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Perfect Brown Gravy (made without meat drippings)


This homemade brown gravy is delicious on turkey, chicken, beef, potatoes, poutine, and more – best of all, it’s easily made without any meat drippings!

easy brown gravy without any drippings

Gravy without Drippings

Lots of traditional brown gravy recipes use drippings from meat as a base. While I’ve made and enjoyed many old-fashioned gravies over the years, for this gravy recipe, I opt to use broth and butter instead of drippings and fat from the meat.

There’s an added benefit to making gravy without any meat drippings in that it allows you to make gravy both on any occasion and ahead of time for big meals like Thanksgiving.

I love being able to tuck the gravy in the fridge a few days early and not give it another thought until it’s time to serve the big meal.

easy brown gravy without any drippings

Are you familiar with poutine? Hot french fries (or pommes frites) are covered in gooey cheese curds and other toppings and then smothered in rich brown gravy to make Poutine.

It’s a favorite dish in Canada (and parts of the Northern U.S.) and one of my new favorite ways to enjoy warm gravy. We tried Poutine for the first time in Montreal and absolutely loved it.

Ever since then, I’ve been making poutine at home that’s just as hearty and tasty as the one we had up north. I shared a copycat recipe for our favorite Montreal-Style Poutine from our trip and you’ve loved it as much as we do!

One of the most important parts of making good poutine is the gravy. It carries much of the flavor in the dish and helps tie everything together.

Perfect Brown Gravy

Gravy Recipe Without Drippings

I was so excited by this perfect brown gravy that I decided it was worthy of its own post – because I’ll be making it for all kinds of occasions in the future. This gravy recipe is lightly adapted from, and with thanks to, Ricardo Cuisine’s poutine sauce recipe.

Yes, this is THE gravy that makes everything more delicious! I tried a couple of different sauce and gravy combinations before I found this one.

For several years now, this has been my go-to brown gravy recipe. It’s such an easy sauce to make, taking barely any effort but delivering huge amounts of taste.

butter melting in saucepan

How to Make Gravy Without Drippings

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • water
  • cornstarch
  • butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • garlic
  • beef broth
  • chicken broth
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt, only as needed
gravy without meat drippings

After melting the butter in a large saucepan, add flour and whisk to make a roux.

Cooking the flour and butter combination until golden brown helps give the finished brown gravy a rich toasty flavor.

brown gravy with garlic in small saucepan

Once the roux is nice and golden, toss in a little minced garlic along with broth.

In this recipe, I prefer a combination of two parts beef broth to one part chicken broth for the best flavor.

broth being added to saucepan

You can substitute vegetable broth for a homemade vegetarian brown gravy, though the flavor won’t be quite the same. If you prefer a darker brown gravy, just swap in more beef broth for some of the chicken broth.

Once the broth is boiling, whisk in a blend of cornstarch and water and let it cook on the stove. The gravy will thicken as it simmers.

brown gravy for turkey

Turkey Gravy Without Drippings

After seasoning the sauce with black pepper to taste, it’s ready to pour over Roast Turkey, mashed potatoes, roast beef, french fries, or wherever else you enjoy a delicious gravy. I love the idea of trying it on top of tater tots like in this Tater Tot Poutine.

The leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days and can be frozen for those times when you need a delicious brown gravy at a moment’s notice.

brown gravy without any meat drippings

Looking for a great sausage gravy recipe that’s just begging to be piled on top of fluffy biscuits? Add this favorite Rosemary Sausage Gravy to your must-try list!

You might also enjoy this Breakfast Poutine recipe which features sausage gravy and eggs on top of hot crispy fries.

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Servings: 16 servings (about 4 cups worth)

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  • Stir together the water and the cornstarch and set aside. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine.

  • Cook the flour mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring or whisking until it turns golden brown. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds, until it is fragrant.

  • Add the broths and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Season generously with pepper. Taste and add salt, only if needed. Serve warm.

Calories: 53kcal · Carbohydrates: 3g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 4g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 11mg · Sodium: 234mg · Potassium: 39mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 132IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 6mg · Iron: 1mg

{originally published 9/10/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 11/8/23}

Perfect Brown Gravy - make without any meat drippings

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