I think about the vegetarian gravies I’ve had over the years (and, actually, a lot of the meat-based ones) they’re often either runny or gloppy, bland or salt bombs. This one is none of those things. Silky and flavorful, it makes a perfect foil for buttery mashed potatoes. Around here, we also sop it up with Yorkshire puddings at Christmastime and Paul likes to dip his lunchtime sandwiches in any leftovers.
If you’re looking to get a jump start on holiday meal prep, this gravy is a good place to start. It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, just warm it up when you’re ready to serve.
Most of the ingredients for this recipe are probably already in your pantry, except maybe for the nutritional yeast. Don’t skip this — it’s crucial. Grocery stores often stock it near the spices or in the bulk section. If it’s not there, check the baking aisle next to the regular yeast too.
For a vegan version, just use olive oil instead of butter.
Adapted from lots of places. I think I first came across this gravy on the blog Life and Kitchen, but variations on this recipe have been floating around for a while. I'm not sure where it originated.
I find low-sodium soy sauce and vegetable broth to be plenty salty for this dish, but if you only have the standard versions that's fine. In that case, you might consider replacing a portion of the broth with water to cut down on the salt. Don't worry, the gravy will still have plenty of flavor — I've even made it with just water in a pinch.
The finished gravy will be smooth, but still flecked with bits of onion. If you don't want any little onion bits in your gravy, either strain it through a mesh sieve or give it a quick whir with a stick blender.
- 1/3 cup butter or olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely-diced onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/3 cup flour (I usually use whole wheat but plain all-purpose is fine too)
- 4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, but not browned.
Stir in the flour, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, sage and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. The mixture should be thick and starting to smell a little toasty.
Gradually whisk in the broth. (Resist the urge to dump it all in at once. That's how lumps form.) Bring the gravy to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer — stirring frequently — for about 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Gravy will keep for about one week in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before serving.