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spoon of beef gravy over pot
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4.78 from 9 votes

Beef Gravy Recipe (without drippings)

If you don't have pan drippings and still want a rich, velvety, flavorful gravy for your roast, hamburger steak or French fries, you can make this beef gravy recipe without drippings in 5 minutes. Quick, easy and essential if you're a gravy lover. Ditch the gravy packets! 
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Gravy and Sauces
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 6
Author: Cheryl


  • 2 tablespoon oil Note 1 (or half butter, half oil)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups (354ml) beef broth, Note 2 if using undiluted full strength broth like Campbell's in a can (recommended), use 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • MAKE ROUX (FLOUR AND OIL): Put 2 tablespoons oil (or butter, half butter/half oil or fat drippings) in small saucepan. Heat to medium heat. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring, 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). Note 3 for gluten free gravy.
  • FINISH GRAVY: Add half of broth. Whisk until smooth. Add rest of broth and thyme. Whisk. Cook about 3 minutes until gravy has thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, more thyme). Note 4 for added flavorings.
    Gravy will thicken on standing or in fridge. To loosen, add a splash of water or broth.


  1. If you have meat or pan drippings (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. 
  2. Broth options: Taste the broth before using it to see how salty and flavorful it is. If not very flavorful, see 'adding flavor' below.
    • If you don't have liquid broth, use a broth/stock powder, base or cubes with water according to the directions on the package. 
    • For a vegetarian gravy, use vegetable broth or mushroom broth. 
    • For chicken or turkey gravy, use chicken broth. 
  3. To make gluten free gravy: use a cornstarch slurry instead of making a roux with flour and fat. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Pour it into simmering broth and stir until thickened.
  4. To add more flavor (options): 
    • Start with adding more salt - a flavor enhancer.
    • Add 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions to the heated oil/butter before you add the flour.
    • Add a pinch of onion or garlic powder or a dash of Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce
    • Try a small amount (e.g. 1/2 teaspoon) or Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce. 
    • Add a splash of wine or sherry.
    • Some cooks whisk in a small pad of cold butter for a velvety rich finish. Do this at the very end of cooking the beef gravy. 
  5. Make ahead
    • Beef gravy without drippings can be made a couple of hours or a few days ahead. If refrigerating, store it in an airtight container. 
    • To freeze, place the cooled gravy in a sealed zipper lock bag or airtight container and freeze it for up to 4 months. Defrost before using. 
    • Rewarm gravy on the stove or in the microwave. If too thick, add a bit of water or broth. 
Nutrition values are estimates and will depend on how much beef gravy is used.
Serving: 0g | Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 417mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg