Gimme, gimme, gimme gravy tonight! It's the part of the meal that everyone can't get enough of. Our mouth is watering just thinking about the flavorful, rich goodness of that savory sauce. So how do you take a basic brown gravy and turn it into something that everyone will cheer for? We've got an easy recipe for the best. gravy. ever…plus genius ways to re-use it!

Mashed Potatoes and gravy on a counter with orange place mats from Shelf Cooking

What is the one thing that makes a holiday meal even better? Gravy. The answer is always gravy. It's so true, though. A delicious gravy just takes a meal over the top and makes it amazing. If the gravy is bad or bland, then it's a total disappointment, right?

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So, what can you do to ensure your gravy is a resounding success? We've gathered all the best tips to help you become a master gravy maker.


We love gravy is because it's so darned flexible! Regardless the meal, the reasonings, or the seasonings, every gravy starts with similar ingredients (and yet has enough flexibility to make it a true shelf cooking champion):

  • Pan Drippings – The very best gravy is made from the pan drippings of your meat. Opt for gravy from scratch with pan drippings. The good news? If you aren't cooking a turkey this year, or you don't have pan drippings, it's still possible to have a great homemade gravy.
  • Other Gravy Options – Don't have pan drippings? You can still get by in a pinch with a yummy bone broth, gravy packets, and bouillon.
  • Butter, Flour, & Pepper – Every gravy recipe starts with a roux. You start by melting butter and then whisking in flour and pepper to taste until the mixture thickens. Then you slowly add your broth or stock while whisking so the gravy doesn't get lumpy.
  • Salt – Once your gravy cooks until it reaches the desired thickness, you salt the gravy to taste before serving.

Pro Tip: Gluten-free? Sub in cornstarch instead! You can also use tapioca starch, arrowroot, xanthan gum, agar powder, or gluten-free multi-purpose flour.


Don't panic if your gravy hasn't turned out exactly how you hoped. All is not lost! Here's a handy guide for the most common gravy blunders.

  • Lumpy Gravy – Here's an awesome hack for lumpy gravy. Carefully pour your hot gravy into a blender and give it a spin for about 30 seconds.
  • Salty Gravy – You may think your gravy is ruined if it tastes a bit salty, but not so! Simply add a pinch of brown sugar and stir to dissolve to combat the saltiness.
  • Flavorless Gravy – If your gravy is a little bland, add a teaspoon of bullion for every 2 cups of gravy.
  • Thin Gravy – Easy peasy! Cook the gravy a little longer to see if it thickens. If not, make a roux with butter and flour and then add your gravy to the roux to help it thicken.

With a little extra help, your “ruined” gravy will turn out just fine. Just keep your chin up and know that cooking means you'll sometimes need to make adjustments! And that's okay.


gravy boat with mashed potatoes on an orange tablecloth from Shelf Cooking

As good as gravy is when it's fresh, it doesn't keep for very long in the refrigerator. It will last for about two days before it goes bad.

So, if you've got leftovers that you want to save for later, you can freeze your gravy!

If you've got just a bit of gravy left, then use an empty ice cube tray and fill the empty cubes with your leftovers. Now you'll have single-serve gravy cubes for whenever you need a little extra flavor.

Got LOTS of gravy leftovers? Then go ahead and freeze your leftovers in a freezer bag. Fill the bag and seal it shut tightly. Then, lay it flat on a cookie sheet or empty freezer shelf so it can freeze evenly. Once the gravy is frozen solid, you can stand it up vertically if you'd like.


Time to pull that gravy out of the freezer? There are so many delicious ways that you can use it up. Just let it thaw overnight in the fridge. When it's time to fix dinner, of course you can serve it over mashed taters if you'd like. For something more original, grab that gravy and fix up one of these saucy options with your leftovers.

  • Swedish Meatballs – Ever tried those yummy meatballs at IKEA? Make your own by simmering some homemade meatballs in your leftover gravy.
  • Salisbury Steak – Form some simple hamburgers and saute in a pan with your gravy. Add some onions for a comforting supper.
  • Biscuits and Gravy – Use it for breakfast, or fix breakfast for dinner with your leftover gravy over homemade biscuits.

So mouthwateringly delicious, right?!


gravy boat on the middle of a counter from Shelf Cooking

If you're lucky enough to have a reason to make gravy, use this easy recipe for a knockout gravy that everyone will love.

Best Easy Gravy Recipe

If you've got pan drippings from a roast turkey or chicken, then this is the gravy for you!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • cups pan drippings, from roast turkey or chicken
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cups stock
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Pour your leftover pan drippings into a glass measuring cup and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Skim the fat from the top of your drippings using a spoon and reserve.
  • Put about ¼ cup of the reserved fat into a saucepan and stir over medium heat.
  • Slowly stir in about ¼ cup of all-purpose flour and cook for two minutes stirring constantly.
  • Take the remaining liquid in the measuring cup and add stock until the mixture reaches the 2-cup level on the cup.
  • Pour the measuring cup into the saucepan over the flour and fat mixture.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until the gravy begins to thicken, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve while warm and enjoy!
Keyword Thanksgiving

So deliciously good!

Let us know how your gravy turns out! Did you use the pan drippings from your meat or do you go the broth route? Comment below and tell us all about it.

Image with text that reads "how to make gravy + great hacks" from Shelf Cooking

Need more helps for a fantastic meal?

Stay groovy, gravy!