When it comes to holiday meals, gravy is often a staple. But for those following a vegan or plant-based diet, traditional gravy made with meat drippings is not an option. So, what gravy is vegan? Luckily, there are plenty of delicious vegan gravy recipes and substitutes available that are just as flavorful and satisfying as their traditional counterparts.
In this guide, we’ll explore what vegan gravy is, why it’s important, and provide homemade recipes and plant-based options. We’ll also take a closer look at the ingredients that make up vegan gravy and provide tips for serving and answering frequently asked questions.
What is Vegan Gravy and Why is it Important?
If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle, you may be wondering what vegan gravy is all about, and why it’s important. Vegan gravy is a rich, flavorful sauce made without any animal products, such as meat broth or dairy. Instead, it relies on plant-based ingredients to achieve its delicious taste and texture.
So why is vegan gravy important? For starters, it allows vegans and vegetarians to enjoy classic gravy dishes without compromising their beliefs or health. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce non-vegans to the world of plant-based cooking, as it proves that you can have tasty, satisfying meals without relying on animal products.
But perhaps most importantly, vegan gravy is a reflection of our society’s growing awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of animal agriculture. By making the conscious choice to incorporate plant-based foods into our diets, we can reduce our impact on the planet and promote a more compassionate way of living.
Homemade Vegan Gravy Recipes
Nothing beats homemade gravy, and luckily there are plenty of delicious vegan options to choose from. Whether you prefer a rich mushroom gravy or a lighter herb-infused version, these homemade vegan gravy recipes are sure to add flavour and depth to any meal.
1. Classic Vegan Gravy
This classic vegan gravy recipe is simple to make and uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter over medium heat. Add 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and continue to cook for another minute. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
2. Mushroom Gravy
If you’re a fan of mushrooms, this vegan mushroom gravy is sure to be a hit. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and continue to cook for another minute. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
You can also add additional herbs or spices to this recipe to make it your own. Thyme, rosemary, and sage are all great options.
3. Lentil Gravy
This lentil gravy recipe is a great option if you’re looking for a protein-packed vegan gravy. In a saucepan, sauté 1 chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 cup of cooked lentils, 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
4. Red Wine Gravy
If you’re looking for a fancier vegan gravy option, this red wine gravy is perfect for special occasions. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and continue to cook for another minute. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of vegetable broth and 1 cup of red wine. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you like. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
These homemade vegan gravy recipes are easy to make and packed with flavour. Whether you’re serving them over mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or vegan meat substitutes, they’re sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.
Plant-Based Gravy Options
If you’re looking for vegan substitutes for traditional gravy, there are plenty of plant-based options available to create a delicious and satisfying sauce for your meals. Here are a few options to consider:
1. Mushroom Gravy
Mushroom gravy is a popular vegan alternative to traditional meat-based gravy. It’s made by sautéing mushrooms with onions, garlic, and seasonings, then thickening the mixture with flour and vegetable broth. This gravy has a rich, savory flavor that pairs well with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and vegan meat substitutes.
2. Nutritional Yeast Gravy
Nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan cooking, and it’s also a great base for gravy. To make this gravy, start by making a roux with flour and vegan butter or oil. Then add vegetable broth and nutritional yeast, along with seasonings like garlic powder and onion powder. This gravy has a cheesy, umami flavor that’s perfect for smothering over vegan meats or potatoes.
3. Cashew Cream Gravy
Cashew cream is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a variety of vegan sauces and dips, including gravy. To make cashew cream gravy, blend soaked cashews with vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, garlic, and onions until smooth. Then, heat the mixture in a saucepan and thicken with cornstarch or flour. This gravy has a creamy, nutty flavor that’s delicious with vegan roasts or mashed sweet potatoes.
|Tip:||If you’re looking for gluten-free vegan gravy options, try using cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead of wheat flour as a thickener.|
Whether you’re looking for a dairy-free, gluten-free, or just a flavorful vegan gravy option, these plant-based recipes are sure to satisfy. Give them a try for your next holiday meal or weeknight dinner.
Ingredients for Vegan Gravy
When it comes to making vegan gravy, there are many options for ingredients that can be used to achieve a rich and flavourful sauce. Whether you opt for a homemade recipe or choose a store-bought product, it’s important to know what vegan-friendly ingredients are needed to create a delicious gravy.
Some of the key ingredients for vegan gravy include:
|Vegetable Stock or Broth||Provides the base for the gravy and adds flavour|
|Flour or Cornstarch||Used as a thickener to create a smooth and consistent texture|
|Plant-Based Milk or Cream||Provides richness and creaminess to the gravy|
|Miso Paste||Provides a savoury, umami flavour|
|Tamari or Soy Sauce||Provides a salty flavour and depth to the gravy|
|Nutritional Yeast||Provides a cheesy, nutty flavour and a boost of B vitamins|
|Herbs and Spices||Can be added to provide additional flavour and depth to the gravy. Popular options include thyme, rosemary, sage, black pepper and garlic.|
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Options
For those who are gluten-free or dairy-free, it’s important to seek out suitable ingredient options when making vegan gravy. Some great substitutes include:
- Gluten-free flour or cornstarch
- Almond milk, coconut cream or oat milk
- Gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
- Nutritional yeast is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free
- Herbs and spices are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free
By using these ingredient options, you can create a delicious and flavourful vegan gravy that is suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions.
Tips for Serving Vegan Gravy
Looking to serve up a delicious vegan gravy that will impress your guests? Here are some tips to ensure that your vegan gravy is a hit:
1. Experiment with Flavours
Just because a gravy is vegan, it doesn’t mean it has to be bland! Experiment with different herbs, spices, and seasonings to create a flavourful gravy that will complement your dishes. Add some thyme for a classic flavour or try smoked paprika for a more unique taste.
2. Use High-Quality Ingredients
Using fresh, high-quality ingredients is key to creating a tasty vegan gravy. Invest in some good quality vegetable broth, and use fresh herbs and spices for the best results.
3. Make it Ahead of Time
One of the great things about vegan gravy is that it can be made ahead of time. This will give the flavours time to develop, resulting in a richer, more flavourful gravy.
4. Pair it with the Perfect Dish
Vegan gravy is versatile and can be paired with a wide variety of dishes. For a classic pairing, try it with mashed potatoes, or serve it over a delicious vegan roast. You could also try it with roasted vegetables or use it as a dip for vegan chicken strips.
5. Have Fun with Presentation
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your vegan gravy presentation! Add some chopped herbs or cracked black pepper on top for a pop of colour and flavour. You could also serve it in a gravy boat or small jug for an elegant touch.
FAQs about Vegan Gravy
Whether you’re new to the vegan lifestyle or a seasoned expert, you may have some questions about vegan gravy. Here are some frequently asked questions about vegan gravy:
What ingredients are used to make vegan gravy?
Vegan gravy can be made with a variety of ingredients, depending on your preferences. Some common ingredients used in vegan gravy include vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, tamari, arrowroot powder, cornstarch, and vegan butter or oil. These ingredients are mixed together to create a flavorful and creamy gravy that’s perfect for any meal.
Is vegan gravy gluten-free and dairy-free?
Yes, vegan gravy is typically both gluten-free and dairy-free. Many traditional gravies contain ingredients like flour and butter, which are not suitable for those with gluten or dairy sensitivities. However, by using plant-based ingredients like vegetable broth and arrowroot powder, you can create a delicious and allergen-free gravy that everyone can enjoy.
What can I serve with vegan gravy?
Vegan gravy is a versatile sauce that can be served with a variety of dishes. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, seitan, tofu, lentil loaf, and vegan meat substitutes like Gardein or Beyond Meat. You can also use vegan gravy as a dip for bread or pour it over a vegan burger for an extra burst of flavor.
Can I make vegan gravy ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely make vegan gravy ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat it when you’re ready to use it. If the gravy is too thick when you reheat it, you can thin it out with some additional vegetable broth or water.
What are some tips for making delicious vegan gravy?
To make delicious vegan gravy, be sure to use high-quality ingredients and experiment with different flavorings like garlic, herbs, and spices. It’s also important to whisk the gravy constantly to prevent lumps from forming. If you do end up with lumps, you can strain the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve to remove them. Finally, don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to taste – everyone’s palate is different, so it’s important to find the right balance of salt, pepper, and other seasonings for your tastes.