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

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 5 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


  • 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


  • 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!


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!!!


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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  1. Judy I have had a lot of problems with gravy due to my lil girl but I have found a great way to make gravy….1 can of beef broth and 2-3 tbs of beef grease if wanted then heated to a boil, 3 tbs of corn starch mixed with 1 cup cold water add to boiling broth and cook til liked thickness.

  2. Boullon is very salty. I would use Chick Broth or Beef Broth (Low Sodium ad Fat Free) with the other ingriedients.

  3. This was really really good! I made this and mixed in about 1 cup of frozen peas after the gravy was done, cut up 2 frozen chicken breasts and cut it into little strips and seasoned it with light salt, pepper and heavy garlic powder until browned, and cooked up some spaghetti noodles. Mixed those all together and YUM STUFF!!

  4. I try with extra ingredients like "Taj Pata" and take bit taste. I think your mixing so right.

  5. A little secret I got from my mom. Add 1/8 cup leftover coffee, so yummy and you don't even taste the coffee. It gives it more of a Brown gravy flavor.

    1. I do the same and I like it better than just using beef cubes. I would like to know if I can use salted butter (I know it will be salty, but I rarely buy unsalted butter.) Thanks, Lesa

  6. I would assume it's possible to sub the cubes with real broth (I don't see why it wouldn't work) but what measurements? Could I just sub the cubes with 2 cups of broth and nix the water?

  7. Thank you for the recipe!I use low sodium can broths or frozen homemade and never have unsalted butter. But worked wonderfully just replacing the granules and water with the broth.
    And for other readers asking about cornstarch over flour, it will work, I've done it, just need to make a slurry with the starch and cold water then whisk it into the hot broth until thick.

  8. Tried this and loved, loved it! Thank you for this recipe. I am a newbie in the kitchen and being able to make literally any food from scratch which actually tastes good boosts my confidence to go on trying. 🙂

  9. I just tried this recipe and I can’t wait to eat dinner. The recipe worked out beautifully. I am writing this before I sit down to study for the next hour but I can’t wait to dig in. Fantastic recipe!

  10. I need to cut back on my salt intake, so in place of water, I use 2 cups of Swanson's , or any other brand of beef or chicken broth that is low salt. Because your flour & butter are equal, it is easier if you make a smooth paste of these two ingredients, I add the paste to hot liquid, stirring with a whisk, and because the two ingredients are a paste they dissolve absolutely effortlessly with no lumps!

  11. BTW, I forgot to mention how very much I enjoy this blog; I've been a subscriber for years & even though I am considered an excellent cook & I'm 81, I always find something new or an easier hack & it is lovely learning something from Donna & the rest of you lovely talented young people that experience the same joy in cooking & sharing hints & recipes like I do! Thank you Donna, for all of the hard work & love that you & Chad pour into your food blog! It's easy to navigate, the recipes are excellent, the photography is beautiful! There isn't much more that I can rave about, except you're two talented young people & keep up the fantastic work! God bless the both of you & your beautiful children, I love seeing photos of them it brings back memories of mine & I watch these photos with so much pleasure & joy that it is like watching my own great grandchildren! 😉

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