Vegetarian Cashew Gravy

Bowl of Cashew Nuts
Bowl of Cashew Nuts. Westend61/Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: about 1 1/2 cups (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
63 Calories
4g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: about 1 1/2 cups (6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 18mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You don't need to get fancy to make a homemade vegetarian and vegan gravy. This recipe is made with entirely healthy and whole-food ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard. The only four ingredients needed (besides water) are cashews, cornstarch, onion powder, and salt. 

Even if you're not eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, this simple cashew-based gravy is an option that is easy, healthy, low in fat and cholesterol free. It's a healthy alternative to a heavy meat-based sauce if you're trying to eat a little lighter or just want to make sure to save plenty of space for a Thanksgiving dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (un-roasted and un-salted)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In the jar of a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients and blend it all together or medium or high speed until the mixture is perfectly smooth and creamy.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and place it over medium heat. Heat the gravy, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick. Add more water if the gravy becomes too thick.

  4. When it reaches the desired thickness, remove the gravy from the heat.

  5. Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat, serve and enjoy.

This gravy can accompany a wide variety of dishes. Of course, you can serve it with mashed potatoes or a vegan stuffing. It will go well with a vegan nut loaf or other vegan protein dishes. It can add more flavor to steamed or roasted vegetables.

You can make this gravy a day or more ahead of time and refrigerate it. Then when you wish to use it, reheat it over low to medium heat. It will thin when heated. If needed, add a little water or vegetable stock to thin it.

Recipe Tips

Vegan gravy has all of the same pitfalls as a gravy made from meat trimmings and animal fats. Use these tips:

  • To prevent lumps, you need to cook the gravy over the right amount of heat and stir it constantly.
  • Your gravy will thicken slightly as it cools, so add more or less liquid as needed. Plan on the finished product being slightly thicker than what you see in the pan when you turn off the heat.
  • Once you do turn off the heat, and even after you transfer the gravy to a serving container, continue to give it a couple more stirs to ensure an even consistency and to discourage any pesky last-minute lumps from forming.

Recipe Variations

  • Add more flavor by using seasoned salt instead of regular salt. If you wish to avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG), check the label as some seasoned salts include it.
  • Add some garlic powder.
  • Swap out the water for vegetable broth
  • Add a half of a vegetarian bouillon cube into the mix while you are heating it up on the stove top. Just give it a good stir to make sure it dissolves well.