Make-ahead gravy

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 6 - 8
Keep this vegetarian gravy in the freezer to pair with meat or veggie sausages for a fuss-free supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal84
  • fat4g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre2g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.66g
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  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrots, finely diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • large knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp Marmite (optional, but it does add colour and depth)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1l vegetable, chicken or beef stock (depending on what you’re serving it with, or who to)
  • soy sauce, to taste
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…


  1. Fry the veg and herbs in the butter for 10-12 mins until the vegetables start to brown. Scatter over the sugar and continue to cook until sticky and caramelised. Stir in the flour until sandy, then add the Marmite, if using, tomato purée and vinegar. Pour over the stock, then simmer everything together until you have a thickened sauce. Sieve, then add soy sauce to season and colour. Use straightaway or cool and freeze.

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Comments (25)

lurvlyloz's picture

Made this as my first time making gravy and I really enjoyed making it. Really easy and tasty. Will definitely make again

belashah's picture

I have never made gravy before and this is great. Slight sweet and sticky. I agree with the comments below re: sugar, tomato and soya sauce. I did add another roux to get the thickness I wanted.

brightonbatfink's picture

Everyone really enjoyed this and perfect for vegetarians. I recommend!

pieshop's picture

Absolutely delicious. Made this for the first time for Christmas dinner yesterday. Be cautious on the amount of tom puree. I only added about 1 tsp and I felt that was enough and only about 1 tsp of sugar. I didn't add the soy at the end either. With the tom puree I think there is a danger of it being too acidic and didn't want the overriding flavour to be that of tomato. I kept tasting and at the end added a touch more sugar to counter the acidity from tomato puree and it was the best gravy I've made.

emmapr's picture

Have just made this ahead of time for Christmas lunch and it's absolutely cracking. I used beef stock, as it's to go with beef Wellington. I didn't use the sugar, but added some redcurrant jelly, did use marmite and half the tom purée stated. I missed out the soy sauce as just didn't think it sounded right in the recipe. Also, to save any waste, have whizzed up the strained veggies for my 9 month old's tea.

Cdub's picture

Not a fan. But may have ruined it by using mild onion which is sweeter. It tasted too sweet, but I don't know if that's also the nature of the veg stock I used (and I'm not opening another litre to find out). But at least the vegetarians will be happy at XMAS, and us 'meat-itarians' will be adding meat juices anyway.

lysepirot's picture

We love this recipe.
I halve or omit the tomato purée, & add a glass of Marsala and we use it for everything. I usually make double the amount for the same amount of stock and I freeze half for another time.

spot-the-dog's picture

I agree with some of the comments that it is strong on the tomato. I made it as a get-ahead for friends coming to roast pork Sunday lunch, but no way would I serve it. Instead I put it all in the slow-cooker with skirt beef and it was absolutely delicious.

katrinaridout's picture

Superb recipe that worked very well with turkey juices. I've never been great at making good gravy but for me this was simple, saved time and has now been saved to my xmas collection!

katebeavon1's picture

Really nice. Only problem I have is that I can't get it to thicken! Also really nice for a veggie cottage pie too. Really tasty.

valsiewalsie's picture

Beautiful flavoursome gravy. Threw in whatever winter herbs I could find in the garden. Great success!

kimbo84's picture

Just made this for the veggies at Christmas. It is lovely wish I had not faffed about making Jamie's freeze ahead gravy this is much nicer. Next year only making 1 gravy

catree's picture

Used just a little tomato puree-added a splash of balsamic vinegar and sherry to taste.
Forgot the flour!!-so just thickened with some cornflour at the end.
Hope to serve with a nut loaf on Christmas Day along with cranberry sauce-may had some of the cranberry sauce to the gravy as used by Jamie Oliver in his make ahead Turkey Christmas Gravy.

Will freeze and reheat on the day.

blodyn's picture

Absolutely love this gravy. I've been looking for an alternative to the horrid veggie granules. I make this regularly and freeze portions. I leave out the tomato purée and it is totally delicious.

stephie_kay's picture

How long did you simmer this for roughly? Im making it at the moment and dont want to take it off the heat yet in case it does get thicker later..

queenofthepenguins's picture

I will probably try this again, but without the tomato, which was completely overpowering, and spoiled it. I used it with shepherds pie, but you wouldn't want it anywhere near a Sunday dinner :-(

n1ckyregan's picture

I made this gravy on Sunday and it was vile. When you first start eating it doesn't taste too bad, but there is a bad after taste. It might be ok without the tomato purée and the soy sauce, but I won’t be trying it. If you want a good gravy Jamie Oliver has a recipe for a gorgeous ‘get ahead gravy’.

bingylala72's picture

Why would you make a vegetarian gravy with chicken or beef stock?!

pollyparrot2's picture

I don't understand the amount of stock in the list of ingredients. " 1l" Is that 1 stock cube? Or does the mark after 1 mean 1 litre of stock? I feel there is something unclear here but no-one else has flagged this up.

zetallgerman's picture

Just to add, naturally this is a good attempt for a vegetarian gravy. Jamie Oliver's isn't veg-only, after all.


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