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!

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.

Homemade Brown Gravy made without meat drippings

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 while we were in Montreal and absolutely loved it.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to make 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!

Brown Gravy from Scratch

One of the most important parts of making good poutine is the gravy, I’ve found. It carries so much of the flavor in the dish and helps tie everything together.

I was so excited by this perfect brown gravy that I decided it was worth its own post. I couldn’t wait to share it! The gravy recipe is lightly adapted from and with thanks to Ricardo Cuisine.

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 and it was perfect on our poutine last night.

I can hardly wait to serve the leftover gravy with our roast and potatoes tomorrow. 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.

How to Make Gravy without Meat Drippings

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

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.

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.

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.

Perfect Brown Gravy

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.

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.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy brown gravy?

Brown Gravy Recipe (made without meat drippings)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 serve.
Perfect Brown Gravy made without meat drippings.

This is truly the perfect brown gravy but I  have so many favorite gravy recipes for different dishes.

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 serve. Enjoy!

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 11/17/21}

Perfect Brown Gravy - make without any meat drippings



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