15 Gravy Recipes You'll Want To Keep Handy

Gravy isn't just a flavorful sauce to enhance a dish, it is often a necessity. Whether you're eating fried chicken or claggy mashed potatoes, this creamy, flavor-packed sauce plays a pivotal role in the overall experience of the meal. A good gravy does not have to be complicated. The art of gravy is its ability to elevate a dish without stealing the spotlight. From the thick, creamy gravies poured over biscuits to the light variations that are drizzled on top of fish and vegetables, it's a food group unto itself with seemingly endless iterations.

Many gravies start with the pan drippings from roasted meats that are then diluted with stock and thickened cornstarch or flour. Within these parameters, however, is a vast array of optional ingredients, from mushrooms to red wine. There are even vegan gravies that rival the meat-based ones. You may have a recipe that you turn to again and again, no matter the occasion. Or maybe you just wing it on the day with the ingredients you have lying around. In either case, Thanksgiving provides the opportunity to branch out. These recipes vary greatly in ingredients and cater to a wide range of palates. You're bound to find something new and exciting to transform your Thanksgiving, and you might even be tempted to make more than one of them for the occasion.

1. No Drippings Browned Gravy

Gravy is traditionally made from the pan drippings of whichever meat you've prepared for the meal. But depending on how you've cooked the meat, you might not have pan drippings to use. You might not even be making meat at all but still want a rich sauce to pour over vegetables. This no drippings gravy is the perfect option for these circumstances. Made with beef stock and a homemade roux, it's just as creamy and flavorful as the traditional recipe.

Make sure you stick to the butter and flour measurements to achieve the right consistency, and keep in mind that the gravy will thicken.

Recipe: No Drippings Browned Gravy

2. Copycat Jollibee Gravy

At this point, Jollibee's fried chicken is legendary and frustratingly unattainable for those of us who do not live in the 14 states where the Filipino chain can be found. One of the biggest draws to its crispy chicken is the gravy. Sweet, thick, and so full of flavor that recipe developer Patterson Watkins describes it as akin to a condiment, it's worth the price of the Chickenjoy all on its own.

Luckily, Watkins has devised a copycat version that you can make on your own to pair with more than just fried chicken. Her version is not as sweet as Jollibee's, but it does have a rich, umami flavor thanks to the inclusion of soy sauce and chicken bouillon.

Recipe: Copycat Jollibee Gravy

3. Mixed Mushroom Gravy

Gravy can be a simple, rich sauce to add some moisture to meat, or it can be a dish in itself. This mushroom gravy fits the latter category, and you might find yourself eating it with a spoon. It's not just a sauce; it's a celebration of mushrooms, featuring three varieties—oyster, cremini, and shiitake. Not only do they provide different flavors, but different textures as well.

Made with butter, beef stock, and onion, this gravy is hearty and filling, bursting with savory richness and chewy textures.

Recipe: Mixed Mushroom Gravy

4. Savory Boneless Pork Chops And Mushroom Gravy

You don't have to wait until mealtime to pour gravy over meat. Simmering them together before serving will allow the gravy to seep into the meat and infuse it with even more flavor. This pork chop recipe involves just this, and the results are heavenly.

This isn't just your average gravy either. It's made with mushrooms, onion, garlic, herbs, and Worcestershire sauce to maximize the flavor and upgrade not only the pork chops, but any other dish you're serving. In fact, you may as well drown your whole plate in this delicious gravy.

Recipe: Savory Boneless Pork Chops And Mushroom Gravy

5. Breakfast Poutine With Red Eye Gravy

Yes, you can eat poutine for breakfast, and this recipe proves it. Why else would recipe developer Patterson Watkins pair it with a coffee-based gravy? The unofficial national dish of Canada is served as an indulgent street food, but pair it with eggs and bacon and you'll find that fries and squeaky cheese curds do, in fact, make a well-balanced breakfast.

The gravy in this version of the dish is a Southern classic. Red-eye gravy is made by pouring coffee into a pan that has just been used to cook ham. This deglazes all the sticky brown bits that taste so delicious, and produces a mouthwatering sauce that you'll be tempted to pour over lunch and dinner, too.

Recipe: Breakfast Poutine With Red Eye Gravy

6. Easy Onion Gravy Loco Moco

Though not exactly a traditional Hawaiian dish, loco moco is certainly one of the most beloved. Made by stacking a hamburger patty and fried egg on top of rice, and smothering the little tower with brown gravy, it is one of the comfort foods that always seems to hit the spot, no matter the season.

This recipe calls for no ordinary gravy. Starting with caramelized onions and mushrooms, it's a big step up from the standard version even before the addition of soy sauce and ketchup. Whether you're new to loco moco or a die-hard fan, this recipe is bound to become a repeat meal in your household.

Recipe: Easy Onion Gravy Loco Moco

7. Copycat KFC Mashed Potatoes And Gravy

Proving that gravy doesn't need meat to be delicious, this copycat recipe can stand on its own as a complete meal (who needs vegetables, right?). One might even say that this recipe produces better results than KFC's proprietary version, but you'll have to judge that one for yourself.

To say that we took this copycat recipe seriously would be a huge understatement. We combed the internet for clues about the exact formula and came up with something better. The gravy includes both chicken and beef bouillon, for example, while the mashed potatoes are made with instant potato flakes, whole milk, butter, and water in a precise dance of ratios that equal perfection.

Recipe: Copycat KFC Mashed Potatoes And Gravy

8. Easy Chicken Gravy

Sometimes, the simplest recipes can yield the best results, and this easy chicken gravy is a perfect example. Made with just four ingredients aside from salt and pepper, it covers all the bases without bells and whistles, leading to a creamy, savory sauce that will improve everything from fried chicken to broccoli.

Butter, flour, chicken broth, and heavy cream are the no-fail components, and we're pretty sure you'll love the results. We'd even go as far as to suggest making a double batch and keeping some in the fridge for later.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Gravy

9. Creamy Country White Gravy

Gravies come in many varieties, and if you're looking for the kind that is so thick and creamy you could eat it with a fork, this recipe will fit the bill. For those from the South, this country gravy will conjure fond memories of family gatherings. For those who haven't encountered this style of gravy yet, this recipe will make you a convert. It's not that brown gravy is bad, it's just that nothing can quite compare to this cream-based variety.

Traditional country gravies are made with cream (or milk) and bacon grease, but this recipe takes a vegetarian approach by substituting the latter with butter, just in case you aren't planning to make bacon.

Recipe: Creamy Country White Gravy

10. Classic Red Eye Gravy

Red eye gravy proves just how much you can do with leftovers that were destined for the trash can or the drain. Made with ham grease and coffee, it is so simple that you'll wonder if you're missing a step, at least until you take a spoonful and realize just how heavenly it is.

After frying up a batch of ham (bacon works, too), pour coffee into the skillet to deglaze all the bits of caramelized meat and grease that are stuck to the bottom. Let it simmer until the bottom of the pan is smooth. We suggest dissolving some brown sugar into the liquid to take the edge off the coffee, but this step is optional.

Recipe: Classic Red Eye Gravy

11. Easy White Gravy

Gravy has strong associations with Southern cooking, but it turns out that this simple white gravy has more in common with bechamel sauce than it does with other types of gravy. Made with butter, milk, flour, salt, and pepper, it is a basic, vegetarian-friendly recipe that you can pour over pasta and pizza, as well as biscuits and fried chicken.

It only takes 10 minutes to make, but don't try to rush it. Making a roux and whisking continuously as you add the liquid is key to getting the proper consistency.

Recipe: Easy White Gravy

12. Indulgent Chocolate Gravy

Before you grimace at the main ingredient in this recipe, let us explain. Melted chocolate is not the kind of thing that you want covering your pork chops, but it is exactly the kind of thing you want covering a bowl of vanilla ice cream or a plate of brownies. Rather than being a savory accompaniment, this is dessert, through and through.

This chocolate gravy is made in a similar way to brown gravy, where the starch from the flour thickens the mixture into a smooth, rich sauce. Add instant coffee for a mocha flavor, or keep things simple with cocoa powder.

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Gravy

13. Quick Vegan Gravy

Even when you're making gravy without pan drippings, few recipes omit animal products entirely. Butter, milk, and cream form the basis of many versions, making this all-important component of the meal out of reach for plant-based eaters. For this reason, we created a creamy sauce that is vegan-friendly and quick to make.

If you're worried about compromising on flavor, Kate Shungu has you covered. Her recipe includes vegetable broth, thyme, parsley, shallot, vegan butter, and soy sauce to ensure that even meat lovers will be clamoring for seconds.

Recipe: Quick Vegan Gravy

14. Biscuits And Gravy

It doesn't get more classic than biscuits and gravy, and for such a beloved dish, the stakes are sky-high. Everyone has their own idea about what makes the perfect formula, but we think you'll like the one that we concocted.

Whether you use store-bought or homemade biscuits is up to you, but the gravy should most certainly be created from scratch. Make sure you're not using a nonstick pan when cooking the sausage. When you add the butter and flour to make the roux, they will soak up all the caramelized brown bits that are stuck to the bottom, and believe us, you won't want to miss out on the resulting flavor.

Recipe: Biscuits And Gravy

15. Gravy-Slathered Poutine Burger

Don't worry—we wouldn't dream of tampering with Canada's most iconic dish. This poutine burger is more of an homage to the classic street food than it is a reinvention. Waffles made of tater tots double as both the usual fries in poutine and buns for the burger. Beyond that, there's still the squeaky cheese curds and, of course, the gravy.

The leftover grease from the hamburgers is used to caramelize onions before forming the base ingredient of the gravy. The results are so rich and flavorful that you'll be seriously considering making the recipe two days in a row.

Recipe: Gravy-Slathered Poutine Burger