Easy Vegetarian Gravy

Serves: 4
Cost: ~€0.30
Preparation and cooking time: ~10 mins
Calories: ~75 per serving

Hi everyone, how’s your weekend been? Not just the weekend, the whole week? May is always an enjoyable month in France. We’re blessed with not one, not two, but three public holidays in very quick succession. The first was May the 1st and the next two fall next week on the 8th and 9th. Glorious days off with nothing to do but enjoy the rapidly improving weather. The blossoms are out on the trees and as per usual at this time of year I really start to understand just why cherry blossom season is such a big deal in Japan. The beautiful trees with their cloud-like puffs of delicate pink and white flowers are wonderful to see and walk amongst.

As I write, I’m lying on my bed with my son next to me… it’s his bed-time but he’s really not in the mood to sleep right now and is doing everything to avoid falling asleep. Right now he’s screeching some strange tune and smacking the pillow… perhaps he has a future as a DJ? I think the little guy is having teething pain though. I noticed yet two more teeth forcing their way through his gums earlier. That will bring the total to seven. Not bad, considering some babies still don’t have any teeth by this age.

As promised in my previous post, here’s the gravy recipe which I used for the Baked Eggs ‘n’ Gravy dish. It’s completely vegetarian and has a rich, complex flavour thanks to the nutritional yeast (which is apparently called “nooch” in the US?!). If you’ve never tried it before then I don’t know quite how to describe it. It has a rich, nutty, salty flavour and is a perfect flavour enhancer in a wide range of dishes.

Vegetarian Gravy

If you’re after a smooth gravy then you should blend or strain the sauce after you’ve finished cooking it. It’s very quick to make and almost meaty in flavour, making it a great substitute for meat-based gravies at the dinner table. I hope you get a chance to give it a try – I’ll be back in a few days with something baked, but until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Easy Vegetarian Gravy


Vegetarian Gravy ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 20g butter
  • 2tbsps plain flour
  • 3tbsps nutritional yeast flakes
  • ~500ml water or vegetable stock
  • Half a vegetable stock cube (omit if using liquid stock)
  • 1tsp dried sage
  • A dash of soy sauce


  1. Start off by peeling and finely chopping the onion and garlic. In a pan, heat the butter until it starts to bubble and then add in the  chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until soft and then add in the flour. Stir around while still on the heat for a couple of minutes to brown off the flour and coat the onion well.
    Sautéing the onion
  2. Add in the nutritional yeast flakes and mix well again before pouring in the water or stock, bit by bit, stirring well between each addition, until the desired consistency is reached. Make the gravy a bit more liquid than you’ll need as the gravy will continue to reduce while you finish it off. Finally, crumble in the stock cube, if using, the sage and a good dash of soy sauce, stir well and simmer down to your preferred thickness before serving. If you want a smooth gravy then you may want to strain it before serving to remove the fried onion.
    Vegetarian Gravy



  1. says

    I haven’t heard of yeast flakes – I’ll google them. Wee William sounds like he’s going through a gorgeous phase (apart from the rigours of teething). My two boys teethed very early. They started at 3 months and seemed to have a full set of teeth before any of the children their age. I might say, the breast-feeding was very painful as they were too young to understand what it was they were cutting their teeth on. Quite glad those days are behind me xx

    • says

      Hi Charlie – yikes, I can just imagine how painful that would be. He bites my wife sometimes, who is understandably none too please about it when it happens!

  2. says

    For some strange reason all the pictures in the post (and your other posts as well) are missing so I can’t admire your veggie gravy though I remember what it looked like from the previous post, of course). Veggie gravy is something I’ve NEVER tried, either making or eating. Perhaps because I’m such a meat eater. :) As to the yeast flakes … it’s a new item in my cooking vocabulary. I’ll have to cogitate on uses.

    I bet William is willing those teeth to spring forth so he can enjoy all the yummy food mummy and daddy are dining on without him while making him eat that mostly mushier stuff. :)

    • says

      Aah, for once I can say without a shadow of a doubt that *that’s* not the fault of my site. The images are served by Amazon Web Services, so either a temporary issue with them or maybe your connection with their server! Maybe if you have a chance to come back here you could see if they’re showing up now?

      The yeast flakes are fantastic… I made pizza today but only had a tiny amount (like literally, about 10g) of cheese left, but I did have a packet of cream-cheese. Mix the cream-cheese with some yeast flakes… hey presto, you’ve got something which, while not cheese, certainly has some nice complex flavours and tastes “kind of like” cheese (certainly not unpleasant if that’s what you’re thinking – it was very nice).

  3. says

    Spring has finally sprung in Toronto in the form of gorgeous blooms everywhere. We have a couple thousand Japanese Cherry trees High Park that were a gift from Jspan right after the Second World War for taking in Jspanese refugees. They are simply spectacular and we are so fortunate to have them less than a fifteen minute walk from our house.
    That yeast sounds interesting and quite intriguing that you put it in gravy. The gravy does indeed look incredibly tasty.
    Oh my, William sure is growing fast! Seven teeth sounds like he’s in a hurry to eat real food!

    • says

      Hi Eva – I love when the blossom trees are out, but it’s really a case of “blink and you miss it” isn’t it? There’s a blossom tree literally just next to my balcony. It hasn’t bloomed yet – looking forward to when it does!

      I hope you get a chance to try the yeast – it’s so tasty and super versatile. You can put it in pretty much anything!

  4. says

    It is the other way around here, winter is coming fast and there are no more holidays the last is Queens Birthday. Anyways that gravy looks fantastic and healthy at the same time.

    • says

      Hi Raymund – that’s a real bummer. Seems so strange to think sometimes that we have a whole long summer to look forward to, while you guys have to hunker down and prepare for Winter!

  5. says

    I love spring blossoms! There is something magical about walking under one or just spending some time under the flowery snowflakes.
    Teething time is not easy for the kids or the parents but it passes by and only memories and bite marks remain :)
    I’ve heard of nutritional yeast, when I hosted the cheese making challenge all the vegan cheeses called for it to give flavor. I couldn’t find then, it is time I looked again to have a chance to try your tempting gravy

    • says

      Memories and bite marks… haha!!

      Do try and get some Sawsan – I really recommend it, it’s so tasty and interesting!

  6. says

    Charles, today’s post is total science fiction for me. I have never had (not to mention making) any gravy (I think it’s a British specialty), but it looks very tempting. I haven’t heard of the nutritional yeast either. Thank you for sharing all this! I keep on learning…
    We have less holidays here (only 9th and 20th May are holidays) but I like this month a lot too. I wish it was a bit warmer though…

    • says

      Hi Sissi, I hope you have a chance to give it a try – it’s really fun to use in cooking! We bought ours on a French online store called Greenweez!

      Back to work tomorrow for me, though now I’m wishing I’d taken Friday off as well for a nice long weekend :(

  7. says

    The whole week was sunny and filled up with pleasures. I’m polish and we have a long may weekend in my country. I do not live over there but I do celebrate it 😉 I am not familiar with yeast flakes, but I like to learn about new things and it will be one of them :)

    • says

      Hi Marta – glad you had a good week! We’re all done here with the public holidays until… well… a long time – some months I think. I wish I’d taken tomorrow off so I could have a long weekend. I guess there will be almost no-one in my office tomorrow!

  8. says

    I’ve never heard of yeast or nutritional yeast flakes. Interesting. The flavor sounds good. I like nutty. I bet Mike would LOVE this. He is such a big gravy fan. And if it has a bit of a nutty flavor I might even like it. Gotta love the teething phase…poor little guy. Don’t you wish you could tell him it will all be worth it. 😉

    • says

      Hi Kristy – this stuff is great I swear. It’s the kind of thing you could stick on the table and eat like a condiment. Sprinkle on everything in sight! 😀 Hope you get a chance to find some. Maybe you could get it in some health-food stores?

      I heard that the teething pain can sometimes be so intense that if an adult had to endure the same pain he would actually be driven crazy (like “actually insane”) from the pain, which is why nature pushes the teeth out now when the brains aren’t developed enough to properly cogitate the suffering. Yikes!

  9. says

    Yeast flakes are new to me too. This gravy looks very good!

    Do you chill his teething toys? It often helps on those really uncomfortable days. Enjoy every single moment because by the time you know it, he’ll be headed off for university.

    • says

      Hi Maureen – we have chilled them sometimes. At the moment we have a gum gel for him with lidocaine in for when it gets really bad. Seems extremely effective. He stops crying almost immediately after it’s administered!

  10. says

    How very interesting…using yeast flakes. Did you buy them here in France? What are they called? This is a great recipe for a sauce for Veggies and I have plenty of friends who visit us who would appreciate it. Now I just need to know where to get my hands on this Nutritional Yeast Fakes….

    • The Wife says

      It seems to be called “Levure de Bière Maltée”. We bought it online at Greenweez. They have a lot of interesting things actually! :-)

  11. says

    May is indeed a blessed month, isn’t it? I find myself strolling through the parks taking it all in (that’s one of the best things about having a dog – whether you want to or not, you’re always walking :)). Even brought my camera out with me earlier this week (it doesn’t often leave the house).

    I sprinkle nutritional yeast (we call it that way in Canada) on popcorn but have never used it in gravies/sauces. Very neat application, I’ll have to give it a try. Your gravy looks delish Charles.

    • says

      Hi Kelly – you’re one of the few people who’s heard of this yeast stuff :D. It’s tasty, isn’t it! Good call on the popcorn, I’ll remember that! :)

      • says

        Nutritional yeast is a bit of a star in the nutrition world 😉 (mostly owing to it’s B-complex vitamins)- it’s very yummy sprinkled on popcorn – I mix it with cumin, chili, paprika, onion powder, etc. depending on my mood :).

  12. says

    Oh Yea! The gravy! A couple of different ingredients than I normally see in a gravy – like yeast flakes. Are they used as a thickener? Now that I know what’s in the gravy, the egg dish looks even better!

  13. says

    The soy sauce bottle totally made me smile – unexpected (at least from your Western mean post)!! I add soy sauce at the end for a lot of dishes (like bolognaise etc as secret ingredient). Love your vegetarian gravy! Pinned!

    • says

      Thanks Nami – I love soy sauce too… you can splash a bit in all sorts of things and it really gives a little push to the flavour! Only problem is, it’s so freaking expensive! I never have the time to go to the Asian supermarkets in Paris to buy big bottles of the cheap stuff so I have to use it sparingly! :(

  14. says

    Sounds scrummy, Charles! Good combination. Sometimes when I do a vegetarian gravy, I use just a smidge of tomato paste – not enough to taste tomatoey, just enough to add a little something. William sounds adorable!

    • says

      Hi Jean – that’s another good idea. I think my mother makes something with just a smidge of tomato paste for that little boost of flavour, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it is that she does now! :p

  15. says

    Now I love that this isn’t meat based – but what are these yeast flakes you’re talking about? I don’t now if I’ve seen them here Down Under – may need to but online if I wanted to do this..but is there a substitution I can use instead? :)

    • says

      Hi Fati, the yeast flakes are really nice – I recommend trying to get some. If you can’t, then I guess in a pinch you could use Marmite or Vegemite. The flavour is not dissimilar.

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