This Vegan Yeast Gravy Will Rock Your Meat-Eating Socks

I woke up craving vegan yeast gravy.

(I know, that sounds just the tiniest bit dirty.)

Vegan yeast gravy, made with nutritional yeast flakes (available in bulk at your health food store, also ideal on popcorn), is one of the most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth.

My friend Laurel's mom (a silver fox!) always made it for their healthy brown-rice-and-vegetable dinners when she was in grade school (and still does), transforming a fairly bland, ordinary meal into a luxe, creamy, salty-good delight.

I recently visited Laurel and her own little nuclear family. After hitting a local farm for incredible Jersey tomatoes, the absolute freshest, greenest, loveliest okra I have ever met, creamy farm cheeses, and honeycrisp apples, we cobbled together a delicious late summer dinner.

(First we ate a bunch of apple cider doughnuts at the farm. Let's call that the appetizer course.)

Laurel and her husband (who holds the distinction of pulling off one of the finest senior year pranks our high school ever did see) are primarily vegetarian, so while it wasn't surprising, it was VERY EXCITING TO ME that the leftovers rattling around the fridge included a half-pot of -- that's right -- the magical yeast gravy of yore! (It reheats beautifully over low heat with rewhisking.)

So here I am, craving vegan yeast gravy and it's 8am. So I go for it.

You want to go for it? Here's how.

Pat's Vegan Yeast Gravy

1. First, toast 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup nutritional yeast in a skillet/frying pan. NOT BREWER'S YEAST! Even though it says so in the photo. I was not raised on health foods! So sometimes I get confused. Laurel assures me that brewer's yeast is thoroughly nasty tasting. I prefer not to find out for myself!

Then transfer to a smaller, higher-sided saucepan. (You don't have to, but it's better -- if you're willing to wash another dish.)

2. Add 1/3 cup oil (safflower or other veg oil)

3. Start whisking! Add, slowly, 2 to 2 1/2 cups liquid, either veggie stock or water (preferably heated). Whisk fast!

4. Sprinkle some cayenne, garlic powder, and paprika to taste.

5. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup good tamari to taste. Whisk whisk!

By now your gravy should be glossy and velvety thick, easily coating and clinging to a spoon. YUM!!

Serve over anything resembling rice and vegetables. Me, I made some brown rice and sauteed some yellow squash and green tomato slices in my cast iron.

Garnish with something acidic like fresh garden heirloom tomatoes (these are some Black from Tula and Jaune Flammes!)

Sprinkle with gomasio and you're good to go!

What is gomasio? Roasted sesame seeds and sea salt, pulverized in a food processor or blender until coarse. SO GOOD. Not sure of the ratio so you'll want to Google it. We keep ours in the fridge for long life and happiness.

One caveat: This gravy ends up tasting remarkably like fried chicken, despite being completely vegan/vegetarian.

Now, I LOVE fried chicken, so I'm super into it. But my sweetie, he eschews meat as well as anything that tastes meaty, so I have a feeling it's not going to float his boat*. But we'll see at dinner! Cause I'm going to eat this again. Tonight.

*The gravy passed muster with gusto. I've made it 4 times in the last 2 weeks and the sweetie loves it so much he actually sneaks and sips it like soup from his spoon after "accidentally" ladling "too much" onto his plate.

photos: TB


  1. oh man, apple cider donuts. it's been too long!

  2. Good lord they were good. I want one right now.

  3. Tracie, you have me drooling on my laptop. Seriously. I was SO flattered that you posted my ginger carrots- thank you so much! I hope you get the chance to make them- they are sinfully delish and so easy to make it's actually embarrassing. Love following your life up north- my sister just moved to SF and I am counting down the days until I can go visit her and eat my way through the city.

    Keep up the wonderful posts!
    xoxo lily

  4. I never heard about that dish. But I am always ready to try new things. So I am definitely going to try this new dish also! hope it will become as good as shown in this picture.

  5. i am a devout omnivore, and have been known to crave this gravy. i prefer it on steamed zuchini and potatoes. i don't even need a side of bacon to make this a satisfying meal!!!!

  6. I had to comment. I had a random craving for brown rice with yeast gravy (sprinkled with gomasio!) like they used to serve at the Basil Pot in Columbia. So I googled and found this recipe from someone in Columbia, SC!! Fingers are crossed that this is the same recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. that gravy sounds divine! I recently had some delicious vegan biscuits and gravy at a little joint called Ike's in Nevada City, CA. Inspired, I went looking on line for brewer's yeast gravy and found your site! I'm gonna try making it! And I'm not vegan -- I just love good food!


    1. and yes, thanks for the distinction between brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast!

  8. I made this gravy to go with a vegetarian meatloaf this Christmas, and it was delicious. Nutritional yeast has a strong, strong taste, I have to say. But a couple of bites later, I wanted more :)

  9. Thank you for the recipe; it did the trick for my family, especially the little ones. They loved it. Cheers!

  10. Yumm..was wonderful over my brown rice and quinoa loaf!

  11. I made this gravy last night - my first gravy ever - and I am over the moon at how delicious and simple it is! The only thing I would add to the instructions after transferring to a higher-sided pan, is to keep it on heat. I took it off the heat and whisked away for hours (not really, only about 60-90 seconds) and it was still thin -so I amped up the stovetop under the pan, and it began thickening rapidly. Lovely recipe!! Totally delicious, even to my non-vegan roommates. THANK YOU.

  12. an original hippie recipe from the 70s in steven gaskin's The Farm Cookbook, Summerville, Tenn.


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