This six-onion gravy is full of deep delicious onion flavor thanks to six different kinds of onions and a long (but nearly effortless) caramelization process. It’s both vegan and gluten-free so it’s something everyone can enjoy!
What I Love About Six Onion Gravy
I love how flavorful this gravy is. Also, how easy it is to make. It takes a while to cook but that’s mostly the slow cooking part to caramelize the onions, which is mostly unattended. I bring this to holiday gatherings and it goes great over mashed potatoes, vegetables, and biscuits or rolls.
Vegan and Gluten Free
This onion gravy is vegan and gluten-free. This makes it suitable for vegans, of course, and also eliminates most allergens so it’s a deliciously safe bet to offer to large crowds. The traditional stock is simply replaced with vegetable stock which has just as much tasty flavor. For thickening, I used corn starch, which is gluten-free.
Ingredients in Six Onion Gravy
As you might have guessed, this gravy uses a lot of onions! Six different kinds, to be exact. Onions have different flavor profiles. One might be sweet and another a little bitter. Combining so many in this dish makes a gravy that’s very balanced in flavor.
That said, if you don’t want to buy a bunch of different onions, just use what you have! This will be totally delicious using just red onions, or just yellow onions, or whatever onion you like and have on hand!
Red Onions are similar to yellow onions in flavor but are a bit milder when raw. They have beautiful deep magenta, purple skin that will add some color to this recipe. These are usually used for cooking but are so brightly colored they can be used for dye.
Yellow Onions are generally milder in flavor than white onions. They’re versatile onions that can be used in just about anything. This recipe would be super delicious using just an equivalent amount of yellow onions.
White Onions are sharper and more pungent than others. They’re very “oniony” and, at least for me, are the most likely to make my eyes tear when chopping them.
Leeks are also members of the Allium family, like all onions as well as garlic. They look kind of like giant green onions. They’re grown in sand, that’s pulled up around them so the leaf bundle keeps them white. This is called “blanching” and works by blocking the sun which causes photosynthesis that makes leaves green. Because of this, they are usually full of fine sand that must be thoroughly rinsed off. They make delicious soup and add their unique flavor to this gravy.
Shallots are onions’ milder and more delicate cousins. They often have light purple or pale red skin.
Green Onions aka Scallions are small onions that are the younger version of onions. They’re brightly and mildly flavored and are delicious raw or cooked. They’re more delicate than the others so they’re added toward the end of the cooking process here.
How to Caramelize Onions
The key to caramelizing onions is to do it very slowly over low heat. Too much heat will scorch the onions rather than caramelize them. Add a small bit of oil and some butter and then put all the onions in. It will seem like a lot but they cook down. Then cook over low heat until brown, sweet, and super tender … which will take about 2 or 3 hours. They will be almost mush when finished.
Can I Freeze Onion Gravy?
Yes! Onion gravy works wonderfully when made ahead, frozen, and then thawed and heated up before serving. To freeze this, just make it in advance, and allow it to cool all the way. Pour it into a plastic or freezer-proof container and just toss it in the freezer. When ready to use, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for a couple of hours. Then place in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat through.
- 5 cups thinly sliced onions (can be any mix of red onions, yellow onions, white onions, shallots, leeks, green onions)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or use that amount of garlic paste or mashed garlic (I used black garlic paste)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel the outer papery skin off the onions and then slice thinly into strips about 2 inches long.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, Add the sliced onion and let heat through. Then reduce the heat to low-medium and let the onions gently simmer for about 2 to 3 hours. The onions will be browned and so cooked they're mushy.
Pour in the vegetable broth and add the spices and add salt and pepper to taste.
Let the gravy come to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about an hour.
When cooked, caramelized, and browned to perfection, stir up a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 cup of water. Pour into the simmering gravy. Let the cornstarch simmer for about another 3 minutes. Gravy is done! Enjoy!
This can be used right away or made ahead and frozen. To freeze, just allow the gravy to cool completely and then pour it into a freezer-safe container. Freeze until needed. Then let thaw before using and heat through in a heavy saucepan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
Hello! I’m Lisa, a vegan artist, photographer, author, Vegan Life Coach Educator, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. I love showing others how simple and delicious a plant-based diet can be. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.