The recipe for these coconut oil biscuits with mushroom gravy comes from The Complete Vegan Cookbook. Make them for your next brunch!
Biscuits and gravy is a classic southern American breakfast, and it’s as comforting as comfort food gets. You’ve got soft, buttery biscuits split through their equator and then smothered in a thick and creamy pork gravy. It’s pretty heavy stuff, and it’s totally delicious.
My first encounter with biscuits and gravy was on Rene’s and my first road trip together back in 2015. We drove from NYC to Austin and back, visiting a handful of southern cities along the way (Charlotte, Charleston, New Orleans, Memphis) – and eating biscuits and gravy in most of them.
Fast forward a few years to when Rebecca and I are compiling NGI’s best recipes into The Complete Vegan Cookbook. I knew we just had to include their coconut oil biscuits, which are light, fluffy, and delightfully crumbly, and figured what better thing to pair them with than creamy mushroom gravy? The dish went on to become my favorite recipe in the Brunch chapter.
Coconut Oil Biscuits
When I first tasted these coconut oil biscuits, I couldn’t believe they weren’t made with butter since they were as delicious – and had the same layered texture – as the traditional. They call for refined coconut oil, which is the type that’s been stripped of its coconuty aroma, so the biscuits don’t taste at all like coconut. Note that it’s important to work fast when rolling out this dough since coconut oil melts faster than dairy butter.
About the Gravy
This creamy mushroom gravy gets its umami from thoroughly caramelized mushrooms. After the mushrooms are browned, you stir in flour, which acts as a thickener. Then you add mushroom broth (I recommend Pacific brand) and almond milk, which gives the gravy a creamy texture. Coarsely ground black pepper is the star flavor here.
I also love the anise-y flavor of fennel seeds in this gravy, since fennel is typically used to flavor sausage. But, it can be an acquired taste, so if you’re not a fan, leave it out.
These biscuits and gravy are the perfect plant-based brunch dish. If you want to prep it in advance, you can cook the gravy entirely and just reheat it before serving (you may have to thin in out with a bit of extra broth). The biscuits are best served hot, straight out of the oven. I recommend waiting to bake them until your guests arrive. However, you can roll out the dough, portion the biscuits, place them on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
Here is a vegan riff of the classic Southern biscuits and gravy, featuring coconut oil biscuits and creamy mushroom gravy. While the gravy can be made in advance, the biscuits are best straight out of the oven. (Reprinted from The Complete Vegan Cookbook: Over 150 Whole Foods, Plant-Based Recipes and Techniques by the Natural Gourmet. Copyright © 2019 by Natural Gourmet Cookery Corporation. Published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.)
For the Biscuits
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (See Note #1)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 7 tablespoons solid cold refined coconut oil (See Note #2)
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
For the Gravy
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup store-bought mushroom or vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- Chopped chives, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the Biscuits: In a food processor, combine the whole wheat pastry and all-purpose flours, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and pulse to combine. Add the coconut oil and pulse 8 to 10 times, until the bits of oil are the size of peas and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and gradually sprinkle in the almond milk while gently tossing the mixture with a rubber spatula just until a shaggy dough forms, being careful not to overmix.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gather it into a disk (it’s okay if it’s still quite shaggy). Roll it out (See Note #3) into a 12-inch long, ¼-inch-thick rectangle, dusting the surface or rolling pin with more flour if the dough is sticky. Fold the short ends of the rectangle to meet in the middle, then fold the dough one more time in half. Roll to a ¾-inch thickness and fold the short ends to meet in the middle again. Roll again into a ¾-inch-thick rectangle and cut the dough into 12 squares. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, placing the biscuits about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan and continue baking until the biscuits are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the Gravy: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are fragrant and thoroughly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Add the broth and stir to deglaze the skillet. Simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 1 minute. Then add the milk and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with plenty of pepper and salt, if needed.
- Serve the biscuits alongside the gravy and garnish with chives and extra black pepper, if desired.
1. If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can use all all-purpose flour.
2. To get it appropriately cold, place the measured out coconut oil in the freezer for a few minutes.
3. If you don’t own a rolling pin, you can use a bottle of wine!
- Calories: 570