Paleo Gravy (Whole30, vegan)

This Paleo Gravy is a great topping for chicken, turkey and more!

Made with onions, mushrooms, broth and more, it’s thick, full of savory flavor and so easy to make.

It’s great for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any dinner.

Plus it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30 and vegan friendly.

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Paleo Gravy

Even if you’re grain-free and dairy-free, you still need an all-purpose gravy recipe.

And this Paleo brown gravy is just as good for a weeknight chicken dinner as it is for Thanksgiving.

It uses onions, mushrooms and tomato paste to give it a deep, savory flavor without it tasting like tomatoes or mushrooms.

(If you want a mushroom gravy, check out these Paleo/Whole30 Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce.)

And to make it thick, I give 3 options below so you can choose which one works best for you.

No matter how you make it, it’s great poured over chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes and more.

Or hey, just eat it with a spoon. I won’t judge. (I’d probably join you.)

 

How to thicken Paleo Gravy

Because this is a Paleo recipe, we can’t use typical thickeners like flour or cornstarch.

So I’ve tested this gravy with these 3 options and they all work well:

  1. arrowroot flour/starch – a corn-free alternative to cornstarch
  2. coconut flour – de-fatted, finely ground coconut, but it won’t add a coconut flavor
  3. cassava flour – a grain-free alternative to regular all-purpose flour

Out of these 3 options, the best Paleo gravy thickener is the one that fits your budget and you have on hand or can purchase.

Once the gravy is blended, you’ll whisk a small amount with one of the 3 thickeners above until blended, then whisk into the gravy.

See instructions below for more details.

 

What you need for Paleo Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 springs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, bone broth or vegetable broth (for vegan), divided (click here for a homemade bone broth recipe)
  • fine sea salt (see instructions below if using pan drippings from roast chicken or turkey)
  • ground black pepper
  • one of the following Paleo gravy thickeners:

Equipment:

gluten-free brown gravy in a white gravy boat next to a silver ladle, fresh thyme sprigs, garlic cloves and a white plate with sliced turkey and mashed potatoes covered in gravy

How to make Paleo Gravy

First, in a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 10-15 minutes, until soft.

Then drain the mushrooms in a fine-mesh sieve, rinse with warm water to remove any remaining grit and squeeze out any excess water. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8-10 minutes.

While the onion cooks, tie up the thyme springs with twine. If using a bay leaf, you can add it to the thyme bundle or leave it separate.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until one shade darker in color, about 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the broth and use a spatula to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining 3 cups broth, the thyme springs (or dried thyme), bay leaf and chopped mushrooms.

Turn the heat to high to bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat so the gravy simmers for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Use the spatula or cooking tongs to remove the thyme bundle and bay leaf.

If using pan juices from chicken or turkey, reserve those for the time being.

If not, add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt to the gravy. Also add lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Turn off the heat and blend the gravy one of two ways:

  1. Blend directly in the saucepan with a stick blender – this is easier but will require more time to get it as smooth as possible.
  2. Blend in a regular blender – this is a bit more complicated but produces a beautifully smooth gravy. Add gravy to fill about halfway up the blender jar. Cover with the lid but remove the inner insert from the lid. Hold a kitchen towel tightly over the opening with one hand. Blend, starting on low speed and then turning up to medium, for at least 1 minute. If you have to blend the gravy in batches, pour out the blended gravy into a bowl and repeat the process with the remaining gravy. Then add all the gravy back to the saucepan.

Place the gravy over medium heat.

Now thicken the gravy. In a small bowl, whisk or stir one of the following Paleo gravy thickeners:

  1. 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour/starch with 6 tablespoons gravy
  2. 1 tablespoon coconut flour with 9 tablespoons gravy
  3. 3 tablespoons cassava flour with 6 tablespoons gravy

One this mixture is blended, whisk or stir the gravy in the saucepan as you slowly pour in the thickening mixture.

If you’re using the pan juices from chicken or turkey, stir them in now.

Taste the gravy and adjust any seasonings.

If the gravy isn’t thick enough, let it simmer until it’s reduced and thicker.

If the gravy is too thick, add water or broth to reach the desired consistency.

Serve hot.

 

What to serve with Paleo Gravy

  1. Herb Roasted Turkey Breast (Paleo, Whole30)
  2. Mashed Potatoes (Paleo, Whole30)
  3. Mashed Parsnips (Paleo, Whole30)
  4. Sausage, Sweet Potato and Apple Stuffing (Paleo, Whole30)
  5. Green Bean Casserole (Paleo, Whole30)

 

Make ahead and leftovers

This Paleo and Whole30 gravy can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

The gravy can also be frozen in an air-tight container or baggie for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in a bowl in the fridge.

Frozen gravy might separate as it thaws, which is fine and normal.

Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking to make sure everything is blended.

 

Substitutions and variations

  • If you want a garlic in your gravy, add 2 peeled and minced garlic cloves before the 1 cup of broth. Stir the garlic for 1-2 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown. Or add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder with the 3 cups broth, thyme and mushrooms.
  • Use any dried mushrooms you like or can find. They’ll each have subtle differences in taste but they’ll all work well.
  • Use beef broth to turn this into a great gravy for roast beef.
  • You can use 2 large shallots instead of the onion.

 

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Paleo Gravy (Whole30, vegan)

This rich, thick Paleo gravy is great for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any dinner! It's filled with a deep, savory flavor that goes great with chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes and more. Plus I offer 3 ways to thicken it. And it's gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30 and vegan friendly.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown gravy, grain free gravy, paleo gravy, thick gravy, vegan gravy, whole30 gravy
Servings: 4.5 cups
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 springs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, bone broth or vegetable broth (for vegan), divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if necessary (see notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour/starch, 1 tablespoon coconut flour or 3 tablespoons cassava flour

Instructions

  • First, in a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Then drain the mushrooms in a fine-mesh sieve, rinse with warm water to remove any remaining grit and squeeze out any excess water. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
  • While the onion cooks, tie up the thyme springs with twine. If using a bay leaf, you can add it to the thyme bundle or leave it separate. Set aside.
  • Add the tomato paste to the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until one shade darker in color, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth and use a spatula to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the remaining 3 cups broth, the thyme springs (or dried thyme), bay leaf and chopped mushrooms. Turn the heat to high to bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat so the gravy simmers for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Use the spatula or cooking tongs to remove the thyme bundle and bay leaf.
  • If using pan juices from chicken or turkey, reserve those for the time being. If not using pan juices, add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt to the gravy. Also add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Turn off the heat and blend the gravy one of two ways:
    Blend directly in the saucepan with a stick blender - this is easier but will require more time to get it as smooth as possible.
    Blend in a regular blender - this is a bit more complicated but produces a beautifully smooth gravy. Add gravy to fill about halfway up the blender jar. Cover with the lid but remove the inner insert from the lid. Hold a kitchen towel tightly over the opening with one hand. Blend, starting on low speed and then turning up to medium, for at least 1 minute. If you have to blend the gravy in batches, pour out the blended gravy into a bowl and repeat the process with the remaining gravy. Then add all the gravy back to the saucepan.
  • Place the blended gravy over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk or stir one of the following:
    1 tablespoon arrowroot flour/starch with 6 tablespoons gravy
    1 tablespoon coconut flour with 9 tablespoons gravy
    3 tablespoons cassava flour with 6 tablespoons gravy
  • Whisk or stir the gravy in the saucepan as you slowly pour in the thickening mixture.
  • If you're using the pan juices from chicken or turkey, stir them in now.
  • Taste the gravy and adjust any seasonings. If the gravy isn't thick enough, let it simmer until it's reduced and thicker. If the gravy is too thick, add water or broth to reach the desired consistency. Serve hot.

Notes

Make ahead and leftovers
The gravy can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The gravy can also be frozen in an air-tight container or baggie for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in a bowl in the fridge.
Frozen gravy might separate as it thaws, which is fine and normal.
Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking to make sure everything is blended.
Substitutions and variations
  • If you want a garlic in your gravy, add 2 peeled and minced garlic cloves before the 1 cup of broth. Stir the garlic for 1-2 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown. Or add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder with the 3 cups broth, thyme and mushrooms.
  • Use any dried mushrooms you like or can find. They'll each have subtle differences in taste but they'll all work well.
  • Use beef broth to turn this into a great gravy for roast beef.
  • You can use 2 large shallots instead of the onion.

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