Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (2024)



This is a really easy recipe for how to make gravy using just water. The secret is to use both chicken AND beef stock cubes for the best flavour and a nice deep brown colour. Takes 4 minutes flat, tastes like KFC gravy – but so much better. No pan drippings required.

Made a turkey and want a gravy? Use my Gravy for Turkey recipe!

Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (1)


This gravy recipe tastes like what you get in those tubs of KFC Potato and Gravy. Those of you who abstain from all forms of fast food may not know what it tastes like. But all you need to know is that it’s everything that you’d expect from KFC – reliably tasty, well seasoned, can make anything delicious!

The secret ingredient that makes this gravy better is to use both chicken AND beef stock cubes (bouillon cubes).

Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (2)

What you need for gravy

Here’s all you need to make a really great gravy from scratch: chicken and beef stock cubes, butter and flour.

Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (3)
  • Chicken AND beef stock cubes (aka bouillon cubes) – for flavour and colour. Chicken is the base flavour, beef gives it oomph and gives it a nice deep brown colour rather than an unappetising pale brown. Using both also makes this gravy suitable to use for any protein – white meats (chicken, pork), red meats (beef, lamb, game), potato and vegetables. Can substitute with powder;

  • Hot water – to dissolve the cubes;

  • Flour – to thicken the gravy (gluten free cornflour/cornstarch sub in the recipe notes);

  • Onion or garlic powder –optional, for hint of extra flavour.

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Why stock cubes instead of liquid stock/broth?

Great question! 🙂 Stock cubes and powder have a more intense flavour than liquid stock (broth), so they make a tastier gravy when you make gravy from scratch like in this recipe.

Liquid broth is more appropriate to use when you’re making gravy starting with pan drippings fromroasts– because the pan drippings add extra flavour into the gravy.

How to make gravy in 4 minutes flat

  1. Dissolve stock cubes or powder in boiling water;

  2. Melt butter in saucepan and mix in flour;

  3. Pour in stock water while whisking and cook 1.5 minutes until thickened. DONE!

PS The reason this is faster than most gravy recipes is because the water is already HOT and the flavour is already concentrated so there’s no need to cook down for flavour.

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Now, douse everything and anything with it.

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Oh, and here’s the photo that started it all – Fried Chicken. Upon spying this, there were many (many) (MANY!) requests for the potato and gravy recipe.

Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (7)

All the possibilities….!!!

Here’s some suggestions for dishes to serve with gravy. Some obvious ones, some not so obvious ones, all good!

  • Potato and gravy – KFC style! Dunk in Fried Chicken, warm bread rolls or bread (try this No Yeast Irish Soda Bread!), hot chips, wedges, serve on the side of sausages, as part of a Southern Dinner with BBQ Pulled Pork, any roast;

  • Roasts– any and all!

  • Rotisserie chicken dinner – make a meal out of a store bought roast chicken. Steam some veg, make some mash, douse everything with this gravy!

  • Steamed vegetables – guaranteed way to make bland, boring steamed veg completely scoff worthy;

  • Pan seared chops, steaks or anything – chicken, lamb, pork, beef! Sprinkle with salt and pepper, pan fry in butter or oil, douse with gravy;

  • Meatballs – Make these Beef meatballs or these Chicken Meatballs, skip the sauce and serve with this gravy instead;

  • Poured over an omelette;

  • Chicken Rolls– shred chicken, toss with gravy, pile generously onto hot rolls;

  • As a Sauce for any of these:

Use gravy as a sauce for these dishes

Meatloaf recipe (extra delicious!)
Oven Baked Chicken Breast
Cheesy Chicken Patties with Broccoli
A Great Pork Chop Marinade
Truly Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders
KFC Baked Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
Fish Fingers recipe

I need to stop. There’s too many possibilities!

But enough about my ideas. Tell me what YOU douse with gravy!!– Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Gravy recipe (tastes like KFC – but a million times better!)

4.95 from 186 votes


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Recipe video above. This recipe is how I make a seriously tasty gravy using water in 4 minutes flat. The secret is to use both chicken AND beef stock cubes. Beef adds colour and flavour oomph, whereas chicken is the base flavour. Use crumbled cubes if you can as some brands of beef powder won't give the same nice brown colour (ends up pale). Also pictured – KFC copycat mashed potato (extra light and creamy, just like KFC!) (GLUTEN FREE in notes)


  • 1 chicken stock cube / bouillon cube (sub 2 tsp powder) (Note 1)
  • 1 beef stock cube / bouillon cube (sub 2 tsp powder) (Note 1)
  • 2 1/4 cups (565ml) boiling water
  • 60g/ 4 tbsp butter , unsalted
  • 4 tbsp flour , plain / all purpose
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (ok to omit or sub garlic powder)
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • Salt , if needed


  • Crumble cubes into boiling water, mix to dissolve.

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

  • Add flour, onion powder and pepper. Mix into butter with a wooden spoon or whisk.

  • While stirring, slowly pour in half the liquid. Once incorporated into the flour butter roux (it will thicken quickly), add remaining liquid and mix.

  • Stir for 1.5 – 2 minutes until it thickens to a gravy consistency (it's quick as water is already hot). Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed.

  • Serve over chops, steak, sausages, veggies, roast chicken, pork, beef, lamb. Pictured – KFC Potato and Gravy copycat!

Recipe Notes:

1. Stock cubes / bouillon cubes – as pictured in post. Chicken for base flavour, beef for flavour boost + makes gravy nice brown colour (if only chicken, gravy is pale).

Substitute with stock powder / granulated bouillon, but note that some brands of beef powder will not yield quite the same brown colour, will be slightly lighter.

If youonly use chicken cube or powder, the gravy flavour will lose a touch of seasoning and will be a pale brown colour. Can make up for this with 1 tsp Dark soy sauce – it will stain the gravy and add a touch of extra flavour (this is a secret cooking trick for gravy!)

2. Onion or garlic powder – not the end of the world if you don’t have this, it’s just a tiny hint of extra flavour.

3. Gravy consistency – don’t let it get too thick, it thickens more when sitting around to be served. If it gets too thick, just add a touch of water. Too thin, keep it on the stove, it should thicken quickly.

4. Storage – gravy gets thicker and gets a skin on the surface as it cools. Just use water to thin out, whisk the skin in and heat it up, it will be as good as new.

If serving soon, just place a lid on the saucepan then reheat when required.

Make ahead and leftovers – transfer to container and place lid on, let cool then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Can also freeze – once thawed, reheat and give it a good mix. You’ll need to loosen with water.

5. Gluten free –Skip flour, ensure stock cubes are gluten free. Mix 2.5 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch with 3 tbsp water, then add that into the hot stock liquid. Mix, then pour that into the saucepan with melted butter. Will thicken in 2 minutes or so.

6. Nutrition per serving, just under 1/2 cup per serving (yes that’s generous!). To reduce calories, can halve the butter to 30g/2tbsp – when flour is added, mixture will be crumbly rather than “wet” (as seen in video) but will dissolve in liquid (use whisk). 33 cal per serving reduction.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 90cal (5%)Carbohydrates: 4g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Cholesterol: 20mg (7%)Sodium: 392mg (17%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 237IU (5%)Calcium: 5mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Keywords: gravy, gravy from scratch, gravy using water, how to make gravy

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @recipe_tin.

Life of Dozer

Even at the vet, all he can think about is FOOD. Just like his owner 😂

PS Nothing major, just getting an old-man wart removed that had grown quite large and was bothering him. He was, of course, a total sook once he realised he was there for more than just pats and treats. Quivering and pressing up against me for protection!

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  1. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (21)Dewey says

    Hi Nagi, just wondering if it’s possible to omit or substitute the butter in this gravy recipe to make it suitable for someone with dairy allergy? Thank you. Dewey


  2. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (24)Tiffany says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (25)
    I made this brown gravy tonight and it’s was great just like KFCs thank you so much for this recipe.


  3. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (26)Ruth says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (27)
    Oh yeah!!! That IS incredible!! S9 fast and so delicious! The butter adds the perfect amount of fat needed to substitute for the drippings. Well done again Nagi!! ❤️


  4. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (28)Stace says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (29)
    I did this the gluten free way as described, and it’s really nice! I couldn’t tell you if it tastes like KFC, since I haven’t eaten there in years, but it is good gravy, and really quick and easy!


  5. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (32)jb says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (33)
    It’s okay, but you can make it taste more like KFC’s if you use a pork seasoning packet from ramen noodles instead of a beef boullion cube. I bet the Col. originally mixed chicken and pork gravy, just saying… Boullion and seasoning packets still taste like/are composed of many unpronouncble ingredients, but this recipe is quick and easy-peasy.


  6. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (34)Rachelle says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (35)
    OMG Nagi, you’re a genius! 😁So quick and easy using ingredients in the pantry. I used the large Massel brand stock cubes (in the box, not the plastic wrapper) and it was perfect. Tastes sooo good I could eat a bowl on its own! This is what KFC WISHES their gravy tasted like! ❤️


  7. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (36)Lavinia Tatofi says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (37)
    Thank you so much, Nagi! You don’t know how much this means to me. I’m currently in Tonga and haven’t found a pre-made or gravy powder around so when I found this, I had just got the XO bouillon the other day and couldn’t believe I had all the ingredients on hand! Made this twice already and have tripled the amount to cater to more family members. I appreciate this recipe so much! Malo!


  8. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (38)Caryn says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (39)
    Not quite like KFC…made to add to a chicken pot piethat was short on gravy… was worried abouy using beef boullion (used Better than Chicken and Beef)… added a splash of soy sauce. Used a little onion and grananulated garlic…will use recipe again…


    • Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (40)Mandi says

      You changed the recipe so unless you make as written, you wouldn’t know if it tastes like KFC or not.


      • Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (41)jb says

        It doesn’t taste like KFC’s, but you can get closer with pork seasoning from a ramen noodles packet instead of beef boullion. Use the noodles with Nagi’s excellent Charlie sauce.


  9. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (42)Melanie Goode says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (43)
    I’ve always used store bought gravy powders, NEVER AGAIN!!!’ This gravy recipe was so fast and quick and delicious. My go to recipe for gravy now!!!! Thank you!!!


  10. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (44)Dennis says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (45)
    Very easy and great taste. I used BOTH onion and garlic powder at 1/2 teaspoon each. I will never buy gravy powder or pre-made again.


  11. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (46)Brandy says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (47)
    OMG!! This is by far the best gravy I’ve ever made and best I’ve ever eaten!!! It’s so good!! I will never go back to making store bought gravy again!!! Thank you!!


  12. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (48)Charley says

    I would like to thank you for this recipe. This was my first attempt to make gravy and it was a hit! No more store bought gravy❤️


  13. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (49)Gayle Westbrook says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (50)
    This gravy is super easy to make and is absolutely delicious! I’ll have Thanksgiving turkey with this gravy from now on! 😋


  14. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (51)Liz says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (52)
    Just made this with a few changes due to what I have on hand: instead of bouillon cubes, I used 1 teaspoon each of Better Than Bouillon roasted chicken and roasted beef flavors. I also added 1 teaspoon of Gravy Master.
    So, I boiled the water in an electric kettle and didn’t add anything to that.
    Because Better Than Bouillon and Gravy Master are both “wet,” I mixed those into the melted butter before adding the flour and spices.
    Once all that was mixed together in the pot, I slowly whisked in the boiled water from my electric kettle and then stirred that for a couple minutes.
    Very tasty and so much easier and faster than my usual gravy recipe.


  15. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (53)Whitney says

    What!? Gravy intimidates me – for some reason it never works and always turns into a lumpy mess – but THIS recipe was so easy and worked perfectly just as written! Plus it was so delicious my husband was eating it by itself. I can’t believe it but I think this gravy may have been my favorite part of Thanksgiving this year! Your recipe altered my self esteem for the better and may have changed my husband’s opinion of my cooking ability LOL


  16. Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (57)Paula says

    Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (58)
    I did this recipe and i have a few corrections for my taste. I use Knorr cubes and with half of each it’s more than enough to have a super intense flavor,

    The other thing is something this recipe don’t explain well: When putting the butter and the flour in the saucepan, you need to stir permanently for a very long time if you want your gravy with that rich dark brown colour. The “roux” has different stages and it takes a long time to brown. I stirred it for about 15 minutes to have a nice colour but according other recipes for the roux, it takes about 30 minutes to reach a nice dark brown without being way to dark.

    So, half the bullion cubes, more patience and time with the roux and it’s perfect!


Older Comments
Gravy recipe - easy, from scratch, no drippings (2024)


What is the secret to good gravy? ›

Here are my principles for making great gravy without fear:
  • Make it ahead. This is the most important one. ...
  • Make a really good homemade turkey stock first. Don't skimp on this crucial first step. ...
  • Reinforce the stock's flavor. ...
  • Simmer, simmer, simmer. ...
  • Strain and cool. ...
  • Reduce. ...
  • Hot liquids only.
Nov 5, 2021

Is gravy just flour and water? ›

(The classic ratio for gravy is three:two:one, so 3 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons fat, and 1 cup of hot stock.) You can add other flavors to the mixture, swap out the stock for another liquid, or use cornstarch rather than flour to thicken your gravy.

Is it better to make gravy with flour or cornstarch? ›

Browning adds more flavor to the gravy and gets rid of the raw flour taste. You're basically making a roux. We find that a flour-based gravy holds up better and reheats better later, which is why we tend to prefer using flour over cornstarch to make gravy unless we have a guest who is eating gluten-free.

What are the ingredients in gravy? ›

  1. Deselect All.
  2. 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter.
  3. 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
  4. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  7. 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, heated.
  8. 1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy.

What is the formula for gravy? ›

Tip: The important thing to know when making a roux gravy is the ratio of flour to fat to liquid. The ratio I use is: 1.5 tablespoons fat to 1.5 tablespoons flour to 1 cup liquid, which yields 1 cup of gravy.

What can you add to homemade gravy to make it taste better? ›

Boost the flavor of gravy by simmering it over low heat with fresh herbs, like thyme, sage, parsley, or bay leaf. Strain the gravy before serving.

What thickener is best for gravy? ›

Similar to flour, cornstarch is another ingredient that can be used to make gravy thicker. With cornstarch, making a slurry is also an option, but with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch whisked into cold water. Again, you'll want to add the slurry in increments so you don't over-thicken the gravy.

What is the correct order of steps in making gravy? ›

Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add flour and whisk constantly until mixture is golden caramel color and smells fragrant (3-5 minutes). Slowly whisk in liquids, while whisking, until mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened and bubbly, 5 minutes or longer.

What is it called when you mix flour and water for gravy? ›

A slurry is generally made with liquid (often water or broth) mixed with either cornstarch or flour and added to a hot liquid to thicken it. Because a slurry is a concentrated starchy liquid it will thicken sauces and gravy.

What is the ratio of flour to water when making gravy? ›

Next, she adds three heaping tablespoons of flour to 16 ounces of COLD water. She says three heaping tablespoons, I say more like a full 1/4 cup. It is something I believe that you learn to eyeball over the years of making gravy. The key is adding the flour to the cold water, not the other way around.

What happens if you put too much cornstarch in gravy? ›

It should look like gravy. So if you added too much cornstarch, you can always dilute it. with a little bit more chicken stock or water. If you're thinking it too much, it looks like pudding.

How much cornstarch do you put in gravy? ›

You will need about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of gravy. Don't add powdered cornstarch directly to a hot liquid; it will clump. The gravy also needs to be whisked briskly to ensure a smooth texture, and must be heated long enough to cook off its starchy flavor.

What happens if you add cornstarch to gravy? ›

If your gravy is on the skimpy side, you can thicken it quickly with flour or cornstarch. But don't add your thickener directly to the gravy, which will create lumps. Instead, try stirring in three or four tablespoons of flour or cornstarch into a small amount of cold water until you have a smooth paste.

What is traditional gravy made of? ›

At its most basic, gravy is a thickened sauce made of meat drippings + stock + seasonings.

Is gravy made from milk and flour? ›

In a matter of minutes, you can whip up white gravy in a saucepan for the perfect creamy, savory topping for your favorite dishes. This basic sauce is prepared with ingredients you likely already have on hand: butter, flour, milk, salt, and pepper.

What are the typical steps in making a gravy in order? ›

The correct order of steps in making gravy for roast meats and poultry is to brown the mirepoix, deglaze the roasting pan with stock, strain the liquid, and thicken with roux. When meats and poultry are braised, the pot should be kept covered.

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