Basic Pan Gravy

This basic pan gravy is a foolproof lesson that teaches you how to make any kind of gravy using three ingredients: pan drippings, flour, and stock. A must for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday supper.

A person stirring flour into the basic pan gravy with a wooden spoon on a rimmed baking sheet.

This basic pan gravy is a cinch to make. No fuss. No mess. No lumps. Just easy, foolproof gravy. Which isn’t as easy to pull off as you may think. Because great gravy doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s how it does happen. Complete with instructions outlining every last detail of how to make it.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Can I make pan gravy from brined meat?

Wondering how to make gravy from a brined cut of meat? The short answer is don’t even try. Seriously. The saltiness in the pan drippings will truly overpower everything else in your gravy. Sorta like a narcissist dominating the conversation at a cocktail party. There’s just no chance of salvaging the situation. Don’t even bother.

Basic Pan Gravy

A person stirring flour into the basic pan gravy with a wooden spoon on a rimmed baking sheet.
This basic pan gravy is a foolproof lesson that teaches you how to make any kind of gravy using three ingredients: pan drippings, flour, and stock. A must for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday supper.

Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 15 mins
10 servings
55 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • Roasting pan with the drippings from a roast beef, chicken, turkey, guinea hen, pork loin, or other cut of meat (NOT a brined cut of meat)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade stock warmed (use a chicken stock for roast chicken, turkey stock for turkey, beef stock for roast beef, and so on)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • After roasting the meat, transfer it to a warmed platter or plate and set aside to rest.
  • Skim the excess fat from the surface of the liquid that collected in the roasting pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons juices mingled with a little fat. Place the roasting pan over 1 or 2 burners on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the caramelized pan juices, then sprinkle the flour over the top, stirring constantly to blend it well with the fat and juices. Cook, still stirring constantly, until the flour becomes a light golden color, about 2 minutes.
  • Still stirring, slowly add the warm stock to the roasting pan. Bring to a boil and cook—say it with us, still stirring constantly—until the sauce thickens and the mixture is reduced by about a third and has a gravylike consistency. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve immediately.
Print RecipeBuy the The Sauce Book cookbook

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Gravy Variation

Herb and Mustard Gravy
Simply add a small handful of your favorite herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or sage, to the gravy as it reduces. Whisk in 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard before straining.
Wine Gravy
Substitute 1/3 cup red wine, port, or white wine for 1/3 cup stock and add it gradually, as you did with the stock.
Beer Gravy
Add a 12-ounce bottle dark beer to the gravy in place of 1 1/2 cups stock. Wonderful with roast beef or pork.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 55kcal (3%)Carbohydrates: 4g (1%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 4g (6%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mg (1%)Sodium: 94mg (4%)Potassium: 65mg (2%)Fiber: 0.1gSugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.2mg (1%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I think this is a great basic pan gravy to keep on hand when you make any roast item that needs a gravy. This would make a super easy Thanksgiving gravy as well as Easter roast gravy or anything else. I didn’t try any of the variations, but I think that each would work great!

This is a great way to make pan gravy for a roast—even if you don’t have enough drippings. The roast I cooked didn’t surrender enough drippings, so I improvised by adding some butter. Sure enough, the roux yielded a fantastic sauce for our roast beef. I used the wine variation, adding 1/2 cup port for a well-rounded gravy, and everyone loved it.

This pan gravy is foolproof, easy, and has demonstrated that it’s really versatile.

My slightly alternative approach was to substitute the braising liquid from a big pile of short ribs for the roast pan drippings. I chose the herb and mustard variation. I added a heaping tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs rather than a small handful of dried herbs. It tasted perfect, and I didn’t have to strain the herbs out.

This is a nice way to end up with pan gravy after making any of a wide variety of roast meats, poultry, or game. It’s pretty straightforward and open to many variations. I tried a beer gravy to use up the rest of the bottle of beer I had opened when making the Wheat Beer Chicken.

I had some beautiful fresh thyme, so I added that to the gravy also. I cooked some vegetables and used the leftover chicken and gravy to make a crustless chicken potpie. There are even leftovers for tomorrow, all after having a nice amount of gravy to begin with.

Originally published November 08, 2020



  1. My mother-in-law always made a white wine reduction, with a couple cups of white wine and a bouquet garni, boiled down by half, to add to the drippings. After the second time some helpful soul threw out the wine, thinking it was water, I began simply pouring a bottle of dry white wine into the roasting pan, a cup at a time or so over the course of roasting time; keeps drippings from burning, infuses them with wine flavor, and makes the best gravy ever.

  2. I have to pass on Shirley O. Corridor’s mother’s tip for gravy because once I tried it I never went back. Shirley says her mom used to throw a handful of bread stuffing into the bottom of the roasting pan when the turkey went into the oven. While the turkey roasts the bread is sopping up all those fats and the veggies and herbs are rendering down into the excess juices.

    When the turkey comes out of the oven you put it in your microwave — that big insulated box that will hold the temperature — to rest. Now add a bit of liquid — broth if you’ve got any left but don’t dismiss the tasty seasoned potato cooking water — right into your roasting pan and whirl it all to liquify with a hand blender. Then you can taste and add more liquid to a good ratio with the juices and roasty bits and, if necessary add a bit of flour stirred first into cool liquid to thicken to taste.

    It will be tasty. It will be lump free. You won’t go back to plain flour.

      1. I know. It came at me as a bolt of lightening after decades of doing traditional gravy. But what more vaunted recommendation can you get than Shirley O. Corriher and the woman who taught HER to cook?!

        1. It’s the identical thickening agent as flour but in the form of bread it WON’T gelatinize and lump up like flour. And it’s tastier with all the herbs and aromatics. How can you lose?

  3. 5 stars
    Team “Lake of Gravy”! I think there should be thanksgiving t-shirts saying so much. Just had to comment because that cracked me up!

  4. Why pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat when you can just make more gravy than the 1 2/3 cups you’ll have with the above formula? My family would kill me if there was not a lake of gravy available not only for that dinner but for use with leftovers (and french fries, if you like).

    1. An excellent question, Soupçon. I guess not everyone appreciates a lake of gravy, and so the recipe developer and cookbook author was simply trying to be modest. But by all means, do as you suggest!

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