Amazing Vegan Gravy! Make your own vegan gravy from scratch using simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. This recipe uses nutritional yeast and a touch of yeast extract or soy sauce for deep umami flavour. Perfect for Thanksgiving poured over mashed potatoes, or for making vegetarian poutine.
So, I’ve been working on this recipe for approximately one million years.
Ok, that’s not true. But the perfect vegan gravy has been eluding me for an awfully long time.
I’m not sure if I ever really loved gravy way back when I ate the real thing, but for some reason perfecting a great vegetarian gravy has been a mission of mine. If we’re being honest, it’s probably more due to my love of poutine than anything else.
And since I live in a nation void of poutine and I’m not above smuggling dairy products internationally (I’ve done it in both directions, taking the wonder that is Swedish butter into Canada, and the glory that is authentic Canadian cheese curds into Sweden) the only way to get it is to make it myself.
I’ve learned a lot of things in my gravy exploration. Life lessons in brown sauce, if you will. This vegan gravy, I’d say, is proper gravy. It’s pour on yer mashed potatoes Thanksgiving gravy. It’s soak up with a nice piece of crusty bread gravy. It’s the gravy you use for your moist maker. And yes, damn straight it’s poutine gravy.
What do I need to make this vegan gravy?
- A little bit of flour. I used whole wheat pastry flour here, but all purpose works just fine.
- Olive oil.
- Vegetable broth. Mine comes from a cube, but if you are fancy and have homemade broth on hand, that’s rad, too.
- Nutritional yeast. Yasss! The glorious vegan pixie dust for perfect umami flavour.
- Marmite. Or Vegemite. Or whatever spreadable yeast extract you have on hand. And if this isn’t something you keep handy, don’t freak out. You can totally sub in some soy sauce.
The secret ingredient for Amazing Vegan Gravy is yeast, two ways.
First, the magical vegetarian pixie dust that is nutritional yeast, which adds a complex layer of flavour I think is missing in a lot of vegetarian gravies, and also contributes to the texture of the gravy.
Then, a touch of Marmite, the dark brown salty yeast extract, is whisked in at the end. This adds flavour and saltiness, but also a rich brown colour. If you don’t have or don’t like Marmite then
we can’t be friends you can use a comparable amount of dark soy sauce instead.
How do I make this vegan gravy?
Friends, this recipe is quick and easy.
You’re going to grab your favourite saucepan, and heat the olive oil to a nice shimmer over medium-high heat.
Add the flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the flour is starting to get a nice toasty smell to it.
Now add the nutritional yeast and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes more.
Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth, and whisk it into the flour mixture until there are no lumps. Add the remaining broth, and whisk until smooth.
Reduce the heat and simmer the gravy, whisking more or less constantly, until it begins to thicken.
Now add the Marmite – just a teaspoon at this point – whisk to combine, and then taste and season your gravy. Add salt and pepper, and perhaps a bit more Marmite.
Transfer to a gravy boat or whatever you’re serving from, and serve this gravy hot!
Pro tips / recipe notes:
- Can this gravy be made gluten-free? I have’t personally tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour, but I’m confident that it would work out with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular flour.
- Can this gravy be made in advance? Yes! You can make it, keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days, and re-heat it when you’re ready to serve. It will thicken as it cools and will thin out again when you reheat it.
- How do you reheat this gravy? I’ve used both the microwave and the stovetop to reheat this gravy.
- Can I freeze this gravy? Yes! Pour it off into a container and throw it in the freezer. Thaw and re-heat when you’re ready to use.
- What if I don’t have Marmite? As stated above, you can replace the marmite with an equivalent amount of dark soy sauce. But Marmite is delicious and you should have it in your life!
- What if I don’t have nutritional yeast? The nooch is super important for this recipe, so there isn’t a substitute. Go out and get yourself some, it’s bonkers good on popcorn!
Hey Nutrition Lady, what the heck is nutritional yeast?
Also commonly referred to as food yeast, Engevita yeast, Red Star yeast, nooch, or vegetarian pixie dust, nutritional yeast is a dehydrated, inactive form of yeast – it won’t make bread rise. The yeast is grown on enriched molasses, and is an excellent source of B vitamins and protein.
It is important to note that not all nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12. Only nooch that has been fortified contains this all important vitamin, so if you’re relying on nutritional yeast for your B12 intake, be sure to check the label.
Nutritional yeast has a distinct cheese-like flavour. It can be enjoyed sprinkled on popcorn or salads, added to gravies, salad dressing, soups, casseroles, dips, and sauces. Nutritional yeast can be found at many health food stores, and can be found packaged under various brand names, and is also often found in dry bulk food sections of grocery stores.
Small amounts of nutritional yeast can be stored at room temperature in a closed container. Larger amounts should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in a sealed package.
More recipes like this:
Amazing Vegan Gravy
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour I used whole wheat pastry flour, but all purpose or a gluten-free flour is fine too
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cups good quality vegetable broth hot
- 1-2 tsp Marmite
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
- When the oil begins to shimmer, whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly for about 1-2 minutes until the flour begins to smell a bit nutty.
- Add the nutritional yeast and continue to whisk for one more minute.
- Add 1/2 cup of the broth and whisk into the flour mixture so that it is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Add the remaining broth.
- Simmer the gravy, whisking constantly, until it begins to thicken and is bubbling. This could take about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the dried thyme, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 1 tsp of Marmite.
- Taste your gravy and decide whether you want to add a bit more Marmite, and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
- Transfer to a gravy boat, and serve hot!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Can this gravy be made gluten-free? I have't personally tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour, but I'm confident that it would work out with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of the regular flour.
- Can this gravy be made in advance? Yes! You can make it, keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days, and re-heat it when you're ready to serve. It will thicken as it cools and will thin out again when you reheat it.
- How do you reheat this gravy? I've used both the microwave and the stovetop to reheat this gravy.
- Can I freeze this gravy? Yes! Pour it off into a container and throw it in the freezer. Thaw and re-heat when you're ready to use.
- What if I don't have Marmite? As stated above, you can replace the marmite with an equivalent amount of dark soy sauce. But Marmite is delicious and you should have it in your life!
- What if I don't have nutritional yeast? The nooch is super important for this recipe, so there isn't a substitute. Go out and get yourself some, it's bonkers good on popcorn!
This recipe was originally published November 10, 2014. It was retested, re-photographed, and most recently updated on November 16, 2018.