Mushroom Gravy – Jessica Gavin

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Learn how to make mushroom gravy to pair with your favorite protein or side dish. This quick and easy stovetop method yields a delicious savory sauce with no pan drippings needed.

slices of chicken served with mushroom gravy
Table of Contents
  1. Mushroom selection
  2. Saute the aromatics
  3. Cook the mushrooms
  4. Make a roux
  5. Add a flavorful liquid
  6. Add back the mushrooms
  7. Serve this with
  8. FAQ
  9. Mushroom Gravy Recipe

One way to instantly elevate any dish to gourmet status is to pair it with a flavorful sauce. This mushroom gravy recipe uses simple ingredients to create an intense, savory taste. When cooked, the fungi release tasty juices into the pan. What remains are tender and meaty pieces that add a wonderful texture.

Using the concentrated liquid from the mushrooms in the sauce’s base, you don’t need pan drippings like traditional gravy. Sauteed onions, fresh herbs, and a few umami-packed ingredients provide plenty of depth and dimension. Cooking on the stovetop makes the process fast and all in one pan. I love pouring this sauce over juicy pieces of roast turkey, steak, and creamy mashed potatoes.

Rinsing brown mushrooms in a colander

Mushroom selection

Brown mushrooms like Cremini or Baby Bella add intense flavor because they are a more mature variety. They are great for sauteing because their structure holds up better to heat, preventing them from shrinking too much. 

Their meaty bite adds a nice texture to the sauce. Cut the mushrooms into 1/4-inch thick slices to release their moisture quicker and add deeper brothy notes to the gravy. You can use other types of mushrooms like White Button, but they have a more mild flavor. 

Saute the aromatics

Adding in a variety of aromatics to the gravy adds dimension to the flavor. I finely chop yellow onions and saute them in olive oil to mellow out their sulfur compounds. Over time, the natural sugars come to the surface, making them taste sweeter. 

Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme briefly cook in the fat to draw out more fat-soluble flavor compounds for a more robust taste in the sauce. Minced garlic adds more allium notes and only needs to cook briefly to release wonderful earthy smells.

sliced mushrooms sauteing in a pan

Cook the mushrooms

Use a large skillet for cooking the mushrooms and gravy. The volume will start high and condense by at least half. I season the sliced raw mushrooms with salt right at the beginning of cooking. This process helps to quickly draw out the moisture in the cell walls while seasoning the inside. The juices are packed with savory flavor compounds. Letting most of the liquid evaporate concentrates the umami flavor and adds depth to the gravy.

Soy sauce which is rich in glutamates, intensifies the mushroom flavor. Balsamic vinegar provides acidity and has a natural sweetness from the grapes to balance the savory taste. After sauteing, it’s best to remove the mushrooms from the pan to prevent further shrinking and give more room to cook the roux and stock.

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