Cremini mushrooms are simmered in whiskey-spiked broth to create this flavor-packed vegan mushroom gravy that will have everyone at your table asking for more!
There are a million mushroom gravy recipes out there, but I 100% believe this one is the BEST. It's ultra savory, easy to make, and absolutely delicious. This gravy is so full of umami flavor, you'd never guess it was plant-based. You'll want to make this one again and again, for everything from Thanksgiving and holiday dinners, to regular old weeknight meals.
What You'll Need
- Olive oil. You can use another high-heat oil or even vegan butter, but I really like olive oil for the flavor and the way it cooks the mushrooms.
- Cremini mushrooms. These might be labelled as baby portobello mushrooms at the store. You could substitute another type of fresh mushroom if needed — button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms should all work, and each will give your gravy a slightly different texture and flavor.
- Whiskey. This is my secret ingredient for absolutely delicious savory, subtly smoky flavor. You can leave it out if you must, or try using a splash of bourbon extract instead.
- Thyme. I prefer dried thyme for this dish, but fresh works too.
- Flour. We're using regular old all-purpose wheat flour. You could probably substitute whole wheat or a gluten-free blend, but I haven't tried, so no promises.
- Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
- Soy sauce. Gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted if needed.
- Liquid smoke. This ingredient is totally optional. I realize liquid smoke is a polarizing ingredient, so if you're not a fan of the stuff, leave it out. If you're not sure, try a teensy bit to see how it hits you.
- Salt & black pepper.
How to Make Vegan Mushroom Gravy
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this gravy. Scroll all the way down if you'd prefer to skip right to the recipe!
- Cook your mushrooms. Since they take a while, I like to get them started in a skillet and get my gravy started in a separate pot while they cook, but you could also use the same pot for everything in order to have fewer dishes to wash.
- Either way, make sure your cooking surface is generously coated with oil and let the mushroom slices cook for a few minutes on each side, until they're tender and browned. Remove them from the pot or skillet when they're done.
- Heat up some oil in a pot, then add diced onion. Sweat the onion for 5 minutes or so, until it begins to soften up.
- Add your cooked mushrooms to the pot, along with some whiskey and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer and let it cook until it's almost completely dried up.
- Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms. Stir them up to coat them in flour, then cook everything together for just a minute or so.
- Begin adding your broth, a bit at a time, stirring well to mix it the flour. Once all the broth is in, add soy sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook until nicely thickened up, making sure you stir the pot every so often.
- Take your gravy off the heat and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
You can make this gravy in advance if you'd like. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will get much thicker during storage — just reheat it on the stove and add a splash of water of broth to thin it if needed.
This gravy is also freezer-friendly! Make sure it's sealed up well and it will keep for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Probably, but I haven't tried making a gluten-free version. Try substituting a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for wheat flour, and using gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.
Absolutely! It adds a lot of flavor but the gravy will still be delicious without it.
Most whiskey is vegan as far as I know, but to be on the safe side I like to check with Barnivore before selecting a brand.
Yup! Just blend it in a food processor or blender. Always be super careful when blending hot liquids. You might need to thin it with some extra broth or water.
While I happen to think this gravy is delicious enough to eat with a spoon, I get that you probably want to put it over something. Here are some ideas!
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The Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ cup whiskey
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons fresh
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra, as needed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot* with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms in an even layer. Be sure not to crowd the mushrooms — cook them in batches if needed.
Cook the mushrooms until browned on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook them for 5 minutes more.
Remove the mushrooms from the pot and transfer them to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. When oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add the whiskey and thyme, and return the mushrooms to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and allow it to cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour into the pot, a bit at a time, stirring frequently to form a thick paste that coats the mushrooms.
Once all of the flour has been added, stir in the broth, soy sauce and liquid smoke if using. Stir the mixture until smooth and bring it to a simmer.
Allow the gravy to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the mushrooms are tender. Add a bit of water if a thinner gravy is desired. If thicker gravy is desired, transfer a bit of the sauce to a bowl, whisk in a bit more flour to form a slurry, and then whisk the flour mixture into the gravy and let it simmer for a minute more.
Remove the pot from heat. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
*If you'd like to save time you can cook the mushrooms in one cooking vessel (I used a cast iron skillet) and start the gravy (step 5) in a separate pot while they cook.