Homemade gravy has never been easier! Learn How to Make Gravy from Drippings, whether you’re cooking chicken, turkey, pork or beef.
Forgot to pick up a jar of gravy from the grocery store? That is about to be the best mistake of your life. Making gravy from drippings is not only easy, but it’s so much more delicious than the jarred stuff. And the same recipe works for chicken gravy, turkey gravy, beef gravy or even roasted veggies for a vegetarian gravy.
Making good gravy sound overwhelming, but no worries. I am going to walk you through it step by step, and also teach you how to fix some common mistakes.
What's In This Article
What You’ll Need
The list is simple and very forgiving so don’t worry if you don’t have the exact volumes. Also, have fun with it and customize it to make your own perfect gravy.
- Unsalted Butter– Pan juices (drippings) generally have a lot of salt from the seasoning or bark on the meat, so I opt for using everything low sodium or sodium free. Adding salt is easy, removing it is tricky (but can be done!)
- All-Purpose Flour– I use general AP flour to keep it cloud-free and from getting stringy. Please be mindful that the size of grain can impact the texture, for instance a coarser texture. Almond flour, oat flour and potato starch can all thicken, but risk a weird color. Corn starch is the best alternative for both texture and taste for a gluten-free gravy, but then you won’t be making a roux. Instead, you’ll mix together everything else and make a cornstarch slurry in a separate small bowl.
- Broth or Stock– Homemade or store bought is fine, but the lower the sodium or sodium-free is best so you can control the final salt levels. Using water with a bouillon cube is fine too. Vegetable stock is also useful regardless of the type of drippings you are using because it is fairly neutral.
- Drippings– also known as pan juices. A lot goes a long way, see below on how to collect these if you are unsure. Chicken, vegetable, beef or turkey drippings can be used.
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper– Kosher salt salt dissolves well and has the least saltiness. Black pepper is the standard, but for a less peppery flavor, opt for white pepper.
- Other flavor add-ins- Variation is the spice of life! Make this gravy your own and tailor the flavor profile to the recipe you plan to pair it with. See our list of variations below.
How to Make Gravy with Drippings
Use this easy recipe to make a gravy to accompany any type of meat or meal. The only difference might be in the way you season the gravy.
Be mindful that depending on the hue of drippings and also broth, gravies will be vastly different colors of brown gravy. Chicken stock (chicken broth) is clearly lighter than beef broth and within those, homemade and store bought will also have a lot of variety. The best gravy is really what is YOUR best version.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter, whisk with all-purpose flour until a paste forms, called the roux. Continue to whisk until roux starts to brown and become fragrant. This is key to developing a deep, rich flavor.
- Slowly add broth and pan juices while whisking vigorously. Mixture will be a little lumpy just based on drippings having some texture, this is normal. Stir constantly until gravy has thickened. This prevents the pan gravy from burning to the bottom of the pan.
- Continue to whisk while bringing to a boil. Taste test for seasoning. Add coarse salt sparingly until desired taste is achieved.
- Add other seasonings, if desired and continue to heat for 5-15 minutes for flavors to marry. And making gravy with drippings is as easy as that!
- Serve over roast meat, mashed potatoes, biscuits or anything else your heart desires.
The world is literally open to anything you want to make this easy gravy recipe your own. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Aromatics- Let fresh herbs like thyme, sage, flat parsley or rosemary simmer in the gravy and then fish it out before serving. A dried bay leaf also works.
- Spices– Whole cinnamon, clove or allspice berry can add an unexpected pairing to flavors.
- Worcestershire Sauce- This heady ingredient only needs a few drops to add huge amounts of umami flavor and complexity.
- Root Vegetables– If you have time, allow cut carrots and celery to simmer, and fish out large pieces before serving.
- Garlic and Onion– Whether adding freshly grated garlic or minced onions or garlic powder or onion powder, all of these can amp up the flavor profile.
- Bacon Grease or Duck Fat- Also known as rendered bacon fat or rendered duck fat, swap this out for the butter for extra flavor.
- Cream– Adding just a touch of heavy cream or whole milk with lighten the color and add decadence.
- Wine– Both white wine and red wine can be used for part of the stock volume. I wouldn’t use it for the whole thing, it can be rather overwhelming.
How to Get Drippings
So you made the meat, now how do you even get the drippings? Drippings are little flavor bombs, but the liquids in the roasting pan will also have some fat and while flavorful, you’ll want to avoid that. While you can make a good gravy without drippings, best best versions contain them.
The drippings are just the liquids that pools in the bottom of the pan. To collect the drippings, ladle or pour liquid into a fat skimmer cup (fat separator) or regular large measuring cup. I also like to scrape up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Wait for the fats to float.
Skim this off the top and then use the liquid that remains. If you have time, you can wait for them to solidify and then just peel off the top with a spoon.
If you used seasoning, try to capture some of those in the amount that you use. You can also use more drippings than this recipe calls for, just reduce the amount of broth you add to supplement. Making gravy is very forgiving on exact measurements.
Fixing Lumpy Gravy
There are a couple of aspects and questions that come up when making any type of gravy at home, but especially gravy with drippings. Let’s address those first.
The first, is undoubtedly, the issue of lumpy gravy. Lumpy gravy is usually the result of trying to thicken the sauce and not doing it properly.
The unfortunate issue is that after you lump it it, no amount of whisking is going to make it a smooth gravy. Those lumps are there to stay. There are only two ways to fix the problem.
- The first is to remove the lumps by pouring the gravy through a fine mesh sieve or small holed colander.
If you only have a large holed colander, line it with cheesecloth. You will lose a little gravy and the pan drippings absorbing into the cheesecloth though.
- The second is to use an immersion blender or transfer the whole mixture to a stand blender (not a stand mixer, an actual BLENDER) and give a nice whirl.
But you can prevent lumps when making gravy from drippings pretty easily. The basic elements to thicken gravy are flour, cornstarch or arrowroot. Any of these three needs to be mixed with a small amount of water before being added to the larger batch of gravy. Flour is usually added before in the form of a roux.
Other lumps sometimes come from pieces of food or seasoning, but those are the good kind of lumps. You can smooth those with an immersion blender, if desired.
How to Fix Salty Gravy
The next issue is that gravy is too salty. Generally this happens because the cook has seasoned the gravy too early in the cooking process and the other ingredients already carried a lot of salty flavor.
Drippings and broth, stock or bullion are all going to carry a certain amount of their own saltiness. Until it is all combined, you won’t know how much, if any, salt is needed.
- It is potatoes! Chop up a potato and add it to your gravy. It will absorb the salt in about 15 minutes. Fish out the potato chunks using a slotted spoon or run it through a colander. Although I haven’t tried this technique, it is touted by Better Homes & Gardens, so I am guessing it works!
- The second is to counterbalance salt with sugar and pepper. Both will help balance the flavor profile of your gravy with drippings. Start with just a teaspoon of sugar and quick pinch of pepper, stir well and taste. Add more as needed.
- The last way to reduce salt in gravy is all about ratios. You can dilute the gravy by adding more liquid and a tablespoon of butter. You might also end up with WAY more gravy than you need, but I supposed that is better than not having gravy at all.
Add 1 cup of broth (or just plain water if the stock is what was contributing to the saltiness to begin with) and 1 tablespoon UNSALTED butter. Salted butter will just add to the saltiness, as will non-low sodium stock.
Storage & Freezing
Depending on the recipe, you might be left with cups of leftover gravy. The good news is that it freezes well and can be used on nearly anything. In fact, some recipes might not have enough drippings to even make gravy!
Leftovers: To store leftovers, simply place in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. It will be slightly gelatinous, but will melt. Resist the urge to add more liquid until fully heated and then make that decision.
Freezing: Freeze in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags for up to 6 months. Gravy can also be frozen into little bits using a plastic ice cube tray. Freeze, pop them out into a freezer bag and you’ve got little single servings. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Chilled and frozen liquids tend to be a little muted in flavor, so you might need to add more salt or black pepper. Taste test it first.
What to Serve Gravy With
The obvious answer is anything you want, but there are a few traditional recipes that pair well.
- Pot roast
- Beef wellington
- Roast beef
- Beef Tenderloin
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Fried Bacon
More Gravy Recipes
How to Make Gravy from Drippings
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups broth
- 2 tablespoons drippings
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- Other flavor add-ins
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- When melted, whisk with the flour until a paste forms. Continue to whisk until roux starts to brown and become fragrant.
- Slowly add the broth and drippings while whisking vigorously. Continue to whisk until fully heated.
- Taste test for seasoning. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper sparingly until desired taste is achieved.
- Add other seasonings, if desired and continue to heat for 5-15 minutes.
- If you run into problems, such as your gravy being too thin, too thick, too salty or having other issues, check this post for common gravy problems and how to solve them!
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.
- 3-4 leaves sage
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2-3 whole anise pods
- 3-4 grates of fresh nutmeg
- 2-3 whole cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped giblets
- 2-3 tablespoons minced or grated onion
- 2-3 cloves finely minced or grated garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons grated apple
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup cream or half and half
I loved this east recipe. I added two cups of drippings instead and it was awesome
Thanks so much for coming back to let us know!
I have always bern just terrible at making gravies. My grandma and dad were both gravy gurus and that was intimidating. Now after using this recipe i don’t know how i messed up all these years. I followed your instructions to a T and viola! Perfect no lump chicken gravy. I really wish i would have taken a photo because it was beautiful. But it was also delicious and we devoured it before i had the chance to snap a photo. So maybe next time. Lol. Thank you for giving all the info and tips and now I’m no longer the only Cowan who can’t make gravy! Yay!
You are now the gravy queen!
Easy and tastes great
Easiest and savory, my best gravy ever, thanks!
This is the perfect recipe for making an easy gravy for the holidays. It’s perfect because you can substitute any drippings. I used it to make a prime rib gravy and it was so good.
Glad you loved it!
This gravy recipe looks so delicious and yummy! The creamy texture makes it so enticing! I’ll definitely try this at home combined with an Air Fried Chicken!
Homemade is always best! This is just like my mom makes!
Wow, making my own gravy from drippings was WAY easier than I thought! I am saving this recipe – it is a winner! I have tried with a few different roasts and it turned out perfect every time. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Love this recipe. Gravy is wonderful. Thank you for the recipe
Thank you, Beverly!
This recipe is fool-proof, thank you so much. Now my whole family uses this recipe!
Gave this a try with dinner tonight and it was a hit all around the table! Easy to make, and turned out so creamy and delicious; was the perfect addition to dinner!
I wasn’t sure where to even begin with wanting to make gravy and to be honest, I was super nervous. But after making this, and it turning out wonderful, this will now be my go-to! Thank you!
I made this gravy this evening and it was awesome. I used beef drippings from a chuck roast that I sous Vide’d and beef broth. It was delicious. Thanks you
And your chuck roast sounds amazing too! Thanks so much for coming back to let us know. It means a lot!
Best homemade gravy recipes everyone loved the gravy there was no leftovers.
Everyone I have used this recipe for Beef, pork, chicken and Turkey gravies.
Thanks for the recipe.
I forgot if your gravy is to thick just save some meat dripping to thin the gravy.
Yay!!!! That is what we love to hear and that you for coming back to let us know.
This is my most favorite way to make gravy. It is full of flavor and so easy!
Wow,u just fixed all my problems. You don’t know how this has been of much help.
This is amazing…am really exciting…..yeeeiii
I love how simple this gravy is to make! I can’t wait to use this recipe on Easter with our Easter ham. Thank you for sharing!
This is a delicious recipe for gravy. I used it when I roasted a chicken last weekend and it came out just like my family loves it. Thanks!
Rich and comforting. This is the type of gravy I would want to make on a Sunday!