Mushroom Gravy Recipe

A robust, clean mushroom flavor makes this a great gravy to smother on steak, biscuits, mashed potatoes, pork chops, and more.

Overhead view of mushroom gravy poured on top of potatoes

Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Why It Works

  • Combining fresh cremini with rehydrated dried porcinis gives this gravy a robust, earthy mushroom flavor.
  • Optionally using a mixture of chicken and beef stock produces a gravy that is full and rich without overpowering the mushroom flavor.
  • A splash of sherry mixed in at the very end results in a brighter taste and creates a contrast that brings out the mushrooms even more forcefully.

In a world full of different gravy recipes, this classic stands out for its deeply savory and earthy flavor. It's as good with roast chicken or turkey as it is with a roasted beef, pork chops, or spooned on top of anything from string beans to mashed potatoes. The recipe is simple, as long as you make sure to build a deep mushroom flavor. Here's how.

The Leads

Fresh creminis and shiitakes on a wooden cutting board with a knife.

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

A good mushroom gravy should put the mushrooms front and center—I wanted that earthy, woodsy flavor to be clean and present. That meant reaching for a combination of fresh cremini mushrooms and dried porcini, which together deliver a one-two punch of mushroom intensity. The porcinis have the added benefit of flavoring the stock more deeply as they steep in it to soften.

Dried porcini mushrooms on a wooden cutting board.

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

The Support

Cans of low-sodium chicken, vegetable, and beef broth.

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

Mushrooms are just half the battle, though. The stock is another critically important component. You have options here. The easiest is to grab some good quality store-bought chicken stock, which produces a flavorful gravy thanks to all the work the mushrooms are doing. Of course, you can make this gravy even more delicious with homemade stock, which has a richer, deeper, and more complex flavor than most store-bought options.

We don't typically recommend store-bought beef stock, as its flavor is typically a far cry from any kind of real beef stock, but if you have homemade beef stock, you can certainly add it here for an even meatier flavor profile. In our own testing, though, we found that beef stock alone can overpower the gravy, so we recommend blending with chicken stock (even store-bought is fine if using two stocks) to cut its intensity.

For a vegetarian option, a homemade vegetable stock works well here as well, but we'd recommend taking the time to make a more flavorful vegetable stock than the most basic types to pack even more flavor in.

The Cameos

Many mushroom gravy recipes call for wine, but even a small amount of red wine whisked in right before I added the stock left the gravy with a sourness that distracted from the unadulterated mushroom flavor. On the other hand, a splash of sherry mixed in at the very end made the gravy taste brighter and created a contrast that seemed to bring out the mushrooms even more forcefully.

Just a bit of fresh thyme goes a long way towards infusing even more woodsy flavor into the gravy.

Breaded fried pork chop smothered in mushroom gravy on a plate.

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

So in the end, it was simply a mix of mushrooms, stock, and a little sherry that ruled the day. The result is an intensely mushroomy gravy that would find a good home on steak, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or smothered on breaded and fried pork chops.

February 2014

After additional testing in 2022, we have lightly updated the recipe to improve flavor and gravy consistency.

Recipe Facts

Cook: 45 mins
Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 12 servings
Makes: 3 cups

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups (1L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken, or an equal-parts combination of homemade beef stock with either type of chicken stock, or a robust vegetable stock

  • 1/2 ounce (14g) dried porcini mushrooms

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter

  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed, stemmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups sliced mushrooms)

  • 4 tablespoons (32g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) dry sherry

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, plus picked thyme leaves for garnish

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add porcini mushrooms. Let steep until mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving stock. Roughly chop mushrooms.

    Mushrooms roughly chopped in a bowl

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  2. Wash and dry saucepan. Add butter and cook over medium heat until foaming subsides, the add porcini and cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.

    Stirring mushrooms in a saucepan

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  3. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

    Flour added to mushrooms in saucepan

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  4. Slowly whisk in reserved stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until gravy has thickened and reduced to 3 cups (710ml), 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in sherry and continue to cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as desired, garnishing with thyme leaves.

    Two image collage of top: stock being whisked into gravy and bottom: seasonings being added

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Notes

We recommend either homemade or store-bought chicken stock, or a combination of homemade beef stock with either type of chicken stock.

Make Ahead

The finished gravy can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week; reheat over medium-low heat before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
77 Calories
6g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 352mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 220mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)