Make-Ahead Gravy Without Drippings

This make-ahead gravy is the perfect recipe for a stress-free Thanksgiving because it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together, tastes amazing and can be made a couple days ahead of time.

Pouring gravy on mashed potatoes.

Quick Recipe Overview

Flavor: It tastes just like gravy made with pan drippings but requires a fraction of the time and effort. 

To Make: This recipe is made on the stove in a large skillet with 5 easy ingredients in under 10 minutes. 

My Favorite Thing About This Recipe: I love the simplicity. It can be made days ahead of time in a matter of minutes and doesn’t require drippings. It is the perfect recipe for holidays! Make it ahead and spend more time with loved ones!

How to Make Gravy Without Drippings

(1 minute)

Recipe Tips & Tricks

How to Make Gravy

Generally, gravy is made in a pan on the stove. The basic formula is…

  • Basic Gravy = Fat + Thickener + Stock AND/OR Pan Drippings
  • This Gravy Recipe = Butter + Flour + Stock

In addition to the basic formula, most recipes include other ingredients for flavor such as salt, pepper, herbs, spices, condiments, cream, onion and garlic. 

How to Make Gravy Ahead of Time

Simply follow this recipe. Then let the gravy cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge in a sealed container. It can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time.

How to Reheat Gravy

  • Option 1 – Microwave: Microwave the gravy in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until warmed through. 
  • Option 2 – Stove: Put the gravy in a skillet on the stove over low to medium/low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally. 
Mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans.

How to Thin Gravy

Add liquid such as stock, milk, cream or water to the gravy to make it thinner. Whisk until well combined.

How to Make Gravy Thicker

  • Option 1 – Simmer: In a pan on the stove, bring the gravy to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened. This method steams out some of the excess liquid for a thicker consistency.  
  • Option 2 – Cornstarch Slurry: Bring the gravy to a simmer on the stove. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a few tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl until there are no lumps. Then slowly whisk the mixture into the gravy. Continue to whisk while it simmers. After a few minutes it will suddenly thicken. 
  • Option 3 – Make Roux: Make a roux in a large pan on the stove. To make a roux melt butter over medium/low to medium heat. Then whisk in the same amount of flour (eg. 1 Tbsp. butter/1 Tbsp. flour) until it makes a paste. Then slowly whisk in the gravy about 1/2 cup at a time. Simmer until thickened.

How to Freeze Gravy

Let the gravy cool to room temperature. Put the gravy in ice cube trays or freezer-safe container and freeze. That’s it! It will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months without losing any flavor. 

To thaw, put frozen gravy in the fridge overnight and then warm through in a saucepan over medium/low heat.

Gravy overflowing mashed potatoes.

Pair Gravy With…

Pour this delicious goodness over turkey, stuffing or a big scoop of mashed potatoes. If you want a to sneak in more greens, make Spinach Mashed Potatoes. Aside from their beautiful green color, you can’t tell the taters are packed with a ton of fresh spinach!

If you like the idea of a stress-free Thanksgiving, grab your free ultimate guide to a make-ahead Thanksgiving!

Mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans on grey plate.

Make-Ahead Gravy Without Drippings

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
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This Make-Ahead Gravy Without Drippings recipe can be made is less than 10 minutes days ahead of time and tastes amazing. The perfect recipe for a stress-free Thanksgiving. 


  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 cups chicken, turkey or beef stock
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
  • 6 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Salt, if needed to taste


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until a paste forms. Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time whisking until smooth. Add the crumbled beef bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue whisking until the gravy thickens*.   
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and pepper until combined. Remove from heat. Serve immediately or store in the fridge in a sealed container until needed. 
  • Reheat in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until warmed through. 


*The gravy  has thickened enough when you can coat the back of a wooden spoon with the gravy and draw a line with your finger through the gravy down the back of the spoon. See 0:36 of video. 


Serving: 4Tbsp. | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 399mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
Have you tried this recipe? Let me know what you think! Rate this recipe and leave a comment below.

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