This gluten-free and vegan gravy is made with caramelized onions and roasted garlic, and is the perfect sauce for mashed potatoes!
I did not grow up eating gravy. Time and again, when offered gravy to top my potatoes– I said “no thank you.”
And then, I met the husband. And he loves gravy on his mashed potatoes.
And so– finally– I decided to learn how to make mashed potato gravy.
Except– I don’t remember what beef gravy or turkey gravy tastes like, so making a non-meaty version to replicate one of these gravies was problematic. And after a few disappointing attempts at vegetable broth-based gravies– something occurred to me.
Onion gravy– made with caramelized onions– is less common than beef or turkey gravy, but it most definitely is a thing. A glorious thing.
And this vegan onion gravy– inspired by my Get Well Soup— is made with dark, caramelized onions and roasted garlic, and is PERFECT for ladling over mashed potatoes.
Or anything really. Eat it with a spoon– go ahead!
How Long Does It Take To Caramelize Onions?
A long time– but it’s almost entirely hands-off.
As written, this recipe uses four onions. It should take 1-3 hours, depending on the size of your pot and the temperature you use. If you double the recipe, it’ll take longer.
Check the recipe card for tips on caramelizing onions.
Can I Make This Vegan Gravy Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can make it from start-to-finish ahead of time, and reheat it when you need it.
Can I Swap Store-Bought Minced Garlic for the Roasted Garlic?
I don’t recommend it. Roasted garlic is sweet and delicious, and doesn’t have the same pungent taste as raw garlic.
How to make Vegan Gravy with Caramelized Onions
Start caramelizing the onions, and slide the garlic in the oven to roast. When the onions finish caramelizing, add the roasted garlic, a little broth and water, and salt to taste.
Once it’s done cooking, serve it as is, or purée it in a blender for a smooth, creamy gravy.
Want some VEGAN GRAVY PAIRING recipe ideas? Try these:
- Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (vegetarian)
- Garlic Cauliflower Mash (vegetarian, low carb mashed potato substitute)
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Fried Onions + Coconut Oil – from Know Your Produce
Want VEGAN FALL SIDE DISHES? Try these:
Vegan Gravy with Caramelized Onions
Cook time will vary depending on how slowly the onions are caramelized. The size of the pot and the level of heat will affect the caramelization time.This gravy recipe makes about 3 cups of gravy, or twelve 1/4 cup servings. It is easily doubled or tripled, but keep in mind that a larger pot of onions may take much longer to caramelize.
- 2 TB olive oil, divided
- 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary, destemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 heads garlic
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth OR white wine
- 2 cups water
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Heat 1 1/2 TB olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, bay leaves, and rosemary. Cover pan, and cook about 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent.
- Remove lid, and cook over low or medium-low until the onions begin to brown and caramelize. Stir periodically while cooking.Tip: The lower the heat, the sweeter the onions will be (but it will also take longer!). Time Frame: This step will take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on the heat level and size of pot. Check on the onions occasionally-- stirring once an hour for low heat, once every 30 minutes for medium-low, until the onions begin to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, cut the pointed tip off two heads of garlic. (Cut the top, not the end with the root.) Remove some of the outer papery skin.
- Set garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle about 1/2 TB olive oil over the garlic heads, sprinkle with salt, and fold the foil over the garlic. Roast for 45-50 minutes, or until the garlic is golden.
- Let the garlic cool slightly, and then push on the bottom of the garlic to remove the cloves. Set them aside.
- When the onions begin to caramelize, add the garlic, and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the broth (or wine), and stir-- scraping up any bits of onion stuck to the pan. Add the water, and bring to a simmer.
- Taste broth, and add additional salt if needed. Remove the bay leaves.
- If desired, pour gravy into a blender (or into the cup of an immersion blender), and blend until smooth. Serve warm.
- To Make Ahead:Refrigerate: Store in a sealed container, and use within 3-4 days.Freeze: Store in a sealed container, and use within 3-4 months.