This Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy is savory and full of rich flavor thanks to an umami broth base that elevates the mushroom, onion, and flour roux. Jump to Recipe
I used Kenji Lòpez-Alt’s The Best Vegan Stuffing to help me make my family’s favorite recipe vegetarian. He highly suggests making your own vegetable broth for it and I agree. But I used a broth I had already made.
I’ve been making my own broth for years. It’s so easy, it helps cut down on food waste, and it makes your food taste AMAZING. Depending on what I’m making, I’ll also tinker with my vegetable broth.
If I’m making something where I want to emphasize sweet flavors, I’ll throw in cobs of corn. And if I want a really savory vegetarian broth, I’ll roast the veggies and use lots of ingredients that have umami flavor.
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy – It’s All About That Broth
Because gravy is so unadorned, I wanted to make sure that the broth used as its base was filled with flavor. It adds a little bit more work, but it’s easy.
I roasted the vegetables with a little bit of tomato paste and miso. The tomato paste adds some acid. In beef broth, it helps break down the connective tissue, but here it boosts that slow roasted flavor. Miso is an ingredient that contains glutamate, which makes people taste that umami flavor typically associated with meaty and savory foods.
Feel free to add extra mushroom stems. In the Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing, the mushroom stems are removed. Instead of throwing them away, roast them with the other vegetables for the broth.
Once the vegetables were done roasting, I simmered them in water with some dried shiitake mushrooms and a kombu seaweed sheet. Why? Again, they contain glutamate, which will help the gravy be rich and savory.
Once the broth is done, the roux goes really fast. Browned sautéed mushrooms and onions get coated in flour for the roux. As you add the broth, don’t worry if the gravy clumps really badly. Just keep whisking and it will smooth out.
To help add one more level of salty and savory umami flavor, season with a little bit of soy sauce. If you like chunky gravy, feel free to not strain out the solids. But I like my gravy silky smooth, so I strained mine.
With this Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy and the Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing, I’m confident the vegetarians coming to Thanksgiving this year won’t be left out.
The Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider tasted great with both too and I got to experience a little taste of Thanksgiving before I packed everything away in the freezer. The perks of being a food blogger.
Vegetarian Mushroom Broth
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- 6 cups water
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 kombu sheet, 4x5 inches
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together the veggies, tomato paste, and miso. Spread evenly out onto a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast veggies for 40 minutes, until they are soft and beginning to get a little blackened.
Toss the roasted vegetables in with the water, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu sheet. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the vegetables and mushrooms out.
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and the olive oil is hot, add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until well browned.
Add the flour and stir, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until the flour is golden brown.
Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock until a smooth sauce forms. Turn heat down to low and simmer until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Strain out the solids through a fine-mesh sieve.
As you add the broth, don’t worry if the gravy clumps really badly. Just keep whisking and it will smooth out.
Don't strain out the solids if you like a chunky gravy.
The gravy recipe is based on Melissa Clark's Vegan Mushroom Make-Ahead Gravy of NYT's Cooking.