Vegetarian biscuits and gravy is a meatless twist on the iconic breakfast duo and is every bit as indulgent and delicious as the original. Meaty mushrooms provide a savory backbone to a rich, creamy gravy and flaky tender biscuits are the perfect vehicle to mop up every last bit of meatless goodness.
Perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this biscuits and gravy dish is as simple as it is delicious. It comes together in under an hour and is perfect for casual morning get-togethers, holiday breakfasts, and relaxing weekend brunches.
It goes well as a hearty side dish for fluffy scrambled eggs, a savory counterpart to sweet pancakes or waffles, and is excellent with crispy hashbrowns. However you serve them, they won’t disappoint!
What You Need to Make Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy
To make the biscuits, you’ll need basic pantry staples and buttermilk, which can be swapped with heavy cream, regular milk, or plant-based milk.
Oyster mushrooms are used as the backbone for the gravy, but if you can’t find them, any meaty mushroom works.
The golden rule to biscuit making is very cold or frozen butter and a very cold liquid component. It’s always recommended to freeze the butter beforehand to prevent warming as you work the biscuit dough.
The liquid component, buttermilk or otherwise, should also be kept in the coldest part of your refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Oyster Mushrooms
- Milk (dairy and non-dairy both work)
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Rosemary – Chopped
- Onion Powder
- Nutmeg (optional)
How To Make Vegetarian Biscuits & Gravy
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
Cut the frozen or extremely cold butter into ½ inch cubes, and work the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed and pea-sized balls have formed. You can use your hands, a pastry cutter or two forks.
Stream the buttermilk into the flour and butter mixture, and use a fork to combine. Once a shaggy dough has formed, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Gently knead the dough until it just comes together, then form it into a rough rectangle. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough until you have a rectangular slab that is approximately ½ an inch thick.
Fold the dough into thirds until it overlaps onto itself and resembles a letter or a trifold, then roll the dough into a rectangle that is ¾ of an inch to 1 inch thick. Lightly flour the sharp end of a 3 or 4 inch round cookie cutter, and punch out as many biscuits as you can and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
Gather the scraps and reroll the dough and punch out more biscuits until the scraps can no longer be rerolled. Form the last scraps into a ball and shape into a free-form biscuit.
Transfer the biscuits to the freezer and let the butter firm up for 10-15 minutes, then brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While the biscuits are baking, prepare the gravy. In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and cook the mushrooms until they are browned and crispy, and most of the moisture has cooked off, then add in the rosemary and onion powder. Stir for one minute and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the skillet, and as soon as it’s melted, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over everything in the pan. Cook for about 1 minute until a blonde roux has formed, which will be used to thicken the milk.
Once you have a pan roux, add the milk in small splashes, about ¼ cup at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth before adding in the next splash. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the milk, then adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 minutes until everything thickens into your desired gravy consistency.
Taste and adjust for salt, and season to taste with black pepper and nutmeg if using. Spoon the gravy over the biscuits, serve warm and enjoy!
To approximate the texture of a classic sausage gravy, chop your mushrooms into small chunks but don’t mince them. Aim for ½ to ¼ inch chunks, and cook them until they’re brown and crispy. The mushrooms will give off a lot of liquid while they’re cooking, so cook off all of the water to prevent a runny, thin gravy.
This recipe utilizes a pan-roux (a mixture of butter and flour) to thicken the gravy, and the milk is added in small splashes and stirred until smooth before adding in the next splash. This method prevents lumps from forming and results in a silky gravy.
Is this vegetarian gravy a country gravy?
Yes! A basic country gravy is a combination of flour, milk, butter, salt and black pepper. This recipe takes the basic formation and builds on it.
Do I have to use mushrooms in vegetarian gravy?
No! If you aren’t amped about mushrooms but want to make a vegetarian gravy for biscuits, you can use a leafy green such as kale or Swiss chard, or omit them completely. If you opt to use a leafy green, blanch it in boiling water and wring out as much water as possible, then follow the same guidelines for the pan gravy.
Can I make vegan gravy?
Absolutely. The thickening agent in this recipe is the roux, which is a mixture of fat and flour. To make the gravy recipe vegan, simply use vegan butter and your favorite plant-based milk (soy and oat milk work particularly well) instead of regular butter and milk.
Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy
For the biscuits:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk very cold
- 1 cup butter cut into ½ inch cubes frozen or very cold
For the vegetarian gravy:
- 2 cups oyster mushrooms or other meaty mushroom chopped into ½-¼ inch chunks
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- ½ tsp onion powder
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- nutmeg to taste (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Cut frozen or very cold butter into ½ inch cubes and add to the flour mixture.
- Working quickly, smash the butter into the dough using your hands, pastry cutter or two forks until peas-sized balls have formed.
- Slowly stream the buttermilk into the flour mixture.
- Using a fork, stir together the flour and buttermilk mixture until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead until the dough just comes together, and shape it into a rough rectangle.
- Gently roll the dough into a rectangular slab that is ½ an inch thick.
- Carefully fold the dough in thirds, so it overlaps like a letter or trifold.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle that is roughly ¾ inch to 1 inch thick.
- Lightly dust the sharp side of a 3 or 4 inch round cookie cutter and punch out as many biscuits as possible and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Reroll the scraps and punch out more biscuits until the scraps can’t be rerolled and press the remaining scraps into a free-form biscuit.
- Place the tray in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up the butter.
- Brush the biscuit tops with buttermilk.
- Place the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.
- While the biscuits are baking prepare the gravy.
- In a skillet set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute the mushrooms until their liquid has cooked off and they’re browned.
- Add in the rosemary and onion powder and stir for one minute, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add two tablespoons of butter to the pan and once it’s melted sprinkle flour over everything and cook for about 1 minute or until a blonde roux forms.
- Whisking constantly, add milk to the pan mixture in ¼ cup splashes at time, making sure everything is smooth before adding in the next splash.
- Repeat until you’ve used up all the milk, then adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 minutes until everything thickens to a gravy consistency.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the gravy over the fresh biscuits and enjoy while hot!
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