Reader Question – Vegetarian Gravy


13 Mar Reader Question – Vegetarian Gravy


This week’s question comes from Kerry Dexter, a serious music fan and dedicated vegetarian. She’s looking for a low-fat, low-sodium gravy that doesn’t rely on animal stock. And to make things more a challenge, she has no food processor or blender so you can’t just puree a bunch of vegetables and call it gravy.

I was going to offer up a mushroom recipe, but apparently fungus is expensive where she lives. Rats! I love any excuse to cook with mushrooms.

While I have lots of experience with gravy, it’s always based on pan drippings from a roast. So, can anyone help Kerry out? She writes:

I’d like ideas for a vegetarian gravy that I could make without using a food processor or a blender or the like, because I don’t own any of those things. I know mushrooms are a common ingredient, and I’d be interested in hearing about that, but they can be rather pricey around here, so I was thinking perhaps something based on caramelized onions, or maybe butternut squash, as well? I tend to use a light hand with both salt and fats in cooking, too.

We’d be serving it with/over things like rice, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, corn, other sorts beans — black, red, lima, green peas and so forth.

While you put your thinking caps on, take a few minutes to check out the photos from today’s photographer, Ben30. He went to Whistler and saw bobcats! I went to Whistler and saw $7.00 cappuccinos and designer sunglasses. Some people have all the luck.

Photo © Ben30. Published under a Creative Commons License.

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No Comments
  • Stephanie
    Posted at 11:52h, 13 March Reply

    I left this on Twitter, but I’ll leave it here too. We used to make a combo of pureed soft tofu with Bragg’s and a little soy sauce. If it needed thinning, added a little veggie broth and maybe some dijon mustard if we were feeling brassy. 😉

  • Cheri Sicard
    Posted at 12:07h, 13 March Reply

    I have a good vegetarian gravy recipe I came up with for Thanksgiving. Find it at

  • Leila
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 March Reply

    I have made this vegan gravy several times, and it’s excellent. Even my meat-loving brother raved about it.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 21:33h, 13 March Reply

    As you know, I’m a total hair splitter and will say again, that a vegetarian gravy is a sauce…but you already heard that from me once today, right?

    Does your reader do dairy products? If so, why not make a cheese sauce or bearnaise? Or are eggs and cheese and milk out, too?

    If so, I’d like to see a miso based sauce as a gravy substitute. I’ve never done it but it might work!

  • Cari Snell
    Posted at 22:41h, 15 March Reply

    The Naam in Vancouver, BC has an excellent Miso gravy.


    4 Tbsp miso paste
    2 cup veg bouillon
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 Tbsp sesame oil
    1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/8 cup honey or maple syrup
    2 tsp sambal olek (chili paste)
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 Tbsp grated ginger
    1/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup water


    Mix all ingredients except flour and water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until just before boiling. Turn the heat down, mix the flour and water together well until smooth, then slowly add to the gravy while whisking gently. Continue to stir until the gravy reaches a good thickness, then serve.

    Number of Servings: 6

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