How to Make Gravy


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How to Make Gravy to accompany any dish! Below is everything you need to know (step-by-step) to make a flavorful easy gravy. This method can be used for chicken, turkey or beef gravy! The recipe below can be made with or without drippings.

This is the perfect perfect mashed potato topper and will truly be the star of your meal!

A jar of gravy ready to serve over turkey.

What You Need to Make Gravy

A delicious homemade gravy is easy to make and needs just 4 ingredients; fat, flour (or starch), broth and seasonings. I like to cook my gravy right in the pan that meat was cooked in, any little brown bits in the pan are huge flavor boosters (plus less dishes to wash)!

 

Fat comes from the meat drippings if you have them (or read below for a substitute). Be sure to separate the fat and the broth/juices; the fat will be an layer on top of the drippings (image on the below left).

  • The most flavorful fat comes from the meat drippings.
  • Use a gravy separator (pictured below) to easily separate the fat or skim it off the top with a spoon.
  • If you don’t have enough fat in your drippings (or don’t have drippings) substitute butter.
  • Combine the fat with flour to create a roux. This roux will add flavor as well as thickening the mixture.

Two photos showing the separating of fat from the broth to make homemade gravy

To Make Gravy with Flour

It’s easy to make gravy with flour! The method below will help ensure no lumps.

  • Flour will thicken the gravy. Mix equal parts fat and flour (eg. 1/2 cup fat and 1/2 cup flour).
  • Cook the flour and fat for at least 1 minute before adding broth/drippings. This gets rid of any starchy flavor.
  • Cornstarch can be substituted for flour however it requires a different method (see below).

Two photos showing the process of cooking flour and fat to make a roux for homemade gravy

Broth/Drippings/Stock

You will add 3-4 cups of liquid to each 1/2 cup fat. You can substitute broth with either bouillon or stock cubes mixed with water.

  • Use broth, stock or drippings (that you’ve skimmed the fat from) to make up the base of the recipe.
  • Store bought broth can be used for gravy.
  • Add a little bit of broth over medium heat whisking after each addition. It will be thick and almost paste like at first but will smooth out.
  • Allow to simmer at least 2 minutes to allow flavors to blend and gravy to thicken.

seasoning and pouring gravy over mashed potatoes and corn

Seasonings/Herbs

  • Once gravy has been thickened, taste and season with salt & pepper.
  • Fresh herbs can be added shortly before serving (parsley, rosemary, and thyme are good options).
  • Cooked (or canned) mushrooms can be added to make a mushroom gravy.

Note: When making gravy with flour, the flour can also be shaken into cold milk/water for thickening instead of making a roux (as shown in my easy turkey gravy recipe). Either method will work based on personal preference.

Roux vs. Slurry for Gravy

A roux combines fat and flour. Liquid is added to the fat and flour to reach desired consistency.

A slurry combines cornstarch and cold water/broth. The slurry is added to boiling broth/drippings to reach desired consistency.

To Make Gravy with Cornstarch

When using flour you’ll need to make a roux meaning to cook the flour and fat together and then add liquid. To thicken gravy without flour you can use cornstarch. The method is different and uses a slurry (instead of a roux) which means to combine cornstarch and cold water/broth and add to boiling liquid.

  1. Bring drippings to a boil along with additional broth if needed.
  2. Combine equal parts cornstarch and cold water or broth in a small bowl.
  3. Add to boiling broth while whisking until broth reaches desired consistency.
  4. Simmer at least 2 minutes and season to taste.

Gravy Variations

Making gravy from scratch is basically the same regardless of what type of meat you’re using.

  • Poultry Gravy (chicken/turkey): Great with roast chicken. Use chicken broth and season with poultry seasoning, thyme, sage and/or rosemary.
  • Brown Gravy/Beef Gravy: Use beef broth/stock. Rosemary and caramelized onions are great flavor boosters.
  • Sausage Gravy: Use the fat from the sausage to create the roux. Sausage gravy uses milk in place of broth or stock.

How to Make Gravy

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
This step-by-step guide will ensure you make perfectly flavorful (and lump free) gravy every time! Great for chicken, turkey or beef!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fat from turkey or meat drippings or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3-4 cups liquid (skimmed meat drippings and extra broth if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley and/or fresh herbs to taste, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste

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Instructions

  1. Once your meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and strain drippings through a fine sieve. Discard any solids.

  2. Allow the drippings to rest a few minutes and you will see a separation of the fat and drippings.
  3. Spoon 1/2 cup of the fat into a saucepan. Add flour to the fat in the saucepan and cook 1-2 minutes over medium heat.

  4. Slowly whisk in the liquid (drippings and/or broth) a little bit at a time whisking after each addition until smooth. It will seem very thick at first and will gradually thin out.

  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat while whisking. Boil 1 minute.

  6. Taste gravy, season with salt & pepper as needed. Stir in parsley and serve

Recipe Notes

When spooning 1/2 cup of the fat into a saucepan, skim remaining fat and discard or set aside in case you want more.
If you do not have enough fat, add unsalted butter to make the total amount of fat 1/2 cup.
If you do not have enough juices/drippings from the turkey add broth.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 90, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 303mg, Potassium: 6mg, Carbohydrates: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 1g, Vitamin A: 390%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword brown gravy, chicken gravy, gravy, turkey gravy
Homemade gravy being poured over mashed potatoes and corn.
Homemade gravy being poured over mashed potatoes and corn.
Top photo shows gravy prepared in a silver pot. Bottom photo shows the gravy in a small clear pitcher ready to be served.

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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