One of my favorite things to do on Sunday morning is to cook a big vegan brunch for my family. We love pancakes, waffles, and scrambled tofu–but probably at the top of our list of favorites is vegan biscuits and gravy. We used to just use a simple cashew based gravy that was well seasoned and delicious. BUT, I recently decided to try my hand at adding a vegan sausage to this gravy, and the results were delectable. The best part? It’s plant-based and unprocessed. You don’t have to search high and low for a particular brand of seitan sausage for this gravy. (Although, I do love vegan seitan sausage.) For this recipe, all the ingredients can usually be found in your average grocery store. AND, if you use gluten-free oats, this recipe easily becomes gluten-free too. Yay!
Tip: If you can’t find raw cashews for a decent price at your local supermarket, you may consider ordering them online. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases associated with the links on this page.) I have a monthly subscription set up through Amazon, so I know I’ll never run out of my raw cashews. We use raw cashews in vegan gravy, vegan mac and cheese, vegan lasagna, and a host of other recipes. Raw cashews can go rancid within a few weeks at room temperature, so I recommend storing them in your freezer for up to 3 months (or more).
How to Make Vegan Sausage
The first step to making delicious vegan sausage gravy is cooking your vegan sausage. First up, we have cremini (also known as baby bella) mushrooms. You’re going to want to chop them up into little 1/4 inch or less pieces.
Next, heat some oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. (I recommend using a nonstick skillet.) After 20 seconds or so, place all your sausage ingredients in the skillet–finely diced mushrooms, oats, water (2 tablespoons to soften the oats), nutritional yeast, maple syrup, and all the rest of your vegan sausage seasonings listed below.
Now, you’ll sauté everything together on medium-high heat, until the oats soften, and mushrooms cook down. For a few minutes, your mixture will look rather gummy and gray–it’s not done yet. Keep cooking and stirring almost constantly with a spatula to keep your sausage from sticking to the skillet.
After about 12 minutes of cooking, your sausage will look like the picture below. It should be dark brown, have a slightly moist consistency, but be somewhat crispy on the edges. At this point, if you wanted to just eat it as is, you could totally form a few little vegan sausages and let them cool. But, since we’re using it for gravy, we’ll set the cooked sausage crumbles aside to let them cool to room temperature. Next, we’ll make the cashew gravy.
How to Make Creamy Cashew Gravy
Making creamy cashew gravy is probably one of the easiest things you’ll ever do. Simply place rinsed (and drained) cashews, water, salt, soy sauce, cornstarch, and other seasonings in a high-speed blender. (I use Vitamix). Blend on high until your mixture is smooth and creamy, without any big grainy pieces of cashew.
Once you’re gravy is finished, you’ll want to dump your cooled off vegan mushroom sausage into the pot of gravy, using a wooden or rubber spatula to break the sausage into smaller, bite size pieces.
And finally, serve your gravy hot over biscuits, toast, mashed potatoes, or almost anything, really.
Vegan Sausage Gravy
For the Sausage:
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms (preferably sliced, also known as baby bellas)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup quick oats (use gluten-free oats if desired)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or 1.5-2 tsp of Bragg’s liquid aminos)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
For the cashew gravy:
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 4.5 cups water
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste after mixing with salty vegan sausage)
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce (or about 1 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
For the Sausage:
- First, take your cremini mushrooms, and dice them into very small 1/4 inch (or less) pieces.
- Once your mushrooms are diced, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for about 20 seconds.
- Place diced mushrooms, oats, water, and remaining ingredients/seasonings into the heated skillet, and sauté for about 12 minutes.
- Your sausage mixture will initially start to look gray and mushy from the sweating mushrooms. Keep cooking, moving mixture around in the pan with a spatula to keep it from sticking to the pan or burning. After about 12 minutes of cooking and stirring, your sausage should look dark, have crispy edges, and be moist and hold together in the center.
For the Gravy:
- Place all gravy ingredients in a high speed blender, and blend on high until there are no grainy cashew pieces left, and everything is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you will want to soak your cashew for 3-4 hours in warm water before making this recipe.
- Once blended, pour gravy mixture into a large saucepan or pot.
- Place saucepan on stove on medium to medium-high heat.
- Whisk constantly until gravy begins to bubble and thicken. Initially, your gravy may look a little too runny, but as soon as you remove gravy from heat, it will cool slightly and thicken right up.
- Remove from heat, and stir vegan sausage crumbles into thickened gravy, using a spatula to break up any big sausage pieces.
- Serve warm.