How to Make Gravy – Spend With Pennies


A rich flavorful gravy is the perfect addition to any meal.

Below I am sharing, step-by-step, exactly how to make gravy. The method below ensures it’s rich in flavor with or without drippings. This recipe works for chicken, beef, or turkey gravy!

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

gravy in a jar to show How to make Gravy


Ingredients for 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: 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 a layer on top of the drippings (image below).

Starch: Starch is used to thicken the gravy. I most often use all-purpose flour for gravy although it can be thickened with cornstarch too.

Broth/Drippings: This is the bulk of the gravy. Use drippings or juices from the meat if you have them. If not, use pre-made or boxed broth. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a gravy separator to separate the fat from the broth. You can also skim the fat from the top of the drippings with a spoon.

Seasonings: This can be almost anything you love from fresh herbs to poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, or spices. I’ve included my favorites below.

drippings in a gravy separator for making gravy

Notes for Great Gravy

  • The most flavorful fat comes from the pan drippings.
  • Use a gravy separator (pictured above) 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 thicken the mixture.

To Make Gravy with Flour

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

  1. The 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.
  2. Stir in broth a bit at a time whisking after each addition. Once the broth is thickened let it boil at least 1 minute.
  3. Season with salt & pepper and fresh herbs.
fat and flour in a pot making gravy

Tips for Broth/Drippings

Add 3-4 cups of liquid for each 1/2 cup fat/flour. 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 it simmer at least 2 minutes to allow flavors to blend and gravy to thicken.
adding herbs to a pot of gravy

Seasonings for Gravy

  • Once the gravy has 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 I do for my easy turkey gravy recipe). Either method will work based on personal preference.

Roux vs. Slurry for Gravy

A roux makes a gravy that has a bit more body while cornstarch makes gravy that is thickened but it’s slightly transparent. My mom always makes cornstarch gravy, I make a roux gravy if I have enough fat because I love the flavor.

To make a roux, combine fat and flour and cook it for a minute or two. Next, add drippings, stock, or broth to reach desired consistency. Season before serving.

To make a slurry combine cornstarch and cold water/broth. Start by boiling the boiling broth/drippings and slowly drizzle the slurry in while whisking. Season before serving.

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 combining 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.
gravy in a jar to show How to make Gravy

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How to Make Gravy

This step-by-step guide will ensure you make perfectly flavorful (and lump free) gravy every time! Great for chicken, turkey or beef!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

  • 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 ½ cup of the fat into a saucepan (add butter if you don’t have enough fat). Add flour and poultry seasoning 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 1-2 minutes.

  • Taste gravy, and season with salt & pepper as needed. Stir in parsley or other fresh herbs and serve

When spooning 1/2 cup of the fat into a saucepan, skim the 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.
Optional: ½ teaspoon onion powder or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder can be added to the flour when cooking in the fat. I love to add ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning to my gravy.

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Calories: 90 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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gravy with turkey in the background to show How to make Gravy with a title
glass of gravy with writing to show How to make Gravy
adding ingredients together and gravy in a jar with writing to show How to make Gravy


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