Easy Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe to Complement Your Meals

Easy Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe to Complement Your Meals

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Updated on April 28, 2024

While a steaming pile of mashed potatoes or a plate of roasted vegetables might feel incomplete without a generous helping of gravy, traditional gravy recipes often rely on butter as a key ingredient. This can leave those following vegan, vegetarian, or dairy-free diets feeling left out of the gravy love. 

The good news is that, with simple ingredients and straightforward techniques, you can enjoy the rich flavours and velvety texture of dairy-free gravy from the comfort of your own kitchen.

So, let’s uncover the secrets behind crafting a luscious gravy without the need for dairy. We’ll guide you through a simple recipe that ditches the butter but keeps all the flavour you crave with tips for the best results and creative ways to serve your homemade gravy. Get ready to transform your favourite dishes with a gravy that’s not only delicious but friendly to all dietary needs!

Why Make Your Own Dairy-Free Gravy?

Why Make Your Own Dairy-Free Gravy

Crafting your own dairy-free gravy opens the door to a world of culinary possibilities while addressing dietary restrictions and flavour preferences. Here are compelling reasons why making your own dairy-free gravy is a game-changer.

Health Benefits

Traditional gravy often relies on butter, which can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. By making your own dairy-free gravy, you control the ingredients. You can choose heart-healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil for the roux (the gravy base) and skip the added sodium often found in pre-made options. This allows you to create a lighter, healthier gravy that still packs a flavourful punch.

Flavour Customisation

One of the biggest drawbacks of store-bought gravy is the lack of control over the flavour profile. With homemade dairy-free gravy, you can experiment with different broths to create unique nuances—vegetable broth for a neutral base or mushroom broth for an earthy richness. Love garlic? Throw some in! Craving a touch of smokiness? A dash of paprika can do wonders. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to tailor the gravy to complement your dish perfectly.


Pre-made gravy can be expensive, especially for those with specific dietary needs. By making your own dairy-free gravy, you’re in control of the ingredients, which can often be more cost-effective, particularly when buying in bulk. Plus, with proper storage, leftover homemade gravy can be used in future dishes, maximising your resources and minimising waste. 

Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe

Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe

Indulge in the rich and savoury goodness of homemade dairy-free gravy with this simple yet delicious recipe. Made with pantry staples and bursting with flavour, this gravy is perfect for drizzling over roast dinners, mashed potatoes, or your favourite vegan dishes. Here’s how to make it.


  • 500ml vegetable broth (or broth of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour (or gluten-free flour blend for a gluten-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (for a gluten-free option)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Melt the vegan butter or olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Once hot, whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until a light golden roux forms.
  3. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Be sure to whisk out any lumps as you go. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens slightly.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with a splash of cold water to form a slurry. 
  6. Gradually whisk the slurry into the simmering gravy and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Whisk in the soy sauce or tamari, dried thyme, rosemary, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and serve your delicious dairy-free gravy immediately over your favourite dishes.

Tips for Achieving Perfect Dairy-Free Gravy

Tips for Achieving Perfect Dairy-Free Gravy

Creating a smooth, flavourful, dairy-free gravy is easier than you think, but a few handy tips can elevate your results from good to restaurant-worthy! Here are some tips and techniques to guarantee your homemade dairy-free gravy turns out creamy and delicious every single time.

  1. The type of broth you choose plays a significant role in the final flavour profile of your gravy. So, experiment to find your favourite one! Vegetable broth provides a neutral base, perfect for versatility; mushroom broth adds a rich, earthy depth, while chicken-less broth offers a savoury boost.
  2. Ensure your fat (butter or oil) is hot but not sizzling when you whisk in the flour. Then, whisk constantly as you slowly add the broth, making sure to break up any lumps that may form.
  3. Take your time when cooking the flour and oil mixture (roux) to achieve a golden brown colour and eliminate any raw flour taste.
  4. If your gravy seems too thin, simply whisk in a bit more cornstarch slurry (a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a splash of cold water) a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out with a touch of additional broth.
  5. Adjust the amount of flour or vegetable broth to control the thickness of the gravy according to your preference.
  6. Allow the gravy to simmer gently after adding the vegetable broth to develop the flavours and achieve the desired consistency.
  7. If your gravy has any lumps or inconsistencies, you can strain it through a fine mesh sieve for a smoother texture.

Serving Suggestions for Dairy-Free Gravy

Serving Suggestions for Dairy-Free Gravy

Gravy is not just for mashed potatoes anymore! It can elevate a variety of dishes, transforming them into comforting and flavourful masterpieces. Here are some creative serving suggestions to inspire you.

  1. Mashed Potatoes: Smother creamy mashed potatoes with dairy-free gravy for a comforting and indulgent side dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
  2. Roast Dinners: Serve dairy-free gravy alongside classic roast dinners, such as roast chicken or turkey, for a comforting and flavourful addition.
  3. Veggie Pies: Pour dairy-free gravy over vegetable pies or vegan shepherd’s pie for a hearty and satisfying meal bursting with flavour.
  4. Vegan Sausage: Drizzle dairy-free gravy over grilled vegan sausages or bangers and mash for a delicious and comforting British-inspired meal.
  5. Nut Roasts: Pair dairy-free gravy with nut roasts or lentil loaves for a hearty and nutritious vegetarian or vegan alternative to traditional meat dishes.
  6. Yorkshire Puddings: Fill crispy Yorkshire puddings with dairy-free gravy for a tasty and indulgent appetiser or side dish that’s sure to impress.
  7. Stuffed Squash: Use dairy-free gravy as a sauce for stuffed squash or roasted vegetables for a flavourful and elegant vegetarian or vegan meal.
  8. Poutine: Create a dairy-free version of the Canadian classic poutine by pouring gravy over crispy fries and dairy-free cheese curds for a deliciously indulgent treat.
  9. Breakfast Hash: Drizzle dairy-free gravy over a hearty breakfast hash made with potatoes, vegetables, and vegan sausage for a satisfying start to the day.
  10. Sandwiches and Wraps: Use dairy-free gravy as a spread or dipping sauce for sandwiches, wraps, or burritos for added flavour and moisture.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Dairy-Free Gravy 

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Dairy-Free Gravy 

Proper storage is key to ensuring the longevity and freshness of your homemade dairy-free gravy. Follow these guidelines to store your gravy safely and maintain its delicious flavour.

Proper Refrigeration 

The best way to store leftover dairy-free gravy is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help prevent spoilage and ensure your gravy stays fresh. Let the gravy cool completely before storing it, ideally within two hours of cooking. Properly stored, your dairy-free gravy can last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Reheating Method

To reheat leftover dairy-free gravy, simply transfer the desired amount to a saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk in a little additional broth (vegetable broth or even water works well) to prevent thickening as you heat. You can also use a whisk or an immersion blender to ensure a smooth consistency.

Freezing for Longer Storage

If you know you won’t use your leftover gravy within a few days, freezing is a great option for longer-term storage. Allow the gravy to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or even portion it out into ice cube trays for single-serving convenience. Frozen dairy-free gravy can be stored for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply place the container in the refrigerator overnight or reheat it directly from frozen in a saucepan over low heat with some added broth, following the reheating tips above.

Quality Check

  • Before serving reheated gravy, perform a visual and smell check to ensure it has not been spoilt.
  • Discard any gravy that exhibits signs of spoilage, such as an off odour or unusual texture.

Final Notes & Further Inspiration

Ultimately, homemade dairy-free gravy can rival anything you’d find in a restaurant! Experiment with different broths, herbs, and flavourings to discover your perfect gravy profile.

If you’re looking for more dairy-free inspiration, be sure to check out our other recipes on the website! Explore our guide to making the perfect sausage queso dip for an irresistible party appetiser, our delicious dairy-free ranch dressing recipe to add a creamy touch to your salads and snacks, or our guide to a creamy dairy-free spinach dip that’s perfect for parties or a cosy night in.

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