Gravy can be made with and without dairy, depending on the specific recipe. Traditional gravy is often made with a roux base consisting of flour and fat (such as butter) or pan drippings from cooked meat thickened with flour. In these cases, the gravy would contain dairy if butter is used.
However, dairy-free versions of gravy can be made using alternative fats like oil or margarine or a dairy-free milk substitute, such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk, to create a creamy texture. When looking for or preparing gravy, check the ingredients or choose a recipe specifically labeled as dairy-free.
Dairy-Free Alternates to Make Dairy-Free Gravy
A versatile and healthy option, olive oil can be used as a fat base for your roux. Use it in equal parts with flour to create the base for your gravy.
Vegetable oil or canola oil
Both vegetable and canola oil are neutral-tasting oils that can be used as a fat base for your roux. Like olive oil, use them in equal parts with flour to create the base for your gravy.
Vegan butter or margarine
These dairy-free substitutes for butter can be used instead of traditional butter for making a roux. Choose a high-quality brand to ensure the best taste and consistency in your gravy.
Coconut milk or coconut cream
If you’re looking for a creamy texture in your gravy, coconut milk or coconut cream can be a great dairy-free alternative. They will impart a subtle coconut flavor to your gravy, which may be more suitable for some dishes.
Dairy-free milk substitutes
Almond milk, soy, oat, and other dairy-free milk substitutes can create a creamy gravy. Use these instead of milk or cream called for in traditional gravy recipes. Be sure to choose unsweetened and unflavored varieties to avoid altering the taste of your gravy too much.
Best Dairy-Free Gravy Mixes
This vegan gravy mix by Knorr is a convenient and flavorful option for creating a rich, savory brown gravy. Simply add water and follow the instructions for a delicious and quick gravy, perfect for enhancing the taste of your favorite dishes.
Made with organic and natural ingredients, Simply Organic’s Vegetarian Brown Gravy Mix is a tasty and easy-to-prepare option for those seeking vegetarian and dairy-free gravy. The mix features a blend of herbs and spices, offering a rich and comforting flavor to complement your meals.
Imagine’s Vegan Wild Mushroom Gravy is an organic, ready-to-use gravy that boasts a flavorful blend of wild mushrooms and seasonings. This dairy-free gravy is a delicious and convenient option for adding a gourmet touch to your favorite dishes.
This Golden Gravy Mix by Road’s End Organics is dairy-free and gluten-free. A versatile and tasty option, this mix is ideal for those with dietary restrictions who still want to enjoy a rich, flavorful gravy to accompany their meals.
Orrington Farms’ Brown Gravy Mix is a granular mix that easily delivers a delicious, savory brown gravy. Simply add water and cook according to the instructions to enjoy a rich, dairy-free gravy perfect for various dishes.
Seitenbacher’s Mushroom Gravy is a German-style gravy mix with a tasty blend of mushrooms and spices. This mix provides a delicious, dairy-free alternative for those who love the rich flavor of mushroom gravy, and it’s easy to prepare with just water and heat.
Tips for Buying Dairy-Free Gravy Mix
- Check the label for “dairy-free,” “vegan,” or “lactose-free” claims to ensure the mix meets your dietary needs.
- Examine the ingredients list carefully for hidden dairy-derived ingredients like casein, whey, or lactose.
- Look for well-known and reputable brands specializing in dairy-free or vegan products for reliable options.
- Opt for organic or non-GMO options if you prefer products with fewer additives and more natural ingredients.
- Read product reviews from other consumers to get insights into taste, texture, and overall quality.
- Consider choosing gravy mixes with additional dietary accommodations, such as gluten-free or low-sodium, if needed.
Dairy-Free Gravy Recipe
- 1/4 cup dairy-free butter or olive oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth or stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: herbs or spices of your choice (e.g., garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary)
- Heat the dairy-free butter or olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
- Whisk in the flour to create a smooth paste, and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Gradually pour in the vegetable broth or stock, whisking continuously to avoid lumps and create a smooth consistency.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 5-10 minutes until the gravy has thickened to your desired consistency.
- Season with salt, pepper, and any optional herbs or spices to taste.
Serve immediately, or keep warm over low heat until ready to use. Enjoy your homemade dairy-free gravy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Gravy Vegan?
Gravy can be vegan or non-vegan, depending on the ingredients used. Vegan gravy is made without animal-derived ingredients, such as meat drippings or dairy products, and typically uses vegetable broth and plant-based thickeners.
Is Gravy Vegetarian?
Gravy can be vegetarian if it does not contain meat or meat-derived ingredients like meat drippings. Vegetarian gravy is often made with vegetable broth, dairy or dairy-free alternatives, and flour or another thickener.
Is Vegan Gravy Always Dairy-Free?
Yes. Vegan gravy is always dairy-free. Vegans don’t eat animal-derived ingredients such as milk, meat, honey, or eggs. However, dairy-free gravy is not always vegan. Hence, checking the labels and ingredients is better if you are following a particular diet.
Does Gravy Powder have Dairy?
Some gravy powders may contain dairy ingredients, such as whey or lactose, while others are dairy-free. Always check the ingredient list on the packaging to determine if a specific gravy powder contains dairy.
Is Brown Gravy Dairy-Free?
Brown gravy can be either dairy-free or contain dairy, depending on the recipe. Traditional brown gravy may include butter, but dairy-free alternatives can be made using non-dairy fats like oil or vegan butter substitutes.
Is White Gravy Dairy-Free?
White gravy, also known as country gravy or sausage gravy, often contains dairy in the form of milk or cream. However, dairy-free versions can be made using plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk.