How to Make Foolproof Gravy Without Drippings

Turkey With Gravy
Lew Robertson, Brand X Pictures / Getty Images
Ratings (17)
  • Total: 37 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 32 mins
  • Yield: 12 cups (12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
288 Calories
29g Fat
6g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sometimes you just need gravy (okay, just want gravy—no one actually "needs" gravy) and you don't have anything roasting in the oven that will provide drippings. 

Gravy is usually formed as meat or poultry roasts and renders fat that you can combine with flour to use as the base for gravy. However, you can make gravy using oil and flour as the base. Will it be as good as gravy made with the flavorful drippings from roasted meat or chicken? No. But it will still be really, really good, and still be gravy!

Cajuns love rice and gravy and could have it at almost every meal—indeed, sometimes as a meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups drippings from chicken, meat or bacon (or use lard or vegetable oil, or a combination of the two)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 cups chicken (or beef stock)
  • 2 cups green onions (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and heat the drippings for 2 minutes.

  2. Add the flour, whisking constantly to combine.

  3. When drippings and flour are combined, turn heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes, whisking often.

  4. Add the flour, whisking constantly to combine.

  5. When drippings and flour are combined, turn heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes, whisking often.

  6. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, still whisking often.

  7. Reduce the heat from a boil down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes...whisking often.

Bonus Tips for Making Gravy

If your drippings from roasting meat or poultry have brown crispy bits, pour off excess fat, add flour and stir to make a roux, then add stock, water, or milk. This makes gravy when you have drippings from roasting meat or poultry, or from frying chicken. The crispy brown bits have lots of flavors that you want to incorporate into the gravy.

If your drippings are mostly liquid with just a small amount of fat on top, bring the liquid to a boil, and thicken with equal parts of flour and soft butter mixed together. When making a gravy or sauce for chicken or pork, add a bit of cream at the end for a wonderful cream gravy.

Bonus Tip 2

Cajuns love rice and gravy and could have it at almost every meal, indeed, sometimes as a meal. For this reason, the recipe makes about 12 cups—plenty of leftovers. Believe it or not, gravy can be frozen. Having some homemade gravy when you have a roasted chicken, beef, or some leftovers is my version of "fast food." Simply defrost and heat the gravy.


Most Cajun cooks save drippings from chicken, beef, pork, and duck in the refrigerator and use them as the basis for gravy, or for frying. The drippings from each kitchen give the cook's food its distinctive flavor.

If you don't have drippings from a roast, from frying chicken, or from another source, use a combination of lard and/or oil, with strained bacon drippings (if you have them) added for flavor.

The above proportion of oil to flour makes a thick gravy. For a thinner gravy use less flour —the standard is equal parts of oil and flour.