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The Best Vegetarian Gravy

This recipe is adapted from a simple turkey gravy developed by Serious Eats editor J. Kenji López-Alt. I prefer the flavor when a bit of butter shines through from the roux, but it also tastes great when made vegan with a good olive oil. Since it keeps well and isn’t dependent on meat drippings, this is a great part of the holiday meal to make ahead. It will keep in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for a few months. Reheat gently before serving.


  • 8 cups good vegetable stock (or 7 cups stock and 1 cup good, dry white wine)
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup butter (to make it vegan, substitute a good olive oil or Earth Balance)
  • 1 minced shallot, optional
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Marmite
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • Pour the vegetable stock into a medium pot and drop in the shiitakes. Bring stock to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat and let mushrooms steep for 30 minutes. Pour stock and mushrooms into large spouted measuring cup or bowl, and wipe out the pot with a paper towel.
  • Add the butter to the empty pot and melt over medium-high heat. If using the shallot, add and cook for a minute or so, whisking once or twice. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until it turns very lightly golden, about two minutes. Pour in the stock with the mushrooms in a stream, whisking the whole time. Add soy sauce, marmite, and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Bring stock back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until gravy is reduced by almost half, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and additional pepper if desired. Remove mushrooms before serving.


Recipe Notes

  • I finally found a small gravy ladle that's just the right amount modern and just the right size to pass at the table. Thought you might like to know.
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