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How to Make Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

This recipe for mushroom gravy is spectacular. We tried it for the first time when we made roasted winter squash with wild rice and mushroom stuffing, but we’ve made it again on a number of occasions because it is so rich yet so healthy (for a gravy).

Most gravies involve animal fat, but the only two items of concern for the health-conscious in this recipe are some olive oil (fat) and soy sauce (sodium). The richness comes from the mushrooms.

Since we will no doubt be referencing this recipe again in future posts, we decided to break on its own.


Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it
(* Union Sq. Greenmarket)
6 TBsp Olive oil Split into 3 TBsp and 3 TBsp
2 cups Yellow or white onions Peeled and diced Paffenroth Gardens *
2 cups Mushrooms
(we used crimini)
Diced Bulich Mushroom Farm *
0.5 cup All-purpose flour Can substitute 1 cup rice four Cayuga Pure Organics *
2 cups Water
0.5 cup Shoyu or Tamari Can use regular soy sauce in a pinch
4.5 tsp Mix of sage, rosemary, and tarragon We used 1.5 tsp sage and 3 tsp of Herbs de Provence


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2-3 TBsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 – 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are cooked. When they are done, set them aside.If you are looking to save time and comfortable multi-tasking, you can begin on the next steps while the onions and mushrooms are sautéing.

    2 cups each of diced onions and diced mushroomsSautéed onions and mushrooms

  2. In a small saucepan, heat 3 TBsp of olive oil over low heat. Whisk in the flour. Keep whisking as the flour and oil mix to a dry, crumb-like consistency and start to brown. At this point you are toasting the flour.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (water, shoyu / soy, and herbs), whisk thoroughly to incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, turn the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil.

    Although you can use regular, grocery store soy, the tamari and preferably shoyu styles of soy bring a lot more complexity and richness to the recipe, rather than just saltiness. See umami.

    Water, shoyu (soy), and herbs - all go in at onceWater, shoyu, and herbs added

  4. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer to your desired consistency, which for us was about 10 minutes. Be sure to continue to thoroughly whisk up the bottom of the pan to make sure that no flour solids are hanging out at the bottom, or else they may burn. Stir intermittently, scraping up the bottom, as it simmers.

    If you properly whisk to incorporate all the flour, the mixture will thicken much faster. If it appears too thin or too light in color, you probably still have a bunch of flour at the bottom of the pan. See the difference between the two pictures below. In the picture on the left, the gravy still has chunks of flour, both floating and at the bottom of the pan. Once I incorporated it, the gravy immediately began to look like the picture on the right.

    Simmering gravy, still with unincorporated bits of flour floatingFinished gravy

  5. Once the gravy is the right consistency, add the onions and mushrooms and continue to cook over low heat for a minute or two. If the gravy becomes too thick, whisk in1 TBsp of water at a time until you get back to the right consistency.

    Gravy with onions and mushrooms

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