Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe (No Drippings) + Video

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Best Brown Gravy Recipe that you can make with just a few ingredients in just 5 minutes? Sign me up!! Not only that, but it’s just as smooth and scrumptious as any pan gravy or sauce that’s been cooking for ages. Check out this walkthrough and video to see how to make this easy recipe for brown gravy without drippings that’ll totally blow your mind!!

beef gravy


 

When there just never seems to be enough time to make dinner, you need recipes that are simple, fast and flavorful.

That is the exact time to make my 5-5-5 brown beef gravy!!

Making homemade gravy with flour and broth is so much easier than working with pan drippings.

You don’t need to wait for anything to cool, strain out any unwanted fat, or go through the whole process of cooking the meat beforehand. 

Plus, you can make it well ahead of time, saving you even more time on the day of. It’s so convenient!

You’ll love the rich flavor that pairs perfectly with any simple recipe! This is the best gravy, ever! 

beef gravy

Best Ever Brown Gravy

Why do I call this a 5-5-5 brown gravy recipe? Well, in 5 minutes and using only 5 ingredients, you can make 5-star gravy!! 

This sauce is perfect over egg noodles, meatballs, roasts, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, you name it! It is delicious and silky smooth!

Don’t like beef gravy? Try this turkey gravy! Or if you need gravy to pair with pork, I’ve got you covered with my crockpot pork chops recipe

making brown gravy

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Butter – You really need this to make the roux! I like to use unsalted butter and then season with salt at the end. 
  • Flour – You can almost never go wrong with all-purpose flour. 

    It’ll yield a thick, luscious gravy that literally cascades over meat, potatoes, or whatever you want to add it to – my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 
  • Onion Powder – This is a good, basic flavor to enhance your gravy. You could use garlic powder but I think onion powder is perfect for our palates.

    If you want to get more advanced with your spices and seasonings, check out the FAQ below, where I detail ways to really dress up your homemade brown gravy! 
  • Beef Bouillon & Water – I lump these two together because they go hand in hand – you need the water to dissolve the bouillon! 
Brown Gravy Recipe

Tips For Making This Easy Brown Gravy Recipe

  • Before making this think of all your favorite ways to enjoy this delicious gravy.

    It’s perfet with your favorite meat, great for a roast dinner, and even perfect with french fries, too! 
  • Don’t overboil the hot liquid. Just 2-3 minutes of simmering once this great gravy is boiling and it’s good to go. 

How to Make Gravy With Beef Broth

To make this homemade brown gravy recipe with beef broth, you’ll need to start by making a roux. It sounds fancy, but it’s super simple!

Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Once it’s melted, add the flour and onion powder. Start whisking! 

Let the mixture cook for a minute or so while that floury taste cooks away.

Follow up with the beef broth! Add just ¼ cup at a time, whisking thoroughly with each pour. Once it’s all been added, bring it to a boil. 

When a rolling boil is achieved, reduce the heat to a simmer for a couple of minutes… And you’re done! 

whisking brown gravy

Storing and Reheating Homemade Brown Gravy

This beef gravy recipe can be made up to 5 days ahead of time. Keep it covered and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

Don’t be alarmed when it comes out thicker – that’s supposed to happen! It’ll thin out when it’s reheated. Do so in a saucepan over medium heat. 

If it still isn’t as thin as you’d like, whisk in a tablespoon of beef broth.

Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe FAQ

What is the difference between brown gravy and beef gravy?

A brown gravy comes from any brown stock, whereas beef gravy always comes from beef stock specifically. 

In other words, all beef gravy is a brown gravy but not all brown gravy is beef gravy. It’s like the “all subs are sandwiches but not all sandwiches are subs” conundrum.

How can I make brown gravy better?

My beef gravy recipe is delicious for sure – but it’s also bare bones. There’s so much you can do to spice things up!

One easy way to improve your gravy is to add a good balance of flavors — mustard, wine, or vinegar for acidity and some herbs for freshness, for example.

Adding extras to your roux will also work wonders and cook those flavors deep into the gravy itself. Sauteeing onions, garlic, mushrooms, or bacon (or all of them if you’re daring!!) in the butter before adding the flour will have a tremendous effect on the overall flavor profile of your gravy. In a good way!

Can I use beef stock instead of beef broth? What’s the difference between the two?

Good questions! 

Broth is made from either meat or vegetables (or a combination of the two), simmered in water and releasing all of its flavor into the liquid over an extended period of time. Stock, on the other hand, is made by cooking bones in water. 

With that cleared up – you can absolutely use stock and broth interchangeably. A few differences you’ll want to keep in mind: stock is usually thicker than broth, while broth is more full-bodied and flavorful. 

When should I serve this classic gravy recipe?

In my opinon, this is one of my go-to recipes for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s such a delicious sauce made with simple ingredients and tastes so much better than any store-bought gravy.

I love making it for the holidays because it’s a great option loaded with a great depth of flavor. While it’s the perfect gravy for the holidays, you can make this easy homemade brown gravy recipe for extra flavor during the week, too. It’s literally the perfect topping for pot roast, roast beef, and beef tips. 

brown gravy on stuffing

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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bowl of beef gravy

Brown Gravy Recipe

5-Minute Beef Gravy + Video

Donna Elick
Beef Gravy is the perfect topping for your meal! Make this homemade brown gravy recipe with just 5 ingredients in 5 minutes!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 12 makes 2 cups

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons beef bouillon powder, or 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions
 

  • Combine water and bouillon in a heat proof container (I use a 2-cup glass measuring cup). Heat the beef broth in microwave 1 minute at a time, until it is steaming hot.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour and onion powder and whisk to combine.
    Continue whisking until mixture bubbles up and becomes a thick consistency, about one minute. This helps cook out the ‘floury’ taste.
  • While whisking, pour in hot beef broth to the flour mixture. Whisk to combine and bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 1 minute.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Donna’s Notes

You can use chicken bouillon to create an amazing chicken gravy that is perfect for turkey or chicken dinners, especially Thanksgiving!
You can use chicken or beef stock or broth in place of the bouillon and water. Be sure to heat well.
This recipe stores in the refrigerator, covered for a week.
Be sure to whisk as you add the broth to get a smooth lump-free gravy.
The recipe doubles perfectly!!!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 45cal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 176mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
homemade brown gravy

Originally published July 2012, updated and republished November 2023

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79 Comments

    1. You can substitute cornstarch for flour yes….. BUT remember the consitency is very different. Cornstarch is much thicker so I would cut it down to 1/2 of what you would use flour and add in from there. Gluten free flour would make it easy for conversion purposes but if cornstarch is on hand, it will work just fine. I use cornstarch in almost all my recipes asking for flour IF it's just a thickener.

    2. When my granddaughter was diagnosed with Celiac, I realized I prefer cornstarch in any of my gravies, even when I am not having to cook gluten free. It makes it much smoother, and does not get lumpy

    3. I prefer cornstarch to using flour to thicken gravy, just stir in a TBS of cornstarch in 1/4 c water. Add a bit to your gravy, let it boil to see how thick is gets and add more as needed

    1. I just had to do the same thing as chicken bouillon was all I had on hand and it was perfect! I can't wait to try it the next time with beef bouillon.

  1. I do not have any beef boullion granules. Do you think that that Knorr Homestyle Stock would work (As you have to add the "cube" to 2 cups water anyway)?

  2. For those w/sodium issues always have low sodium chicken, beef & vegetable broth or stock in pantry or (best: make your own & freeze it for when you need it) and use the stock instead of water and boullion. No msg and not nearly as much sodium. win-win :-).

  3. Also first timer making this gravy and it is delicious! Thank you for the easy and quick recipe, it was a hit!

  4. I've made this gravy twice now once with beef boullion ( better than boullion) once with chicken boullion ( i think it was actually chicken soup base). First time ( beef) I made it for my family and they loved it, even my gravy snob husband. Second time I made it for a group and I was told " better than moms" which is always a compliment in my family. Super easy, super cheap, super delicious!!!

    1. Unsalted butter is best. I would also look for low sodium beef bouillon if you are sensitive to salt. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  5. This was a huge failure for us. I followed the recipe exactly but it was thick and grainy. I added almost 2 additional cups of water and it was still way too thick.

    1. sounds like you misread something. if everyones turns out right and yours doesnt, theres a good chance you messed up somewhere.

  6. My 16-year-old made this today because we were out of the packets. After one taste he got a huge grin on his face and told me we'll never use the mix again. Great Recipe!

    1. I am so happy to hear that. The fact that your 16 year old son made it makes me grin. I like simple cooking and kids in the kitchen.

  7. I made this recently and was disappointed with the flavor. I followed the recipe exactly except I had to substitute cornstarch for flour because my son has celiac. The flavor was too strong for my liking – I couldn't tell if it was too much bouillon or onion powder. I even added more water & cornstarch to tone it down but the overall taste was not good. I really wanted this to work out for me because I'm trying to avoid making an online purchase of our favorite McCormick gravies in a gluten free version. It was worth a shot but unfortunately it wasn't a hit.

    1. You're adding your broth too fast if your getting lumps. My mom always told my sister and I add you broth a little at at time and wisk your butt off as you do.

    1. mix the flour with a bit of water in a different bowl and whisk it before you put it in the actual gravy its called a slurry

    2. I put the ingredients in my blender and blend it a little bit before adding to the pan and continue cooking. It doesn't lump that way.

    3. You don't dump the flour into the liquid or in fact make a slurry in this recipe. It calls for a roux, cooking the flour and fat (butter) together then adding the liquid and stirring or whisking it in. Hope that helps.

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