Thanksgiving gravy is an essential sauce to pour on everything from mashed potatoes to turkey. But if you don't want to hassle with the fat and juices from your roasted turkey, you can make this easier vegan gravy recipe! It's packed with savory flavor and it'll be a crowd-pleaser for the holiday.
Gravy is a sauce that makes an appearance every year throughout the U.S. on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving gravy is often made with the drippings from the roast turkey, along with broth, seasonings and a little flour to thicken it. This thick brown sauce gets doused on everything. And Thanksgiving gravy helps to moisten and add extra flavor to everything from mashed potatoes and stuffing to the turkey itself.
This vegan gravy recipe is just as savory and delicious as your traditional turkey gravy. However, it doesn't contain any turkey drippings or dairy.
The secret ingredient to adding a rich depth of flavor to this vegan gravy recipe is cocoa powder! Inspired by Mexican mole sauce, I add unsweetened cocoa powder to my Thanksgiving gravy. It doesn't make the gravy sweet or chocolate-y, but it adds an intense flavor that you can't quite put your finger on. Plus it makes the gravy a rich brown color, similar to traditional gravy. You could leave the cocoa powder out, but your gravy may turn out more yellow, like my caramelized onion gravy.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- It's vegan, so it's a great gravy recipe for anyone who doesn't consume dairy or animal products.
- Cocoa powder gives it a beautiful brown color, just like traditional turkey gravy.
- It tastes rich and savory, so no one will even guess that it's vegan!
- This vegan gravy recipe takes just 10 minutes to make, leaving you more time to enjoy the holiday festivities on Thanksgiving.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Replaces the turkey fat in traditional gravy
- All-purpose flour - Substitute cornstarch or gluten free flour to keep this gravy gluten-free
- Onion powder and Garlic powder - Adds loads of savory flavor while keeping the texture smooth
- Cocoa powder - Adds another depth of flavor and turns the gravy a rich brown color
- Vegetable broth - I prefer to use Better than Bouillon
- Salt - Only add at the very end if needed. Usually I leave out the salt since the broth adds enough salty flavor
How to Make Vegan Gravy
Heat the oil on low heat: In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil on low heat.
Whisk in the flour: Add the all-purpose flour and quickly whisk until it forms a thick paste.
Add the spices and broth: Add the onion powder, garlic powder, cocoa powder and vegetable broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk until it's all well-combined.
Whisk and let cool to thicken: Continue whisking as the gravy bubbles thickens for about 3 minutes. Set aside and let the gravy cool and thicken further for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve: Pour the gravy in a serving cup (like a gravy boat) and enjoy!!
There are many different types of gravy. The most "traditional" gravy is made with the fat and juices (called drippings) from meat. But that's not the only way to make this delicious sauce!
There are several different types of gravy that can be made without any meat products. One of my favorites is vegetarian onion gravy made with caramelized onions. This gravy is chunky and packed with flavor. There's also mushroom gravy, which tastes great on biscuits for Southern-style biscuits and gravy.
This vegan gravy recipe is more smooth and creamy than onion or mushroom gravy. And cocoa powder makes it a rich brown, similar to traditional turkey gravy.
What is vegan gravy made of?
Vegan gravy uses olive oil instead of turkey fat and vegetable broth instead of turkey juices. Plus, my vegan gravy recipe uses cocoa powder to get the color closer to traditional gravy.
What is a good substitute for gravy?
If you're not a fan of the flavor of gravy, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce are great ways to add salty, umami flavor to food. Or if you're looking around the Thanksgiving table, reach for some cranberry sauce! I love adding cranberry sauce to my mashed potatoes and turkey. It adds a tangy balance to the savory food.
How can I thicken gravy without flour?
Cornstarch or arrowroot powder are gluten-free ways to thicken gravy without flour.
Vegan Gravy Recipe
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- salt, to taste (only add if the broth doesn't make the gravy salty enough)
- In a small saucepan on the stove, heat the olive oil on low heat.
- Add the all-purpose flavor and quickly whisk until it forms a thick paste.
- Add the onion powder, garlic powder, cocoa powder and vegetable broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk until it's all well-combined.
- Continue whisking as the gravy bubbles for about 3 minutes as it thickens. Set aside and let the gravy cool and thicken further for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the gravy in a serving cup (like a gravy boat) and enjoy!!