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Homemade Gravy

Homemade Gravy is essential for many comfort food meals and holiday dinners. This is a really simple recipe to make and can start with butter or drippings from the meat. 

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Homemade gravy with ladle.

Mashed potatoes and gravy is a staple for many of our family meals, rather we are having a classic rump roast, Smoked Chicken or Thanksgiving Dinner. My kids are always disappointed if I serve mashed potatoes without the gravy.

Are you making gravy for the first time? It can be intimidating but with this basic method, you can make good gravy for your favorite meals. Using simple ingredients you can make flavorful homemade gravy in no time at all.

Why You Should Make Homemade Gravy

  • Easy Gravy Recipe: This recipe works to make brown gravy with pan juices or a butter and flour roux for the best gravy to go with any meal.
  • Flavorful Gravy: Rich and hearty gravy makes ordinary mashed potatoes something special and is so good to spoon over pot roast, roasted chicken or Thanksgiving turkey. 
  • Make Ahead Gravy Recipe: Save time and stress by making Thanksgiving gravy a few days in advance with this easy recipe.

Ingredients for Homemade Gravy

  • Butter or drippings
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Broth or Stock (chicken broth, turkey stock, beef broth or vegetarian broth)
  • Kosher Salt 
  • Black Pepper
  • Fine ground rosemary (optional)
Homemade gravy poured over mashed potatoes

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Step By Step Directions for Perfect Gravy

pan with melted butter, flour and a wooden spoon
  1. Make the Roux: Add butter or drippings to a pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour to combine.
Medium brown roux in a pan with a wooden spoon

2. Cook, stirring often until flour mixture is well browned. A medium roux is going to add a lot of flavor to your gravy. 

whisking broth into roux for gravy

3. Add the Liquid: Whisk in broth, salt, pepper and rosemary.

making gravy with broth

4. Thicken the Gravy: Continue to cook bringing mixture to a low boil over medium-low heat,  whisking until desired thickness is reached. 

brown gravy in a saucepan with whisk
  1. Simmer: Keep gravy warm until ready to serve.
  2. Serve immediately in a gravy boat. 

Can gravy be made ahead?

The wonderful thing about gravy is that it can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat in a saucepan just before serving. Whisk in a bit more broth if gravy needs to be thinned. Leftover gravy can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen up to 3 months.

Bowl of gravy, platter of sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes

Best Way to Make Gravy More Flavorful

  • On occasion gravy can turn out bland, especially if you start with butter instead of drippings and if you are using store bought chicken stock. Spice it up with herbs such as ground sage, garlic powder, onion powder or thyme. Poultry seasoning can be added to chicken gravy or turkey gravy. Add small amounts of herbs and spices  at a time until desired flavor is reached.
  • I sometimes add a pinch of turmeric to gravy, but it does give the gravy a yellow tone, that may not be desired for holiday meals. A splash of white wine or a bit of dijon mustard can also add extra flavor. Worcestershire sauce is another option to fix bland gravy.
  • Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce is another secret ingredient to keep on hand to give gravy a boost of flavor. It’s found at most grocery store, near the bullion and broth. I learned this trick from my mother in law. 

How to Fix Salty Gravy

Depending on your drippings and broth, gravy can be too salty, especially if you have brined the turkey.  For the best results, taste the meat drippings in the pan before making the gravy. Here are 4 ways to fix salty gravy.

  1. Add a few tablespoons of unsalted butter or bacon grease to the drippings when making the roux. This will help dilute the saltiness.
  2. If the gravy is already finished, add additional broth or stock. Skip using bullion broth because it tends to be really salty and worsen the issue. If the gravy is too thin at this point, make a slurry of cornstarch and water. Whisk into the gravy and return to a boil to thicken.
  3. A tablespoon or two of milk or heavy cream can also help with the saltiness. Make sure to keep the gravy at a simmer if adding dairy products.
  4. Add a pinch of sugar to offset the saltiness.

Fix Lumpy Gravy

whisk is a must have for making smooth gravy. If you can’t whisk out the lumps, a stick blender is the easiest way to smooth out the gravy. A traditional blender will also work, just be careful when blending hot gravy. 

Bowl of gravy, platter of sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes

I love that this gravy recipe works with or without drippings. We prefer to make Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving and don’t always have turkey drippings but it still makes rich and delicious gravy.

Mashed Potatoes with gravy and sliced potatoes

One of our favorite meals is smoked chicken, we will often grill 2-3 at a time. We always use the carcasses to make homemade chicken broth, which we freeze in vacuum seal bags. It makes the absolute best broth that in turn will make amazing brown gravy. It is so worth the time and is so handy for holiday meals.

It’s great to have an easy homemade gravy recipe on hand to complete your Thanksgiving menu or holiday dinner plans and add something special every day dinners.

Gravy bowl with ladle

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Yield: 12 servings


Brown Gravy in bowl with ladle dipping

Homemade Gravy is essential for many comfort food meals and holiday dinners. This is a really simple recipe to make and can start with butter or drippings from the meat. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup butter or pan drippings
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine ground rosemary or thyme, optional


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter or drippings and whisk in flour.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a medium brown.
  3. Whisk in broth and add salt, pepper and rosemary.
  4. Cook, continuing to whisk until mixture is thickened. Lower to simmer and keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Serve immediately.


  • Gravy can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in additional broth if it needs thinned.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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  1. There is honestly nothing better than homemade gravy. I’ve never added rosemary and thyme, and it tasted amazing.

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