911 Vegan Gravy

by on November 25, 2015
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This vegan gravy is great for emergencies because you can make it from pantry ingredients in under 15 minutes. It's gluten-free, too!

People new to oil-free vegan diets often ask what they can put on baked potatoes.  If you’re used to using margarine or butter, it can be intimidating to be told that you need to either (a) get used to potatoes plain or with new toppings such as salsa or (b) make a cheesy sauce or gravy from scratch. I’ve been eating a lot of potatoes lately while following my personal version of the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Plan, and I can tell you from experience that (a) I don’t care for salsa on baked potatoes and (b) if I had to make a difficult sauce in order to eat them I never would.

Instead, I make a gravy that’s so ridiculously easy that I wasn’t going to write about it here. But then I posted the following photo of my breakfast on my Instagram account, and a couple of people wanted the recipe:

911 Vegan Gravy with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

911 Vegan Gravy with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

It’s practically not a recipe, just a proportion of ingredients: 9 stands for 9 parts liquid, 1 stands for 1 part brown rice flour, and the other 1 stands for 1 teaspoon of seasoning (or 1 tablespoon if you’re really into seasonings.)  But 911 is also the code for emergencies, and when you need gravy but you don’t have any mushrooms or onions or other fresh vegetables, this recipe will save you and your baked potatoes. Of course, if you have fresh ingredients to add, so much the better, but this recipe is perfect for all of you mushroom haters out there. And it’s gluten-free, so it’s safe to serve to any gluten-sensitive guests at your holiday table.

 

911 Vegan Gravy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This basic gravy is endlessly adaptable. The only limit is your imagination. See the notes below for some seasoning suggestions.
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or a combination of broth and non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or your choice of seasonings (see notes)
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • soy sauce, tamari, or salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until gravy boils and thickens. Check seasonings and add more as needed. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. If it's too thick, add additional broth or non-dairy milk to thin.
Notes
I like No-Chicken-style broth in this and usually use either Imagine No-Chicken or Edward & Sons Not-Chick'n Bouillon.

I like to use poultry seasoning because its combination of herbs tastes like Thanksgiving to me. But feel free to use whatever seasonings you like. Thyme, sage, rosemary, onion powder, and garlic powder in various combinations will give you a similar flavor, and you can increase the flavor by adding any of them along with the poultry seasoning.

Add nutritional yeast. I often add a tablespoon or two to increase the richness and the flavor of the gravy.

Make this fancy by sautéing onions, mushrooms, and garlic (or any combination of the three) before adding the other ingredients.

Add smoked salt for a "bacon gravy" flavor.

Use more non-dairy milk for a creamier gravy. (In these photos I used 2 cups broth to 1/4 cup cashew milk. You can use up to half non-dairy milk.)

For extra flavor, add a little vegetable bouillon in addition to the broth.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/8 of recipe (about 1/4 cup) Calories: 22 Fat: .14g Carbohydrates: 4.5g Sodium: 146mg Fiber: 0g Protein: .4g

911 Vegan Gravy

I hope you don’t have a gravy emergency this holiday season, but if you do, just remember 9-1-1.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan

 

You can make this easy, gluten-free, vegan gravy from pantry items in about 15 minutes. But it's delicious and not just for emergencies!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeannine November 25, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I make this in the microwave stirring every minute. So good!

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2 Jude November 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm

What adaptions have you made to MCD’s MWL program? I guess brown rice flour might be one. I love potatoes sooo much think it may satisfy many people who crave that extra starch in winter, but don’t want to put that extra winter weight on. Hope you’re going to blog more around this.

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3 Susan Voisin November 28, 2015 at 8:55 am

Yes, I probably shouldn’t refer to it as McDougall’s plan because the rice flour wouldn’t be allowed on it. My main adaptation of MWL is that I don’t worry about the small stuff such as a half tablespoon of flour in a serving of gravy or a tablespoon of tahini in a whole recipe of something, like hummus. I also don’t limit fruit. What I took from MWL is the emphasis on potatoes and whole food starches, but I’ve also borrowed from Fuhrman that fruit is okay and every now and then a little nut butter in a whole batch of something won’t throw me off-track. What was causing me problems was my use of bread and sugar, and since eliminating those, I find it much easier to stay on-plan and lose weight without having to cut out potatoes and whole grains.

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4 Cheryl January 3, 2016 at 11:18 am

Thanks for that reply Susan. I just started reading MWL and wondered how the heck I was going to follow this plan. I like how you took the major steps and let the little ones slide. Jude… I am a BIG potato fan as well but always used Earth Balance. I’m looking forward to making this gravy for my potatoes tonight.

Susan Thank you so much for keeping this site active. You are my (savory) savor 🙂

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5 Mark G January 29, 2016 at 1:12 am

Susan, I just read your comments. Have you considered making and eating sourdough bread? It is, by far the most digestible bread that you can eat and will always taste ten times greater then anything you buy. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. There are dozens of books written on sourdough and many great websites too. All of the bread fed to anyone in my home is sourdough only with the exception of birthday cake. Ironically, that is about the only thing that we make once a year and don’t worry about the fat and/or sugar because, let’s face it, life really is too darn short.

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6 Maria November 25, 2015 at 8:19 pm

This is great Susan! And I love the 9-1-1–Mike asked me to bring my brown rice flour tomorrow so he can make this. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!! xoxo

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7 Susan Voisin November 26, 2015 at 8:48 am

That’s so great! Tell Mike and Kelly I said hi and happy Thanksgiving!

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8 Susan Walter November 26, 2015 at 3:46 am

Lapsang souchong is my go-to for faking smoke flavour. Grind it to a powder and use it like a spice or for something like this gravy recipe, use some tea as some of your liquid. It’s disgusting as a drink, but fantastically useful as an ingredient!

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9 Susan Voisin November 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

I will be on the lookout for lapsang souchong from now on. I would love to try this!

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10 Roberta Silverstein January 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Excellent idea! I am going to try this concept on a lot of things requiring that smoky taste. PS: Susan: Love the gravy.

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11 Janet March 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Lapsang souchong *is* really, really smokey in flavour so a little goes a long way! i’d like to share that one way to enjoy it as tea is to use it as a flavor enhancer to your regular tea by adding a tiny pinch before brewing the larger batch. i especially like to add it to a flowery teasting tea such as lychee, orange pekoe, etc. yummy! many, many, MANY thanks for suggesting it as a food flavor enhancer–i plan to give it a try.

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12 Rosie November 26, 2015 at 7:59 am

I adore baked potatoes this time of year but usually smother them in margarine. I’m inspired by your healthy gravy, I’ll have to give this a try.

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13 Mark November 26, 2015 at 9:31 am

Do you think chickpea flour would work instead of brown rice flour? I happen to have one and not the other!

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14 Susan Voisin November 26, 2015 at 9:44 am

I wouldn’t do it without googling it first to see if other people have had success with chickpea flour gravy. I think it would be too grainy and not starchy enough, but I haven’t experimented with it in gravy.

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15 Maureen Cram November 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I use chickpea flour often when making gravy. I do use some oil when I make mine but have found the secret is to cook the chickpea flour mix for several minutes over low heat to make sure it gets cooked. I also add a bit of vegan red wine for extra taste :).

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16 laloofah November 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

Happy Thanksgiving, Susan! Hope E was able to make it home for the holidays!

I had the same conundrum about what to put on my baked potatoes when we eliminated added fats from our diet. Then I discovered how tasty they are with Ann Esselstyn’s Walnut Dressing on them, and that’s how I usually enjoy them now. It probably won’t fit with your MWL plan because of the fat from the walnuts, but here it is:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic
2-4 TBSP tamari (we use 3)
Blend till smooth, refrigerate. Enjoy sparingly (a little can go a long way) on salads, veggies (this is especially good on kale) – and potatoes!

This won’t stop me from trying your gravy, however. I love gravy. 🙂 Btw, not long after going vegan I started calling poultry seasoning “prairie seasoning,” because the aroma of the sage reminded me of the sage-covered Wyoming prairie around us.

Grateful to you for all the delicious recipes you’ve so generously shared for so many years, and wishing you a delightful Thanksgiving!

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17 Ruth Barwick November 26, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Made your 911 gravy today and just had to write. It’s great!! Used mushrooms and nutritional yeast. Thank you so much for all your posts. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving too.

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18 Lisa November 27, 2015 at 7:20 am

Hi Susan,
I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. I wonder if you could give me your opinion of Instant Pots vs rice cookers. I had been thinking of buying a rice cooker and was looking at the Zojirushi models but recently began considering an instant pot instead. I wonder if you have had experience with both of these types of appliances and what your impressions have been. I am mostly interested in having something for cooking brown rice which we eat regularly.
Thanks so much!

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19 Susan Voisin November 27, 2015 at 8:43 am

Hi Lisa, I don’t have any experience with the Zojirishi rice cookers, but I do have and use just a generic (Black and Decker, I think) rice cooker and strongly prefer it to the Instant Pot for brown rice. BUT. I have never been able to get the proportions of water, rice, and time right in any of my pressure cookers, and other people swear by the Instant Pot for brown rice. So I’m not sure if it’s something I’m doing wrong (I have tried several different recipes), something about the altitude where I live, or something about how I prefer my rice to come out, but I’ve given up on using the IP for it and still use my rice cooker.

That’s my experience and it’s definitely not typical. You might have great results in the IP. And an IP can do so much more than any rice cooker, so if you think you might use it for cooking dried beans, soups, or stews quickly, it would probably be worth it to experiment until you get it to do perfect brown rice, too.

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20 Susan Voisin November 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

Oh, if it helps any, I just found out that Amazon has the Instant Pot model I have for $78.50 today. That’s $20 less than when I bought it and $50 less than it usually is! http://amzn.to/1Hsr4kF

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21 Nancy Boyce November 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Loved it! Thanksgiving and Christmas will be so much better because we all love gravy but don’t need/want the rest of the bad stuff! Nancy Boyce

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22 Kristine December 3, 2015 at 4:50 am

I am glad I saw this recipe while checking the site of my friend. I always end up with very runny or lumpy gravy and I think yours is just thick and smooth – just how I like it!

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23 Samir December 4, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Hi Susan,
Please consider including the full content of your posts in your RSS feeds, instead of just a snippet. This will increase your readership, particularly those readers who exclusively peruse blogs through feed readers.

Thank you for the consideration.

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24 Cassie December 6, 2015 at 7:52 am

Yes! I will have to try this. I also love baked potatoes, but also dislike salsa on potatoes. I normally throw a little Earth Balance on it, sprinkle season all, and try not to feel too bad about the processed fake butter. This is much better! Thanks!

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25 nancy December 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

I tried this gravy. The rice flour amount was way too much. The consistency was very ‘gloppy’ and just awful. Taste was good but did not pour like gravy. I’ll make it again and use vegan cornstarch and ‘gravy master’ to darken it.

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26 Susan Voisin December 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Sorry you had a bad experience, Nancy. People like their gravies at different consistencies, and I like mine thick, so the default for this recipe is thick. But you can always thin it down with more “milk” or broth, though if you like it very thin, you’d have to increase the seasonings along with the liquid. I’m glad you at least found the flavor good.

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27 Vidya December 9, 2015 at 12:34 am

Wow, looking yummy, will surely try it,thanks for sharing 🙂 do visit my blog too for more yummy recipes

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28 Soncco December 15, 2015 at 7:51 am

Hello 🙂 I make this in the microwave stirring every minute.

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29 Jem December 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Susan, I just made a double batch of your VeganMushroom Gravy. I broke my right arm several weeks ago (I’m right-handed of course), so I needed some help from my best buddy….my husband of 48 years! We love this so much and have potatoes & gravy for dinner every week or two — add a pile of green veggies and a side salad and it’s a yummy and healthy dinner. I’ll freeze my pot of gravy in 1 C batches — many simple dinners until this arm heals! thank you for making our vegan lifestyle so easy!

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30 Sheri A January 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Hey Susan! I made this today just because it was cold outside and I was craving mashed potatoes with gravy.😊 Omg! It is delicious! I did use white rice flour since I did not have the brown kind. It turned out thick and delicious! You recipes never fail me!!! Thank you!!!

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31 Jazzy January 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Gravy was the bomb! 🙂 Had it over baked potatoes with chickpeas and mushrooms and onions as pictured. My husband said it reminded him of Salsbury steak. Thank you for the great recipe.

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32 Gira January 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm

I made this gravy using the Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free flour blend (which is what I have, and it is mostly rice flour), mushrooms, onions, and I skipped the nutritional yeast because I am sensitive to all things yeasty. I added poultry seasoning, a bit of veggie base, lots of black pepper, and regular salt.
I can’t believe how delicious this gravy was! I thought I was eating in a restaurant! I am having the leftovers today with mashed potatoes and it reminded me that I needed to leave a comment to thank you for sharing this easy wonderful recipe!

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33 shawna January 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm

I had this recipe stashed away and boy am I happy I did! I finally made this just as posted but split the recipe in half. I wish I made the whole recipe. I served it over mashed potatoes. . .delicious. Just what I needed on a cold winter day in PA! Thank you for sharing.

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34 Tammy February 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm

This recipe looks great! Do you think it would work using corn starch instead of brown rice flour?

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35 Mike February 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

That looks so good.
I’m allergic to rice (weird right? Rice is the thing that people who are allergic to everything eat), do you think another type of flour or thickener would be okay in this?
Cheers and thanks,
Mike

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36 Susan Voisin February 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Any wheat flour should work. I hesitate to recommend gluten-free flours other than rice because I’m not sure how gritty they would be.

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37 Jennifer November 22, 2016 at 7:57 am

Hi! I’m searching for a gravy that my daughter can eat on thanksgiving. We aren’t vegan, but she is allergic to many foods. She can not have: dairy, malt, rye, potatoes, rice, and most nuts. That being said, what could I substitute for the rice flour? Is it just used as a thickening agent?

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38 Susan Voisin November 22, 2016 at 11:03 am

If there is another flour that she can have, try substituting that for the rice flour.

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39 Regina November 24, 2016 at 8:12 am

Please know that soy sauce contains gluten!

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40 Susan Voisin November 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

Yes, but tamari and salt do not.

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41 Laina January 11, 2017 at 12:16 am

Hi Susan,

Can you freeze the leftover Imagine No Chicken? Also, did you add chickpeas to the Gravy?

Thanks, this looks perfect for baked potatoes! What do you use to top a sweet potato?

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42 Susan Voisin January 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

You can definitely freeze the leftover broth. I have added chickpeas when serving the gravy over baked potatoes–very good! For sweet potatoes, I usually just sprinkle with cinnamon. Sugar, but there is a great cashew curry sauce in one of Nava Atlas’s books that is terrific over baked potatoes.

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43 Laina January 12, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Great!!! Do you happen to remember which cookbook?

As always, thanks Susan.

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44 Carrie January 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Thank you SO much!! I’m new to the oil free vegan diet. We’ve been vegan before and for years, but I always gained weight on it! Now I’m losing weight because I have stopped the added fats! This is a much needed addition to my recipe collection!! Thank you so so much!

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