Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy

By Alexandra Caspero on November 2, 2021

Vegan Mushroom Gravy! If you need a healthy, vegan gravy for Thanksgiving– try this one! Made with dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and so much umami flavor. Delicious on everything!

Is it appropriate to want to drink gravy? Because, that’s how I feel every time I make this vegan mushroom gravy recipe. The perfect excuse to whip up a pot of mashed potatoes, stuffing, noodles– if you can put gravy on it, I want to do it with this.

Even though we’ve still got a few weeks until Thanksgiving, my brain went there last weekend. I’m the first to admit that I decidedly don’t love Thanksgiving food in general, but I occasionally get a craving for the full plate: potatoes, roasted vegetables and lots of this vegan mushroom gravy.

I don’t know why I’ve never posted my mushroom gravy recipe before, but I figured it was about time to do so.  This is the gravy that I make just about every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since BL and I are usually the only vegetarians at the table, I take it upon myself to make sure we have a gravy just for us.

In fact, I made this vegan mushroom gravy last year and pretty much everyone at the table choose this over the turkey one. My father-in-law didn’t even realize he was eating the mushroom gravy until after the meal when he kept talking about how good the gravy was. Mushrooms > Turkey.

vegan mushroom gravy

Ingredients for Vegan Mushroom Gravy

You’ll need both fresh and dried mushrooms for this gravy. I used a mix of dried wild mushrooms along with fresh cremini mushrooms or baby bell mushrooms. White button mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms can be used instead if you’d like.

Additionally, you’ll need: 

  • Olive oil. For a richer flavor, you can substitute vegan butter. 
  • Shallots and garlic Cloves
  • Fresh thyme or dried thyme leaves 
  • Soy sauce
  • Corn starch to help thicken. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can sub in all purpose flour or another type of starch, like arrowroot starch. 
  • Vegetable broth or vegetable stock 
  • Balsamic vinegar

Use Fresh and Dried Mushrooms for the Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy

The secret for this gravy is the combination of both dried mushrooms and fresh mushrooms for the ultimate umami kick.

Using the liquid from the dried mushrooms also gives this gravy a delicious umami boost.

vegan mushroom gravy

Vegan Mushroom Gravy Recipe Instructions

You’ll first need to rehydrate the dried mushrooms in the base of a glass measuring cup or bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes, or until softened. Don’t throw away the mushroom soaking liquid! You’ll use that to add more umami flavoring to the gravy.  

From there, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the shallots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme until very tender and golden brown. This will take 15-20 minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn. 

Next, whisk together the mushroom liquid with cornstarch until dissolved. Add that alongside the vegetable broth to the mushroom mixture and simmer until thickened. To finish, stir in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste as needed with salt and black pepper.  The balsamic acid is key here to help balance the richness of the mushrooms. 

You can choose to leave this gravy with the chunks of mushrooms or puree it for a silky sauce. I prefer to add it to the blender and pulse a few times so it’s a little chunky but mostly silky. The splash of balsamic vinegar at the end brightens the gravy and helps cut through the richness- don’t skip it!

How to store leftovers

If you have any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for two to three days. You can also store it in the freezer for up to four months. 

To freeze, place the gravy in an airtight container or even ice cube trays if you plan to use a small amount at a time. Thaw, then reheat and use as desired.

vegan mushroom gravy with greens and vegetable wellington

Mushroom Gravy Serving Suggestions

While this vegan mushroom gravy is fantastic on any mashed potato recipe, I love my Instant Pot mashed potatoes to keep the stove open during a heavy cooking day, like Thanksgiving. This vegan mushroom gravy is also fantastic in my Roasted Thanksgiving Bowl, on Cauliflower Steaks, with my lentil Thanksgiving meatballs or just with crusty french bread. 

If you’re looking for ideas to round-out your holiday feast, you’ve gotta try my mini vegetable wellingtons, my vegan stuffing and my fresh green bean casserole.

vegan mushroom gravy

Best Vegan Mushroom Gravy

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: side dish, condiment, sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american, thanksgiving, vegan


Vegan Mushroom Gravy! If you need a healthy, vegan gravy for Thanksgiving– try this one! Made with dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and so much umami flavor. Delicious on everything!

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: side dish, condiment, sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american, thanksgiving, vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: side dish, condiment, sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american, thanksgiving, vegan


  • 3/4 ounce dried mushrooms (I used a mix of wild mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cremini or baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt/ 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  1. First, place the dried mushrooms in the base of a glass measuring cup or bowl and pour 2 cups hot water over them. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Next, warm a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shallots, fresh mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are very tender and browned, about 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the soy sauce, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Next, drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid for later, then finely chop the dried mushrooms. Add them to the pot with the fresh mushrooms.
  4. Then, add the cornstarch to the reserved dried mushroom liquid and whisk until dissolved. Add in the mushroom slurry along with the 2 cups of vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Finally, season to taste, as needed, with salt and pepper.
  5. And, at this point- you decide. If you want a chunky gravy then enjoy as is! Or, use an immersion blender or add to a blender and pulse until desired texture is achieved.

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This recipe was first posted in 2018 and updated in 2021. 

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(19 comments) leave a comment

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    1. Timothy Clark
      November 22, 2023 AT 8:56 pm

      Steadfast Omni-opportunitarian (raised in a hardcore meat-consuming environment—meat on every plate) and this is one of recipes that could easily help convert me to vegetarianism. Always a hit. Thank you!

    2. Lindsey
      November 23, 2021 AT 10:06 pm

      This recipe is a yearly staple, always a hit! The only substitution I make is using Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base for my stock. Very delicious, highly recommend!

    3. Kathryn
      November 21, 2020 AT 12:54 pm

      Thanks for this delicious sounding recipe! Does it matter what type of balsamic vinegar you use? I only have variations from “The Olive Tap” on-hand and am wondering if they will do. Also, can this be made ahead and stored in fridge or freezer?

      1. Alex
        November 22, 2020 AT 8:41 am

        Hi Kathryn, the vinegar helps to enhance the richness of the mushrooms, but you can use another type of vinegar! Start with a few drops to make sure you like the taste.

    4. Hannah
      November 23, 2019 AT 11:39 am

      Delicious!! Thank you! I couldn’t find dried mushrooms at my local store so, I just upped the cremini mushrooms by a 1/2 cup and added 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp of Veggie Better than Bouillon for the slurry. Also, switched the balsamic vinegar for red wine vinegar. SO SO GOOD.

      1. Alex
        November 23, 2019 AT 2:20 pm

        So glad you liked it!!

    5. Michelle Pennacchio
      November 21, 2019 AT 11:56 pm

      can you make this ahead?

      1. Alex
        November 22, 2020 AT 8:41 am

        Yes! I make it ahead and freeze it.

    6. Jennifer
      November 16, 2019 AT 1:19 pm

      The soy sauce is added in when?

      1. Alex
        November 18, 2019 AT 1:07 pm

        You will deglaze the pan with it after sauteeing the mushrooms. Thanks!

    7. Erin Slingerland
      November 28, 2018 AT 8:30 pm

      I cannot get enough of your blog, it is vegan heaven, there is an endless supply of delicious, do-able recipes without too many foreign ingredients, and as a fitness girl so many of your recipes fit the bill! This one is so perfect as we are going into winter, and who doesn’t love gravy! Please keep up the incredible work, I am so glad I found this blog!

      1. Alex
        November 29, 2018 AT 1:58 pm

        Thank you Erin! That comment totally made my day. Glad you are here. 🙂

    8. rebecca
      November 15, 2018 AT 11:28 pm

      I made this as 2nd gravy for my couple friends with food intolerances for a Thanksgiving pre-game party, it turned out better than the classic turkey gravy. It was so delicious & simple. Thanks for the great recipe!

      1. Alex
        November 16, 2018 AT 2:00 pm

        So glad you liked it Rebecca! xo

    9. Sylvia
      November 3, 2018 AT 6:56 am

      Logically step 1 refers to the dried mushrooms, but on first reading through it is slightly confusing. So the fresh mushrooms are getting cooked with the garlic, shallots etc while the dried are soaking?
      Just want to be sure I am understanding this clearly before I start – still on my first cup of coffee so maybe I shouldn’t even post, but if anyone else is confused your answer will save them my embarrassment 😉
      As it is , this is making my mouth water, and I am not even vegan or vegetarian, just a lost soul with a major dairy allergy looking for good recipes to fit my truncated diet. This looks so good I wouldn’t bother telling my guests it is vegan – it is just what I was looking for!

      1. Alex
        November 4, 2018 AT 9:47 am

        Yes, that’s it though I’ve updated the recipe instructions to make it more clear.

        1. Sylvia
          November 4, 2018 AT 3:34 pm

          Thank you 🙂

    10. Donna
      November 2, 2018 AT 3:20 pm

      My husband and I changed our eating habits which included switching from white potatoes to sweet potatoes. Now when we even try white at friends on holidays and such it is as if they have no flavor. We are hooked on the sweet but have yet to find a good gravy. This was perfect. It was so good. Like you we wanted to drink it. And a perfect compliment to the sweets. I am sure it would be good on the whites too.

      1. Alex
        November 4, 2018 AT 9:47 am

        So glad you liked it!