Better Than Bouillon Gravy Recipe (5 Minutes)
Add an extra touch of deliciousness to chicken, turkey, roasts and mashed potatoes with a beyond-easy, smooth and flavorful Better Than Bouillon gravy. Just 5 minutes with 3 simple ingredients (plus water).
We have no affiliation with this company. We just love the huge convenience and quality of this base. It’s a great flavor-enhancing secret ingredient for making a basic, easy gravy recipe – any kind – in a matter of minutes.
Gravy with drippings from a roast such as boneless pork roast with gravy (reverse sear) or roast chicken breast with gravy uses the natural oils released from the cooked meat – and adds rich flavor to the gravy.
I prefer using fresh ingredients whenever possible, but I also love conveniences and shortcuts as long as the quality and taste is good.
I’ve made hundreds of gravies in my long years of cooking. I’m a big fan. Better Than Bouillon base or a concentrated undiluted broth are my two favorite options for a delicious gravy when from-scratch homemade gravy is not in the cards.
Why Better Than Bouillon base is good
As I said, we have no affiliation with the company. We are just very impressed with the quality and flavor of their bouillon base products.
The base has a paste-like consistency. To make a broth, just add water. For better than bouillon gravy, see the recipe below. Here’s what I like about the base:
- It has a lower percentage of sodium per serving compared to bouillon cubes and powder.
- It’s made with real ingredients, such as chicken, beef, and vegetables, which add flavor and reduce the need for added salt.
- You can control the depth and richness of the gravy by using more or less of the base.
- Comes in a many different flavors (roasted vegetable, chicken, beef, low salt and more – see ingredient list below)
- It also makes a great-flavored broth (chicken broth, beef broth, etc.) – so you can ditch the heavy cans or boxes.
3 reasons to make gravy without drippings
- Whatever you’re cooking produces no drippings (or not enough).
- You are a vegetarian and love gravy on mashed potatoes or fries.
- With so many other tasks to take care of, you want to avoid last-minute prep and make your gravy ahead of time.
Of course, you absolutely CAN use chicken drippings (or any fat drippings) with this gravy recipe instead of the oil or butter if you prefer.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Better Than Bouillon base – choose the kind you like or need. The more common ones are roasted chicken, roasted beef, seasoned vegetable, mushroom, turkey, sauteed onion and roasted garlic. The company also has a culinary collection (more sophisticated flavors), and even organic, reduced sodium and vegetarian/vegan collections. List of better than bouillon bases.
- Sauté chopped green onions or shallots with the oil before adding flour and the base.
- Boost the flavor further with additional seasonings like garlic powder, thyme, poultry seasonings, Italian seasoning, fresh herbs or a few drops of soy sauce, sherry, light or heavy cream, or Worcestershire sauce.
Step by step
A great way to keep gravy hot for hours is to put it in an insulated gravy boat or thermos.
According to the company, Better Than Bouillon is a concentrated food base made of cooked meat and/or vegetables with natural flavors that can be used in a variety of ways – from making a simple soup to adding flavor to your favorite meal. Each jar has 38 one-teaspoon serving (except at Costco which sells larger jars).
Use 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces/1 cup/237ml of liquid. For a deeper more intense flavor, you can use a little more. I do.
No, better than bouillon base is not gluten free as wheat flour is used in the facility where it’s housed.
I prefer the flour (roux) method as per the recipe, but you can definitely use a corn starch slurry instead to thicken the gravy. Here’s a recipe for gravy using the corn starch method. Keep in mind, this will not make the gravy gluten-free if you are using the Better Than Bouillon base.
What to serve with gravy
Just about anything! Ok, that’s a stretch. I love gravy. Here are a few of my favorite dishes with gravy. Use the better-than-bouillon base that goes best. For example, use bouillon beef base with beef and poutine, chicken base for chicken, etc.
- See instructions in the recipe card for making this easy gravy ahead of time as well as freezing and reheating it.
- The gravy can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and frozen for up to 4 months.
Other gravy recipes
- Best beef gravy without drippings (5 minutes)
- Turkey gravy without drippings (make ahead from scratch)
- Chicken gravy without drippings (8 minutes)
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Better Than Bouillon Gravy (5 Minutes)
- 3 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter Note 1 (or half butter, half oil)
- Optional: 3 tbsp chopped green onions or shallots
- 3 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or 4 tbsp for thicker gravy)
- 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon base, any kind, Note 2 (or more to taste)
- 2 cups water
Optional flavor enhancers
- dried seasoning – salt, black pepper, thyme, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
- fresh herbs e.g. thyme, chives, rosemary
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sherry or Worcestershire sauce; or a splash of cream.
- MAKE ROUX AND GRAVY BASE: Melt butter or heat 3 tablespoons oil (or use half of each) in small saucepan on medium heat. For extra flavor, add optional chopped green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon base. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the roux starts to turn a very light brown. This will get rid of the raw flour taste. Don't let it get too dark or burn. (It should be a loose paste. If too dry, add a bit more oil).
- FINISH GRAVY: Whisk in 1 cup water until smooth. Whisk in remaining 1 cup water. I use lukewarm water to speed up the cooking process, but cold water is fine too. Cook about 3 minutes until gravy has thickened. Taste and add any optional seasonings you like if needed. Pour into a gravy boat or thermos and serve. Gravy will thicken a bit more on standing. Note 3 – troubleshooting. Makes about 2 cups of gravy.
- If you have pan drippings from a roast (the juice and fat in the pan after roasting), feel free to use them instead of the oil or butter. They will add great flavor. If there is a lot of meat juice mixed with the fat, it’s best to pour the mixture into a fat separator and use just the grease. Otherwise you may get lumps.
- Better than Bouillon Base – choose the kind you like or need. The more common ones are roasted chicken, roasted beef, seasoned vegetable, mushroom, turkey, sauteed onion and roasted garlic. The company also has a culinary collection (more sophisticated flavors), and even organic, reduced sodium and vegetarian/vegan collections. List of better than bouillon bases.
- Troubleshooting gravy problems:
- Lumpy gravy: whisk rapidly or use an immersion blender to smooth out lumps. Alternatively, strain the gravy through a fine mesh sieve. This is only likely to happen if you are using drippings from a roast that have meat juices in them.
- Too thin: If you find your gravy is not thick enough, mix a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small cup and add it slowly to the simmering gravy until you achieve the desired thickness. Repeat if necessary.
- Too thick: Add more water. You may need to thin out the gravy as it thickens when sitting around or stored in the fridge.
- Too pale: If you like your gravy a little browner, add a little bit of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce e.g. 1/2 teaspoon.
- Not flavorful enough: Whisk in more better-than-bouillon base or optional seasonings listed in the ingredients. Some cooks whisk in a tablespoon of cold butter at the end as well.
- Make ahead, freeze, reheat
- The gravy can be made a few hours or days ahead. Store leftovers or make-ahead gravy in an airtight container.
- To freeze, place the cooled gravy in a sealed zipper lock bag or airtight container and freeze up to 4 months. Defrost before using.
- Rewarm the gravy on the stove on medium-low heat or in the microwave. If too thick, add a bit of water or broth. Frozen gravy may separate – just whisk it well and it will smooth out perfectly when reheated.