Gravy at Thanksgiving is as essential as turkey. No matter how much you make, it never seems enough.

Shiitake Mushroom Gravy has been our favorite and constant dinner companion for the past few years.

shiitake mushrooms gravy

It blends well and gives a complementary flavor to our Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing.

I make mine with shiitake mushrooms. I love the consistency and texture.

However, what I love is that it can be prepared to a certain point the night before and put the finishing touches at the last minute. How great is that?

In this Article

What are shiitake mushrooms?

They are edible mushrooms or fungi. A native of Japan and China. They can also be found in the United States, Canada, and Singapore.

Tan to dark brown with caps that grow between 2 to four inches wide.

Enjoyed as a vegetable, shiitake are fungi that grow naturally on decaying hardwood trees.

You can find them fresh or dried. I do prefer the fresh one overall.

What is shiitake mushroom good for?

They are excellent as they support your immune system. Rich in polysaccharides such as lentinan and beta-glucans.  These compounds protect against cell damage, help your immune system, and boost cell production.

Very low in calorie content as well.

shiitake mushrooms gravy

Is shiitake mushroom the same as oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms have a milder flavor, and their texture resembles and feels like a sea oyster.

On the other hand, shiitake mushrooms have a more robust and meaty flavor. The fibrous stems are generally discarded or used to flavor broths.

Can shiitake be eaten raw?

Yes, you can. However, their flavor is more pronounced and enjoyable when they are cooked. The cooked mushroom tastes richer, meather, and super tender when cooked.

Shiitake mushroom substitute

Of course, you can always use dried shiitakes if fresh are not available.

You have a few to select if the shiitake mushrooms are unavailable in your area.

The best substitutes are Porcini mushrooms, Oyster, Crimini, and Portobello Mushrooms.

shiitake mushrooms gravy

Fresh herbs

Nothing beats the fresh flavor of fresh herbs. In this recipe, I used thyme, rosemary, and tarragon.

Thyme and rosemary are easy to grow anywhere. Meanwhile, not as much the tarragon, thus being forced to purchase them at the store.

Combining the three with this dish balances the mushrooms and cream well.

What is the taste of tarragon?

Often compared to licorice, anise, and fennel thanks to the aromatic and bittersweet minty flavor. Fresh is when the flavor is more intensified.

If you have some leftovers, clean the leaves, dry them out well and let them dry out in the open air.

Store in an airtight container, and you can use it any time.

Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

What can you cook with tarragon?

Perfect with any egg dish as well. However, quite versatile in your culinary arsenal as you can add it to chicken salads, pot pies, and duck.

Let’s not forget that it gives a subtle uplift to any sauce, Bernaise being a big one. However, you can add it to pesto, aioli, and any green dressing or herb combination dishes.

What to use as a tarragon substitute?

Due to the anise-licorice flavor of the tarragon, fresh basil is the best substitute.

You can simulate the thin tarragon leaves in green and by julienning the basil leaves.

Tips on how to prepare this easy recipe

  • Pick the best mushrooms you can. Make sure the underneath caps are fresh, smooth, and not bruised.
  • Clean the mushrooms with a light cloth. Do not immerse in water.
  • Part of this recipe can be prepared a couple of hours beforehand: The flour sherry paste and the sauteed mushrooms with the rosemary.  Do leave them at room temperature.
  • Using fresh herbs does accentuate and intensify the flavor of your gravy. Do not skip this critical step.
  • Make sure the mushrooms do not burn and stick to the bottom of your pot.
  • Do not season mushrooms with salt during the sauteeing process, as they will become mushy and not acquire a golden color.
  • When adding the sherry flour paste to the mushrooms and stock, ensure that you are vigorously whisking it in to avoid clumps forming.

I make this recipe mainly prepared during the holiday season with my turkey, so I use pan juices rendered and chicken stock as described in the recipe card.

Most importantly, I create extra flavor by enriching my store-bought stock with roasting vegetables.

shiitake mushrooms gravy

Extra added flavor by roasting vegetables.

I never have enough pan juices with my turkey; therefore, either I make chicken stock or, for time-saving, use store-bought chicken stock. Make sure that it is sodium-free to make the gravy.

One step I love is making roasted vegetables that I add to the chicken stock for extra added rich flavor.

And here is how:

  • I take some fresh vegetables: carrots, celery stalks, onions, garlic, and leeks, all cut up in large chunks.
  • Place them on a large cookie sheet, and season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs that you may have on hand.
  • Generously add olive oil and roast at 350F for about 15 minutes.
  • Therefore, I add all the roasted vegetables, with the juices rendered, into the chicken stock.
  • Warm for about 10 to 15 minutes to a gentle simmer.
  • However, remove the vegetables before adding the stock to the mushroom gravy.

Enjoy one of my favorite gravy. Easy and always loved by everyone.

shiitake mushrooms gravy

Equipment and ingredients needed and that I used to create this recipe

shiitake mushrooms gravy

Shiitake Mushrooms Gravy

5 from 12 votes
shiitake mushrooms gravy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Gravy at Thanksgiving is as essential as turkey. No matter how much you make, it never seems enough. Shiitake Mushroom Gravy has been our favorite and constant dinner companion for the past few years


  • ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon chopped
  • 4 cups sodium-free chicken stock,
  • cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped


  • Mix flour and Sherry in a small bowl until smooth paste forms. Cover flour paste lightly.
  • Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and rosemary: sauté until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead.) Let paste and mushrooms stand at room temp.
  • Transfer pan juices to an 8-cup glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add enough chicken broth to pan juices to measure 5 cups; add to saucepan with mushrooms.
  • Add flour paste and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to boil, stirring frequently. Boil until thickened to a light gravy, about 10 minutes.
  • Mix in cream, thyme, and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.


Calories: 1043kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 1366mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2675IU | Vitamin C: 10.4mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 7.6mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally released on November 10, 2020. Updated on September 11, 2022.