Yes, you can make gravy without drippings! Just because you didn’t roast a turkey or whole chicken doesn’t mean you cannot have super flavorful gravy with your mashed potatoes or stuffing. To make homemade gravy without pan drippings you just need some butter, onions, flour, broth and lots of seasonings. This is an easy gravy recipe, it just takes a little time and patience.
So let’s get on with how to make an amazing gravy without pan drippings!
Sure, you can make gravy with butter, flour and broth.
BUT, to make really good gravy without pan drippings you need to start with a really great flavor base. For this recipe that means caramelized onions, garlic, rosemary and chicken base (or turkey).
There are 4 key ingredients for making gravy:
- Fat (butter)
- Flavoring (onions, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper)
- Thickener (flour)
- Liquid (meat drippings, stock, or broth)
Stock or Broth: Since you don’t have pan drippings you will be using chicken stock or broth. The difference between the two is that stock is made from the bones and meat of the chicken, and broth is made from just the meat.
For more flavor opt for a STOCK at the grocery store.
Rosemary: This herb adds amazing flavor to your gravy. No need to chop it, you can throw a whole sprig right in. However, if rosemary is not your favorite flavor you can absolutely add thyme instead. You can even add 1 sprig of fresh sage for a Thanksgiving flavor!
Chicken Base: For all the love of gravy don’t skip this ingredient! Chicken Base is like the grown up version of bouillon. You will find it in the soup aisle of the grocery store and will be in a tub or jar (see photo above). It comes in a paste form and adds amazing flavor to your gravy!
We highly recommend the Better Than Bouillon Brand.
Making Flavor Variations
The recipe below is written for CHICKEN GRAVY. But with just a few ingredient swaps you can make anything from Turkey to Pork Gravy!
To make this recipe into a turkey gravy simply swap the stock for turkey stock and the chicken base for turkey base. Perfect for Roasted Turkey.
To make this recipe into a beef gravy simply swap the broth for beef broth and the chicken base for roasted beef base. Great for Pot Roast.
To make this recipe into a pork gravy simply swap the chicken base for ham base.
Yes, you can make vegetarian gravy! Simply swap the broth for vegetable broth and the chicken base for roasted vegetable base, mushroom base or roasted garlic base.
How to Make Great Gravy without Drippings
Start with a large skillet, Melt 1 stick of butter over medium – medium/low heat.
Chop the onion into ¼-1/2 inch strips and add to the melted butter. You are going to caramelize the onions, which is to brown them (not burn). Do this by letting the onions simmer in the butter, stirring occasionally. This will take a while, around 15-20 minutes, so be patient! This step adds the most flavor!
Once you start to see browning around the edges of the onions, about 15 minutes in, stir in 1 rosemary (or thyme) sprig and 3 cracked cloves of garlic. Continue to simmer until the onions turn golden brown, about 10 more minutes.
Next stir in 1 teaspoon of chicken base. Stir until it melts into the onions.
Add ⅓ cup all purpose flour to the onion mixture. Stir it constantly for about 1 minute. This will get rid on the raw flour flavor and help it combine with the flour to make a roux.
Note: if this gravy is for the holidays add a dash of dried poultry seasoning and ground sage at this point.
For the next step you will want to grab a whisk. Slowly whisk in 3 cups of chicken stock (or broth). Turn the heat up to medium and let the gravy simmer for about 5 minutes until it is your desired thickness.
Optional- stir in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to add richness. If you plan on freezing the gravy wait and add this when you are ready to thaw and use the gravy.
Taste for salt & pepper seasoning.
Strain the onions, garlic, and rosemary out of your gravy by pouring it through a fine mesh sieve. (MAKE SURE YOU PUT A BOWL UNDER THE SIEVE so your delicious gravy doesn’t go down the drain. LOL). Give the onion mixture a stir in the sieve to help force all the flavor & gravy into the bowl!
If you want your gravy thinner just whisk in a little more chicken broth or cream to thin the gravy.
For thicker gravy you can lessen the liquid added to 2 ½ cups, if you have not added the broth.
If you have already added the 3 cups of broth, then keep simmering over medium heat until it thickens. You will want to stir constantly so the bottom does not burn.
Another option is to mix together 1 tablespoon cool water or broth with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whisk it in while the gravy is simmering.
Make Ahead and Freeze Your Gravy
Yes! You can freeze gravy!
This gravy can be made ahead and frozen for up to 4 months. You will want to make it without the cream and add that when you reheat to serve.
You can freeze it in containers, ice cube trays for smaller servings, or baggies. Just be sure to cool first before freezing!
Recipes That Go Great with Gravy!!
Super Flavorful Gravy Recipe without Drippings
- 8 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 yellow onion cut into ¼-1/2 inch slices
- 1 fresh sprig of rosemary (can sub thyme, or use both)
- 3 plump garlic cloves cracked using the flat side of a knife
- 1 ½ teaspoon chicken base I use Better Than Bouillon brand
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- dash of ground sage and poultry seasoning I like to add this if I am serving this gravy during the holidays.
- Melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. In a large skillet over medium-low heat melt the butter, I use a stainless steel skillet.8 tablespoon salted butter
- Caramelize the onions in the butter. Once the butter melts add the onions and simmer, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.1 yellow onion
- Add the cracked garlic & rosemary. Stir in the garlic and rosemary sprig. Continue to simmer until the onions are a deep caramel color, about 10-15 more minutes. See photo.1 fresh sprig of rosemary, 3 plump garlic cloves
- Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon chicken base. Mix in the chicken base until it melts into the onion mixture.If you are adding a couple dashes of poultry seasoning and ground sage, add that now.1 ½ teaspoon chicken base, dash of ground sage and poultry seasoning
- Mix in the flour. Add the flour into the onion/butter mixture, stir constantly for 1 minute.⅓ cup all purpose flour
- Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Pour the chicken stock into the flour/onion mixture slowly, all while whisking.3 cups chicken stock or broth
- Increase the heat to medium and simmer the gravy. Bring the gravy to a simmer over medium heat, it will thicken as it cooks. If using the heavy cream, whisk in once the gravy is thickened.2 tablespoon heavy cream
- Taste for seasoning. Give the gravy a taste and see if you want to add some salt & pepper.salt and pepper to taste
- Strain the gravy. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the gravy through the sieve. Use the whisk to stir the solids making sure you get all the flavor and gravy through the sieve.
To thin your gravy:
- To thin your gravy add an additional ½ cup stock at a time until it is your desired consistency.
To thicken your gravy:
- To thicken your gravy continue to simmer on the stove until it is your desired consistency. Stir continuously so it does not burn on the bottom of the pan. If it still needs to be thicker, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cool broth or water, and stir it into the simmering gravy.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.