Holidays and Entertaining/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Mouthwatering Mashed Potatoes with Groovy Onion Gravy

vegan mashed potatoes with onion gravy

Have a fabulous celebration with these mashed potatoes and gravy, a must-have on the dinner table during the holidays — they’re a welcome addition for both vegan Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner menus. Try some of the variations for both recipes and make it even more fun! Contributed by Beverly Lynn Bennett, from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living*. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

vegan mashed potatoes with onion gravy

Mouthwatering Mashed Potatoes with Groovy Onion Gravy

These extra-luscious mashed potatoes and gravy are a welcome addition for both vegan Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner menus.
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Course: Vegetable side dish / Winter holiday
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Author: Veg Kitchen


Mashed potatoes

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled, and cut into cubes
  • 3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or white pepper

Onion Gravy 

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour or other flour of choice
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tamari shoyu, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • When the potatoes are tender, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid for making soup or for use in another dish, and return the cooked potatoes to the pot.
  • Add nondairy milk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes, making the mixture as smooth or chunky as desired.
  • Add the vegan buttery spread, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine.
  • Keep warm while making gravy.
  • For the gravy: In a medium saucepan, place flour, and cook over low heat, while stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer browned flour to a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the same saucepan, sauté the onion in olive oil, over low heat, for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add vegetable stock, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, sage, thyme, salt, and black pepper to browned flour, and whisk well to combine.
  • Add wet ingredients to sautéed onion mixture, whisk well to combine, and continue to cook mixture, while whisking constantly, until thickened.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Serve over the mashed potatoes or any of your favorite vegetables, biscuits, or main dishes, or use to make sauces for casseroles.


vegan mashed potatoes with onion gravy recipe



  • For those who like their gravy smooth, you can puree the finished gravy. Or strain it through a sieve, to remove the pieces of onion, if so desired. You can also make this gravy in large batches, portion it into servings, and freeze. Then just simply thaw and reheat before using.
  • Some people actually prefer their mashed potatoes chunky or with a few lumps. An old-fashioned hand potato masher works best in this instance. For those who prefer very creamy mashed potatoes, use a mixer to whip the pota- toes to your desired consistency.

Variations — Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be varied greatly by using different potatoes and adding additional ingredients. Here are a few mouthwatering suggestions:

Roasted Garlic, Onion, or Shallot: Roast 6-10 large cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion, or 2 whole shallots in the oven until golden brown, roughly chop, and then add them to potatoes during mashing.

Cheezy: Stir in several tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes or 1/2 cup shredded vegan soy cheese, to the finished mashed potatoes.

Country-Style: Use unpeeled Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, sauté 1 cup chopped onion or shallots, 1/2 cup sliced green onions, and/or 2 tablespoons garlic, and roughly mash everything together, leaving it chunky.

Celebration Sun-dried Tomato: Sauté 3 tablespoons chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary in olive oil, and add it along with 1/4 cup re-hydrated and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley to potatoes after mashing.

Variations — Gravy

  • Reducing the amount of onion and adding additional ingredients can result in additional types of gravy. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Roasted Garlic: Roast 8 to 10 large cloves of garlic in the oven until golden brown, these can be used in place of, or in addition to, the sautéed onion mixture.
  • Roasted Onion or Shallot: Roast 2 medium onions or 3 to 4 whole shallots in the oven until golden brown, roughly chop them, and use them in place of the sautéed onion mixture.
  • Mushroom: Sauté 4 cups chopped mushrooms, along with the onion mixture, and add an additional 2 tablespoons tamari, for a richer flavor.
  • Creamy: Whisk in 3/4 cup soy milk or other nondairy milk and 2 to 3 tablespoons additional nutritional yeast flakes, to lighten the color and flavor of the gravy.

Reprinted by permission of the author and co-author, Ray Sammartano. Beverly Lynn Bennett is also the author of Vegan Bites* and other titles. Visit Beverly at The Vegan Chef.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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  • Reply
    November 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I cried while eating this. It was so yummy. It took away the loneliness of eating alone and replaced it with its deliciously almost exotic tastiness. Funny thing is when the family came back from dinner, they couldn’t resist eating my mashed potatoes, lol. Besides that, this was the easiest recipe. I NEVER cook, and damn that was easy.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I am going to try the gravy – I’m vegan and missed mashed potatoes – so one night
    I came up with my own recipe not so different from yours (I googled but didn’t find much) – I used potatoes I had on hand – gold and baked – boiled with skins – earth balance soy free vegan butter – plain almond milk – minced garlic – salt – and fresh squeezed lemon juice – the lemon juice gives it an extra something – I like a lot so I added a lot – but that’s just me

    Can’t wait to try the gravy! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    This gravy is so delicious thank you!

    • Reply
      January 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Glad you like chef Beverly Bennett’s gravy — I agree, it’s awesome!

  • Reply
    linda fischer
    November 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I liked this recipe, I also like my mashed potatoes with onion and sage, made into balls and flattened and fried in a little vegetable oil, potato cakes I suppose they are then!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I make a similar gravy like this every year and love it. I make a lot more because we love our leftovers so I use the potato water from cooking in addition to veggie broth. Thank you for the idea of adding roasted garlic. That I will try!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Everyone loved this gravy – even the non-vegans!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Debbie, that’s great — tasty food is the best way to entice the non-vegans over to the plant-based side!

  • Reply
    Renee H.
    November 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Two words, vegetarian gravy. Many thought it was a myth but you proved them wrong! This looks so tasty. I shared a link to your recipe on my Thanksgiving blog post. I was struggling with an original vegetarian gravy recipe but when I came across yours, I thew in the towel!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Any ideas on a sub for nutritional yeast? A friend made this last thanksgiving and I loved it. Want to make it this time, but couldn’t find nutritional yeast at the store. Blast! (I’m vegetarian rather than vegan, so considered using parmesan but not sure. Miso?)

    • Reply
      November 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Tori, the nutritional yeast seems to be a big part of this delicious recipe by Beverly Bennett, as it thickens as well as flavors. Miso is not a bad thought, though; maybe mellow white miso. You might start with 2 tablespoons and eliminate the tamari, and then taste as you go. If the gravy needs a little thickening, dissolve a teaspoon or two of arrowroot or unbleached flour in some water, and stir in as the gravy is bubbling. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Hello – your Groovy Onion Gravy was recommended by Field Roast to go with their En Croute, so I’ll be trying it this Christmas. Can the gravy be made a day ahead? Also rookie question – is nutritional yeast the same as the nutritional yeast flakes? Thanks!

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