How to Make Homemade Gravy in 3 Easy Steps!

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It's easy to make delicious, homemade gravy in only three steps with this recipe—you'll never go back to store-bought packets of powder again!
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Homemade gravy over mashed potatoes on a plate

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Whether it’s for the holidays or just Sunday dinner—I beg you to please not use those highly-processed store-bought packets of gravy mix to make your gravy! The ingredient list is full of refined additives you would not cook with at home, even including “corn syrup solids.” No, thank you! Plus it’s SO super easy to make your own homemade gravy from scratch!

What are the 3 Ingredients for Easy Homemade Gravy?

Seriously, you can make homemade gravy with only 3 ingredients! Once you have the main recipe down, you can swap ingredients out to make a delicious gravy for chicken, beef, potatoes, and biscuits … you get the idea! Here are the 3 ingredients:

1. Broth or Pan Drippings

You’ll need a cup of liquid to act as your gravy base. I like to use the pan drippings to avoid waste; just make sure you remove the fat before starting (save that for your roux). If you don’t have enough drippings, add stock until you have 1 cup total.

Any kind of stock will work for gravy but I like to use something complementary. For example, beef stock with gravy for beef, chicken stock for chicken or turkey, etc. If you want to make a vegetarian brown gravy, opt for vegetable stock instead.

2. Gravy Made with Flour

The flour helps thicken the gravy without changing the flavor. I use whole wheat flour in all my recipes, including homemade gravy. You may also be able to use gluten free flour (again, whole grain), but some brands work better than others.  Check out this gluten-free gravy and this Brown Gravy too!

3. Cooking Fat or Butter

Reserve 1 tablespoon of skimmed fat to make your roux. If you’re not using pan drippings you can also use 1 tablespoon of butter instead.

Bonus: Seasoning for Tasty Gravy

I only season my homemade gravy with salt and pepper, and it’s delicious! If you want to add more spices, avoid anything with large pieces (such as dried rosemary) to keep gravy smooth. Thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, paprika, and oregano all taste great.

homemade gravy being poured over mashed potatoes

How to Make Homemade Gravy from Scratch

Making gravy with pan drippings (from cooking your turkey, chicken, roast, etc.) results in the most flavor, but if you really want to make gravy quickly you can get it done in just two easy steps without pan drippings! The process is similar except you skip the first step and sub butter for cooking fat and broth/stock (store-bought or homemade chicken stock) for pan juices.

Here are the basic steps for each method, and you can check out the video and recipe below for detailed instructions.

With Pan Drippings

  1. Separate the pan drippings into cooking juices and fat.
  2. Combine the fat and flour to make a roux.
  3. Whisk in the cooking juices plus salt and pepper while reducing until thickened.

Without Pan Drippings

  1. Combine the butter and flour to make a roux.
  2. Whisk in your favorite stock (e.g. chicken, beef, or vegetable) plus seasonings and reduce.

What is the Basic Recipe for Gravy?

A basic gravy recipe can be made with: 1 tablespoon of fat or butter, 1 tablespoon of flour, and 1 cup of pan drippings or broth.

You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe to serve a crowd. It’s especially handy for making a large batch of turkey gravy at Thanksgiving! It may take longer to thicken though in larger quantitites.

How to Make Gravy Roux

A roux is a mixture of equal parts fat and flour. It’s used to thicken a variety of stews and sauces, including homemade gravy. For this recipe, you can either use some of the skimmed fat from your pan drippings or butter and whole wheat flour to make your gravy roux.

Here’s how to make a perfect roux for gravy every time:

  • Don’t overheat your pan, medium-low heat is perfect.
  • Cook for about 1-2 minutes while stirring, until darkened.
  • Stir constantly and scrape the pan to avoid burnt flour.
  • Break up lumps as you cook to avoid lumpy gravy.
  • If your roux smells like burnt popcorn it’s overdone.

How to Make Homemade Gravy Video

Watch how I do it and then try it yourself … I guarantee gravy will start showing up on your table for more than just Thanksgiving dinner.

Kitchen Tools I Used in the Video

How to Make Homemade Brown Gravy Lighter or Darker

Two things give homemade brown gravy its color: how long you cook the roux and what stock or drippings you use for a gravy base.

For regular brown gravy, cook the roux until it reaches a medium brown color. If you’re having a tough time telling how done it is with whole wheat flour use your sense of smell: brown roux will smell like popcorn cooking. You can use any type of stock or pan drippings for brown gravy.

To make dark brown beef gravy, cook the roux even longer (but at a lower temperature) until it’s a dark color with a nutty aroma. Then use beef broth or beef juices to make your gravy.

Can You Freeze Homemade Gravy?

Yes! You can freeze it in air-tight storage containers or plastic zip-top bags, or in ice trays for easy portioning. For the best flavor and texture, use within 4-6 months.

Ways to Use Gravy

Pour your gravy over…

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63 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Gravy in 3 Easy Steps!”

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  1. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe for making gravy! I noticed that the amounts in the video do not match the amounts listed in the written recipe. In the video, Lisa mentions that she uses equal parts fat and flour (in the video, that is 1 Tbsp fat and 1 Tbsp flour). However, in the written recipe, it says to use 2 Tbsps fat and 1 Tbsp flour. Will you indicate which is the correct amount? Thank you!

    1. Sorry for the confusion. A Roux is usually 1:1. I have made it with the 2:1 and it still comes out fine. – Nicole

  2. Simple and easy yet delicious, you belong on the Food Network you give such a professional presentation. Thank you for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    Just saw this and wanted to comment on my gravy. I rarely made gravy. My sons usually did and it was good. One TG, they weren’t home & I had to make gravy for a dozen. Your base recipe is what i followed and made these changes – I finely minced a few cloves of garlic and sautéed in butter before adding more fat K& flour. I added ~ 1/2 cup chardonnay for some of the broth and a bit of rubbed sage. my Brother-in-law said it was the best d— gravy he’d had.
    Thanks for a great blog! Love it.

    1. The final color will depend on how long you cook the roux (the initial butter/fat and flour step). The darker the roux, the darker your gravy.

  4. Learned a new way to make gravy from Wolfgang Puck on a morning talk show last week. Tried it for Thanksgiving and it was awesome. You put a bunch of cut up sweet potatoes under your turkey when you roast it. After the turkey is done, you put the roasted sweet potatoes in a large sauce pan, then pour in a bunch of the broth. Take an immersion blender and blend it all up. Season with salt and pepper and you are done! The gravy was very good, very healthy, and very easy. It was a bit orange in color. I think you could use a mixture of white and sweet potatoes to tone done the color. Basically, the potatoes replace the flour as starch.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Julie. You could use a gluten free blend or arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder does not reheat well, however.

  5. This is just how my mama taught me to make gravy, and it is SO easy! She, of course, used white flour, and does to this day.

    Thank you for taking the time to make a video that shows just how easy this method is, and thank you for sharing your recipe. This isn’t the first of yours I’ve posted as Recipe of the Day on a fledgling Facebook page I curate called Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods, and I am fairly certain it won’t be the last.

    Your recipes are wonderful.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this gravy last night and it was really good. So glad I saw this recipe or we would have settled for a chemical laden gravy packet.

  7. 4 stars
    I made this today for Thanksgiving and I now know how to make gravy. Will not buy the processed stuff ever again. My husband loved it. Bought your book, lots of great information! I’m using the “make really tasty food” method to get my husband to come unprocessed with me.

    Thanks again,


  8. Thanks for the video! Will you do one making the roux for ma n cheese next!? I can’t ever tell using whole wheat flour when it’s brown but not burned!

    1. A roux doesn’t need to be brown for mac and cheese. Julia child says to cook it to Get rid of the floury taste. I use her white bechemel sauce from Mastering the Art of French cooking for Mac and cheese. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. When bubbly, whisk in 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour and salt to taste. Continue to whisk for 2 minutes. I use the lowest heat where the mixture still froths. Remove pan from heat, whisk in 2 cups of hot milk. Return liquid to low heat and slowly add in one packed mounded cup of your favorite cheese (grate ahead of time), while staring in a figure eight pattern until it melts. Julia says any more cheese and the sauce will break. Season with white pepper. Meanwhile cook pasta (I use a 13 oz box of whole wheat pasta) undercook by 1 minute. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir to coat and cook the remaining minute. Enjoy!

  9. Genius, I never thought to use a roux to make gravy. I always use my mother’s method of mixing flour and water into a paste, then stirring it into the warm drippings and then boiling till thickened. What is the flour to liquid ratio? With my method, I can always add more flour water, not possible with a roux.

    Do you find a two cup fat separator to be sufficient or do you wish you had a four cup version? I don’t really want to store a four cup model, but wonder if 2 cups would be too small for many applications.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Kristine. Use a 1:1 fat to flour ratio depending on how many servings you are making. The basic for a roux gravy is 2T fat:2T flour:1cup liquid. The 2 cup separator should be adequate for most jobs…unless you are feeding a bunch all the time. :)

  10. I make homemade gravy this exact way a lot! Last week I did hamburgers cooked 1/2 way, removed them & made gravy same steps except I used beef broth…after the gravy thickened I covered the burgers with gravy and simmered for 45 min. Serve with mashed potatoes. Simply amazing winter comfort food. It’s 1am & I want gravy-lol!

  11. Great post :) made a pan gravy tonight! Can I ask what kind of salt you use? I bought a Celtic gray salt recently upon someone’s recommendation, and I’ve found I need to use more than I would like to for flavor. I’m not a big salter of food, so I was kind of disappointed… Thanks!!! :))

  12. Thank you so very much I CAN NOT make gravy but your video made it completely make since. Now can you do a video for pepper gravy?

  13. Hello! Thank you for this video!
    Can you use stock that has been frozen & use the same process? After unthawing, of course :)

  14. I have used cornstarch to make gravy for over 40 years, but with all the GMO corn out there, & not being able to find an organic cornstarch I am starting to experiment with other starches ( I don’t particularly like the flour method) So far I have only tried organic tapioca starch & although it did thicken the gravy the texture was wrong… kind of “slimy”! Has anyone else tried any of the other “starches” out there?

      1. Thanks Amy, that is good to know. I think I will have to find something that can be reheated as there are only 2 of us & I have a hard time only making enough for 2, hence I usually freeze any leftovers to use another time, or use it as a soup base, which would mean that it would have to be reheated.

  15. Now we just need a white gravy recipe. My husband’s life is not complete without biscuits and gravy for breakfast every once in a while. :)

    1. Sausage gravy is just 3 ingredients plus salt/pepper. Brown a pound of breakfast sausage and drain most of the grease (leave 2 TBSP or so in the pan). Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flour over the sausage and stir (like the roux method but the sausage is in there too). Pour in 3-4 cups of milk, slowly and stirring as you pour. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer to thicken. Easy and delicious!!!

  16. Hi…I really enjoy following your healthy cooking tips. Can you tell me which brand of pots/pans you use. I’m so worried about various metals and the unhealthy consequences of some of the nonstick items. Not sure where to turn or who to believe on this topic.


  17. The trick with cornstarch is not to use it the same way as flour.
    First disolve your cornstarch in cold liquid so you end up with a paste where all the cornstach is disolved.
    Then add it to the boiling liquid.
    You need quit a bit of cornstach as opposed to flour.

  18. @Melanie, I use cornstarch at my house to make gravy, so yes it does work. As Lisa said, just add small amounts at a time.

    1. Melanie – I have not tried it, but I do think it would work. Just start small when it comes to the amount you add – you can always add more. You don’t want your “roux” to become one big clump with too much flour/starch.

    2. My family has always made our gravy using cornstarch for the roux. Usually we add about a spoonful then add more if needed to thicken.