How to Make Gravy

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Gravy is a versatile and delicious sauce that can elevate the flavor of many dishes, from mashed potatoes to roast meats. It's a staple in many cuisines and can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences. Making gravy from scratch might seem intimidating to some, but it's actually quite simple and rewarding. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to make gravy and some tips to ensure it turns out perfectly every time.


  • Pan drippings or fat (butter, oil, or drippings from roasted meat)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Stock (chicken, beef, vegetable, or turkey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: herbs, spices, wine, or cream for additional flavor

Steps to Make Gravy:

  1. Prepare the Pan Drippings: After cooking your meat (like roast chicken or turkey), remove it from the pan and pour off most of the fat, leaving behind the flavorful drippings.

  2. Make the Roux: In the same pan over medium heat, add an equal amount of fat and flour. For example, if you have 1/4 cup of fat, add 1/4 cup of flour. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour and eliminate the raw taste.

  3. Add Stock: Gradually pour in the stock while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. The amount of stock you'll need depends on how thick you want your gravy to be. Start with 1-2 cups and adjust as needed.

  4. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the pan drippings and stock may already contain salt, so taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

  5. Simmer: Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. If it's too thick, add more stock; if it's too thin, simmer a bit longer to reduce.

  6. Optional Additions: For extra flavor, you can add herbs like thyme or rosemary, spices like paprika or garlic powder, a splash of wine, or a drizzle of cream. Just remember to adjust the seasoning if you add more ingredients.

Tips for Perfect Gravy:

  • Use Quality Stock: Homemade stock is best for flavor, but if you're using store-bought, opt for low-sodium varieties to better control the saltiness of your gravy.

  • Whisk Continuously: This helps prevent lumps and ensures a smooth texture. A flat whisk or a wooden spoon can be helpful for scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.

  • Season Gradually: It's easier to add more salt than to fix an overly salty gravy. Taste as you go and remember that the flavors will concentrate as the gravy reduces.

  • Customize to Your Liking: Gravy is versatile, so don't be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, or liquids like wine or cream to tailor it to your taste.

  • Storage: Leftover gravy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a splash of stock or water to thin it out if necessary.


  • Vegetarian Gravy: Use vegetable stock and olive oil or butter instead of meat drippings. You can also add mushrooms or miso paste for extra umami flavor.

  • Creamy Gravy: Stir in a bit of heavy cream or sour cream at the end for a richer, creamier texture.

  • Herb-Infused Gravy: Add fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage for a fragrant and flavorful twist.

Making gravy from scratch is a straightforward process that yields delicious results. With a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a versatile sauce that enhances a wide range of dishes. Whether you prefer a classic meat-based gravy or a vegetarian version, the key is to start with good-quality ingredients, whisk continuously, and season to taste. So next time you're cooking a roast or craving some comfort food, why not try making your own gravy? You'll be rewarded with a sauce that's rich, flavorful, and sure to impress!