Old-School Easy, Cheesy Vegan Gravy or Sauce (Miso-Based)

Updated on December 27, 2019
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TechyGran is a veteran vegan who enjoys passing along healthy, tasty recipes.

This cheesy gravy is vegan and oil-free.
This cheesy gravy is vegan and oil-free.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 3 adult servings


  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) miso
  • 1/4 cup (80 milliliters) water, hot
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) turmeric
  • 1/4 cup (80 milliliters) flour, whole wheat or gluten-free blend
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) nutritional yeast (NOT brewer's yeast)
  • 1 1/4 cups (320 milliliters) soy or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon (pinch) sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) raw cashews or sunflower seeds, soaked


  1. Whisk together the miso and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat just until it begins to sizzle a little.
  3. Stir in the garlic, stirring constantly, just until it is beginning to turn golden—about 30 seconds. Do not overcook.
  4. Add in the turmeric, blending it well into the other ingredients above.
  5. Turn the heat down to low.
  6. Stir in the flour and nutritional yeast, making a dry blend of all ingredients.
  7. Slowly and thoroughly whisk in the miso-water mix, smoothing out lumps as much as possible. Add in the milk in small increments, continuing to whisk the sauce smooth. Work out any lumps
  8. Turn the heat another notch lower and add the cashews and salt, continuing to stir for another 2 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it will not scorch.
  9. Turn off the heat and let the pan sit on a cool burner for about 10 minutes.
  10. Put the contents of the pan into a blender and let whirl until the ingredients are smooth and cheesy-looking.
  11. Fold the mixture back into the saucepan and cover until ready to serve, then heat through briefly.
  12. Use as a gravy over baked and oven-fried potatoes; as a mac 'n cheese sauce; as a dip; as a casserole topping, etc. Add in smoked paprika, chipotle, or other seasonings as desired.
  13. The leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Thin with a little water or non-dairy milk and reheat.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 491
Calories from Fat180
% Daily Value *
Fat 20 g31%
Unsaturated fat 20 g
Carbohydrates 14 g5%
Protein 5 g10%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Please Rate This Recipe!

1 star from 1 rating of Hippy Cheesy Vegan Gravy

Are You Craving Something Cheesy With Your Healthy Vegan Meal?

It is reported that cheese is the hardest part of a traditional diet to let go of when one has decided to "go vegan".

Guess what? Dairy products actually have an addictive mechanism, according to one of my favorite health researchers, Dr. Michael Greger. Milk proteins attract the baby calves to suckle and thrive, much as human infants are bonded through human breast milk with their mothers, whose biological function is to nurture their offspring after birth.

You have likely heard these points before: "Cow's milk is meant to grow calves; human milk is intended to grow baby humans," and "Humans are the only species who continue to drink milk beyond being weaned." Not to mention the only species to congeal their liquid stash so as to make cheese, the better to consume larger quantities of milk proteins and fats and other solids.

Are You Hooked on Cheese?

When the peptides in the dairy milk proteins break down, they form an opioid with some of the same components as morphine. As mentioned above, this milk is meant to engage the interest of the bovine baby, to keep her/him from wandering off and falling into a well somewhere while s/he is still too frail to look after him/herself.

This same opioid effect crosses over to humans consuming cow's milk, and more so for cheese, a concentrated form of milk. Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine refers to cheese as "dairy crack".

So, yes, it does seem that dairy milk and cheese would seem to be "the one thing I just can't give up."

Isn't Vegan Cheese an Oxymoron?

If you are becoming vegan for a particular reason, say, because of the fact that much of the world's dairy supply is contaminated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals, and/or you no longer want to eat animals or consume interspecies' milk, for compassionate reasons, you have probably tried a variety of cheese alternatives. Some of the ingredients in cheese substitutes are suspect (eg., carageenan) and some of the 'cheese flavours' and textures leave much to be desired if you grew up in a family of cheese connoisseurs, or are from Germanic stock. Mostly you will be rather cowed (sorry, pun intended) by the cost of fake cheese.

I'm writing this article to tell you that you can learn to make a very tasty cheesy sauce, dip, spread, or gravy that will relieve your body of toxic chemicals found in milk, and will free you up from an overdose of those above-mentioned opioids that keep you running up and down the calf-trails. You will be cheese-free, at last!

The recipe I am including here is one of many hundreds that you can experiment with. It is easy, satisfying, and actually contains plant nutrients and fibre that you won't find in regular stinky cheese.

Golden sauce
Golden sauce | Source

Golden Sauce

Start with a simple cheesy sauce. Add spices you like, such as chipotle or paprika. Try Himalayan salt. Look for recipes that are low in fat and use turmeric to add colour and all kinds of lovely extra health benefits! "Golden sauce" above is a good one to experiment with!

Did Hippies Invent Vegan Cheese?

Although for many people today the words "hippies" and "vegan" are often synonymous, back in the '60s and '70s most of the "flower people" I knew (or read about) were either eating whatever they could get their hands on (as in "digger stew" in the hungry youthful hippie communes of Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco) or they were back-to-the-land farmer hippies, heavily into ovo-lacto vegetarianism with recipes that called for lots of free-range eggs and dairy to complement the brown rice and tofu dishes.

No, I'm going to credit the religious organization of Seventh-day Adventists for 'inventing' (or perhaps just heavily promoting) soy cheeses way back when. Even the official Soy Info Center suggests that Adventists played a significant role "in introducing soyfoods, vegetarianism, meat alternatives, wheat gluten, dietary fiber or peanut butter to the Western world." It seems highly likely that they also introduced the world to vegan cheeses.

Questions & Answers


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      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thank you Shizette, for the question... in my vegan-ized opionion, this cheesy sauce does indeed have a great cheese-sauce-like texture and I happen to love the flavour, so to me it tastes as much like cow's milk cheese as I could desire. But it doesn't have that predispositon of cow's milk to create gunk in your throat, to stuff you up, or to coat your tongue, or to give the lactose-sensitive the usual cow's milk gas. As to whether the "picky" folks will find it acceptable, well, I guess you just have to give it a try. All the best!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Oh wow, I would love to try making vegan cheese, especially to cut it completely out of my diet, but does it taste like the cows milk cheese? I only ask because I have a family of picky eaters :(

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Dear Diana, Thank you for reading and commenting... I hope you try the recipe. I think you will like it!

      • profile image

        Diana Jensen 

        2 years ago

        Wow! So amazing, who knew what kinds of magical tasty foods could be made without dairy!!! Thank for the great idea

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        ChitrangadaSharan, Thank you for dropping by and commenting!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Nice hub and your yummy pictures are sure to induce cravings for cheese!

        Very nicely written, the recipe and the content with a difference.

        Thanks for sharing!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        I'm glad you find this article useful, Dora. Happy Sabbath to you also!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thank you for your comment Linda... I hope you enjoy the cheesy sauce!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Great article with very useful information. You cheesy picture makes me hungry. Thanks for the healthy recipe. Have a great Sabbath!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Thank you very much for sharing this recipe, Cynthia. I've bought vegan cheeses in stores but have never found one that I really like. Your sauce recipe sounds great.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thanks so much FlourishAnyway for your 'testimonial' about the benefits of a vegan diet and the tough factor in giving up cheese! I am currently soaking a junked-up frying pan because a man I know decided to have scrambled eggs for breakfast in this vegan house. Ah well, life goes on!

      • profile image

        Nancy Hinchliff 

        2 years ago

        Interesting post. The cheesy sauce sounds pretty good.....may try it.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        2 years ago from USA

        A man I volunteer with went vegan for health reasons and reported substantial benefits in cholesterol reduction, weight reduction, etc. He said the toughest part just as you mentioned was to give up cheese. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR

        Cynthia Zirkwitz 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thank you Louise Powles, for having a look. If you do try the recipe, please let me know what you think...

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        2 years ago from Norfolk, England

        Well, I'm not a vegan, but this sounds really nice.


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