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!
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.
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).
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.
- 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.
- Bring drippings to a boil along with additional broth if needed.
- Combine equal parts cornstarch and cold water or broth in a small bowl.
- Add to boiling broth while whisking until broth reaches desired consistency.
- Simmer at least 2 minutes and season to taste.
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
- 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
- Once your meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and strain drippings through a fine sieve. Discard any solids.
- Allow the drippings to rest a few minutes and you will see a separation of the fat and drippings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat while whisking. Boil 1 minute.
- Taste gravy, season with salt & pepper as needed. Stir in parsley and serve